Currently under construction
start any cornice, headboard, or lambrequin project we must figure how
much fabric will be needed. There are several things we
need to know such as the vertical and horizontal repeats in the
pattern, the width of the fabric, whether it is a straight across or
drop match and whether or not the fabric can be turned on it's side
(railroaded) and applied to the cornice without seams.
Let's begin with some definitions:
Vertical Repeat- As you
look at the fabric coming off a bolt measure the distance between the
same point of the pattern (say the top of a pink flower) as you go up
the bolt. Is it fifteen inches from the top of the pink flower to
the top of the identical pink flower just above it on the bolt?
If you have a fabric sample from a book this vertical repeat will be
listed on the back of the tag.
Horizontal Repeat- As you
look across the width of the fabric on the bolt what is the distance
from that same point on the pink flower to an identical pink flower
across from it horizontally? Usually there will be at least two
repeats across the width and if the fabric width is 54" then with two
repeats they would each be 27".
Fabric Width- Pretty much
self explanatory and fabric is usually 54" or 48" wide measured at the
point where you would match the pattern. Outside of this
matching point is the 'selvage edge', an inch or two of extra fabric
with no pattern on it. This might bring the total width of the
fabric to 56 or 57 inches but only a usable amount of 54"
Drop Match- On most fabrics
you will find patterns with matching points for your seam straight
across the fabric but sometimes the match is halfway down the vertical
repeat. The drop match creates an overall look that is less
uniform in appearance.
Railroaded Fabric- Solid fabrics (no pattern) can be turned on
their side and applied to a cornice with no seams. Also many
fabrics such as upholstery fabrics are marked "shown railroaded" on the
tag. With most
cornice boards you can get two or three cuts out of a width of fabric
(i.e. three 18" cuts or two 27" cuts out of a 54" width). The end
result is the fabric required to make the cornices is quite often the
same whether seamed or railroaded.