Sewing people, I need…

Sewing people, I need help with this. I don't understand what this means: "Direction of pattern runs as pictured. If vertical in image, pattern runs up the roll. If horizontal in image, pattern runs the width of the fabric."

For this fabric, for example:

...what does the above mean? Specifically, if I'm trying to use the fabric for something short and wide (the seat back of our eat-in area, about 3' high and 6' wide), will the pattern look right? I.e., will it look like the above, or will it end up turned 90 degrees as it comes off the bolt? Help!!

Update: Kev is pretty sure that fabric above would be the right direction for drapes, not for my eat-in backrest. Sigh. More hunting.

2 thoughts on “Sewing people, I need…”

  1. The “width” of the fabric is across the roll. So imagine if we took the roll and hung it up sideways like a roll of toilet paper. The pattern in that image would be oriented as it is in the photo.

    So you do have a problem with your seatback, because the roll is without a doubt less than 6 feet wide for your seat back. You will have to use two pieces and put a seam down the middle. That can be done-there’s nothing wrong with it. Alternately, patterns can be turned sideways, or “railroaded” to fit the backs of long couches and such. However, I don’t think this pattern would look right railroaded. I would go with the seam or look for a different pattern. (And some upholstery fabrics are printed sideways with that in mind.)

    Ballard Designs ( has some beautiful fabrics that are printed sideways for upholstering. They are kind of pricey, however.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thanks, Catherine. I don’t know why I had trouble understanding what they said. I think a seam is okay, but I’d rather avoid one if I can, so I’m going to look for a fabric that either has the pattern running the other way, or has no direction. (See next entry.)

    I’ve been trying to use fabricguru just to save some money, rather than go to regular fabric sites where I will fall in love with things I can’t afford. 🙂

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