Thursday, January 3, 2013

The "Other Repeat"

The vertical pattern repeat is used to calculate how much fabric is needed for a project.  If you have used an on-line yardage calculator, when you are asked to enter the pattern repeat, they mean the vertical pattern repeat.  Some fabric companies only give one repeat in their specifications.  It is always the vertical pattern repeat.  That is because you can't sell a project without knowing how much fabric is required!  
I like fabric companies that also specify the "other repeat" -- the horizontal repeat.  Although the horizontal repeat is rarely used in yardage calculations, it is an important consideration during fabrication.  It comes into play when determining placement of the motif in the window treatment.  When making inverted box pleat valances, I use the horizontal repeat two ways:  1) to determine the width of the flat spaces, and 2) to determine how much fabric to put in each pleat.  This allows for the pattern motif to continue across the entire valance.   

Here is the finished valance.  Working with the horizontal repeat adds subtle detail to the finished valance that is truly custom.   

Notice how the Ikat diamond pattern continues through the pleat on this valance:

And on the return of this Quatrefoil pleated valance:

You can't accommodate the horizontal repeat on every valance design.  Sometimes the window dimensions and pattern repeats just don't work together.  And sometimes the horizontal repeat is too small or too busy.  But there is always a way to make it custom.  Here the pattern was cut on the bias to highlight the inverted pleat. 

Like the "other white meat" and the "other woman", the horizontal repeat will always play second string.  But if you want a workroom that will focus on custom details like the "other repeat", contact me at