Half drop pattern repeats

Measuring fabric with a half drop pattern repeat

Trying to measure and match fabric with a half drop pattern repeat can appear confusing at first.  Don’t give up!  Below are some simple diagrams that show you how.

Image 1 below is a normal vertical pattern repeat, which is the most common type of patterned fabric. See how the blue circles are the same on both sides of the fabric, and align perfectly when side matched.

Image 1

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Image 2 below is a half drop pattern repeat.  A half drop fabric usually has a large pattern.

Half drop fabric means that the pattern doesn’t match exactly on each side of the fabric, and matches half a drop down instead.  See how if we cut it the same way as the fabric in Image 1, the blue circles wouldn’t match up, and the curtain would look strange?

Image 2

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Instead, an extra half drop has to be cut in order to make the fabric side match. It means using an extra half a pattern repeat for each match, which is wastage and not sewn into the curtain. Now, in Image 3, it’s perfect!

Image 3

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If you are using a half drop pattern you may need extra fabric, so consult with your curtain maker or supplier to work out how much you will need.