Pattern repeats are everywhere we look. They are on our clothing, wallpaper, furniture, household items, rugs, dishes, home décor and fabrics just to mention a few.
They are very important to a soft furnishings fabrication business because pattern placement is crucial to achieve a well made pleasing product. On a pair of drapery panels, that basket of flowers should be at the same place along the top of both panels so that the repeat flows across the panels in the same place. The same goes for cushions – all cushions should have uniform repeat placement.
So what are pattern repeats exactly? A pattern repeat is a designed motif that is repeated in regular intervals over an entire item. It’s as simple as that…sort of.
How is a pattern repeat measured? A pattern repeat is the entire motif with a bit of background and not just the basket of flowers by itself. The repeat is measured from the exact point on one motif to the exact point on the next repeat. Let’s say that we pick the top of the topmost flower as the starting point for our repeat. The repeat is measured from that one point down to the exact point on the repeat below it. (Or above if we are measuring up.) You can pick any spot on the repeat as long as you go to the exact same spot on the next repeat. Pattern repeats are measured both vertically and horizontally and the horizontal repeat is measured in the same way as a vertical repeat.
If you want to learn more about pattern repeats, click here to view our in depth pdf.
Still have questions? Get in touch with us!
Ever get confused when the workroom or installer asks you what the hardware return is? Or what projection do you want on that valance?
Projection and return are two different things. The best way to explain it is this way. Projection is going from the wall out. Return is going back to the wall.
Drapery hardware projection and return are shown in the diagram above. As you can see, the projection is the whole bracket measurement from the back of the bracket to the front. The return is measured from the middle of the rod back to the wall.
Fabric returns back to the wall. For drapery panels the return is the fabric on the panel side that folds back to the wall and blocks the light on the sides.
Boards and hardware project out from the wall. For board mounted window treatments, the projection is depth of the board. The return is the fabric that is on the sides of the board mounted window treatments.
Shutters and binds project out from the window.
Knowing the difference comes in to play when ordering hardware or specifying a valance that has to clear shutters or blinds.Here’s an example of what can happen if you don’t understand these terms.
A designer specified drapery hardware for a window with existing shutters. At the measuring appointment the workroom was told by the designer what the bracket return should be. Panels were fabricated with the return measurement that was given. But when ordering the drapery hardware, the designer thought that the bracket projection and return measurements were interchangeable. At the install, she was shocked to see that the bracket return was much too small for the panels to hang clear of the shutters. The panels would not clear the shutters and thus laid over the top of them.
For more information on drapery hardware please go to the Seamless Workroom blog and download the PDF titled Soft Furnishings Designer Basics Drapery Hardware Explained. See link below.
One part of our job as window treatment professionals is to calculate the correct yardage for traversing drapery panels. These calculations involve several steps.
First exact measurements of the window must be taken correctly and in all of the right places. Be sure to use a measuring sheet so that you will not forget any important information.
Secondly, the finished width, finished length and fullness are determined. This information will need to be discussed with the homeowner and/or designer to make sure the drapery will cover the area desired. (We will be using the measurement for the whole window width plus the amount of wall to be covered on each side.)
Thirdly, we need to know what fabric and linings will be used. Does the fabric have a repeat?
After this information is gathered, we are ready make our calculations.
- Multiply the finished width by the fullness amount and add 27”. Then divide this number by 54” to find out how many widths of fabric are needed.
- Add the hem and header measurements to the finished length to get the cut length.
- Divide the cut length by the fabric vertical repeat to find out how many repeats it will take to make up one cut length.
- Multiply the vertical repeat by the number of repeats to arrive at the total cut length. This will be longer than the cut length. Round up this number.
- Multiply the number of widths needed by the total cut length. Divide by 36” for the number of yards needed for the whole window.
Once the face fabric yardage has been calculated you must also calculate the lining yardage using the same method.
Want an easier, faster, and accurate way to calculate traversing panel drapery yardage?
Seamless Workroom Traversing Panel Workbook will do all of this and more for you. As fast as you can type in the basic information, the workbook will calculate your fabric and lining yardages and pricing, trim pricing and yardage, banding yardage, labor costs, hardware costs, miscellaneous costs and sales tax for you. It also includes a workorder form, installation information sheet and change order form.
Last month we were invited by Marcella Davis Burke, instructor at Central Piedmont Community College located in Charlotte, North Carolina, to present Introduction to Window Treatments to her Residential Interior Design class. After a brief discussion on what window treatments could include we delved into the topics of fabric suitability, linings, pattern repeats, railroaded fabric, pleat styles and drapery hardware. These students were so interested in all the topics that we could have talked all day and not covered everything! We hope we left them with the desire to learn more and become informed about window treatments and how they can be an excellent product to offer their clients. This was our second year presenting to Marcella’s class and we certainly look forward to future invites. It is so refreshing and invigorating to be around young and talented designers!
If you are interested in any to these topics, be sure to check out the Soft Furnishings Designer Basics section of our blog on our web site.
All our best,
Amanda and Rose Mary
This excel workbook will help track every detail of multiple projects from start to finish. Sections included are Jobs in Tracker, Job Details, Materials, Processes Completed, Pricing & Yardage/Meterage, Change Order & Remakes, and Vendors Used.
We have added many new features to our project tracker! Click the link to see how it works.
Rose Mary LeBlanc presented to the Interior Design students at Central Piedmont Community College on Tuesday, February 20th . (Amanda tagged along as her side kick and official photographer!) It was a great opportunity to discuss custom window treatments with these soon to be professionals in our industry. Thanks to Marcella Davis-Burke for inviting us into her class, we thoroughly enjoyed out time with them! And also thanks to Marcella for this wonderful note:
Rose Mary & Amanda did a FABULOUS job presenting window treatment basics to our class of budding designers! These industry professionals brought their talent, energy and enthusiasm to the class sparking a keen interest in the creative field of window treatment design. EVERYONE appreciated the gift of their time, knowledge and team building opportunity as they break into the field of interior design! HATS OFF to Rose Mary & Amanda!!!!
In this presentation we will show you how to prevent lining and face fabric from separating.