Fabric Pattern Repeats

Fabric infographic

When choosing a patterned fabric for a project, it’s important to know how much additional fabric you need to buy if you’re planning to match the pattern across your seams. Here’s a quick reference you can use:

A repeat is the distance between the repeating pattern elements of a fabric, vertically and horizontally, and will be listed on the fabric tag or sample. Pattern matching always requires more fabric. The larger the pattern repeat, the more fabric you’ll need.

Use the chart below and the vertical repeat of your fabric’s pattern to figure out how much additional fabric to purchase.

repeat pattern adjustment chart

For this leaf fabric example, let’s say I calculated that I need 1 yard of plain fabric for my project. This pattern has an 18″ vertical repeat, and a 7″ horizontal repeat. I use the 18″ vertical repeat to calculate how much additional yardage I need, adding 42% to 1 yard to get 1.42 yards.

Want to learn more about fabrics and pattern matching? Sign up for our mailing list to receive tips and up-to-date local and online class schedules, or check out upcoming upholstery classes here.

About the Author

CarlaHey there! I'm Carla Pyle. I love the stories that our furniture tells. For me a picture of my Granddaddy Milton's green upholstered arm chair brings to mind the vivid rhymes & colors of 'The Cat in the Hat' and his soft low voice in the telling. I love too that there is always an element of nature in furniture - the warm-toned curving grain of a walnut leg or the reflection of life in a mid-century chrome piece. The best part of teaching & sharing natural upholstery is that it ties all of these things together. Stories - of individual experience and of the planet - help us build happy & healthy homes.View all posts by Carla →

Leave a Reply