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Thread: Working with Hhalf Drop Pattern Repeats

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    Default Working with Half Drop Pattern Repeats

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    Working with half drops can be a little complicated and the method of calculating the amount of fabric you require is littered with methods drawn from the curtain makers book of old wives tales, most of them complete nonsense.

    I am going to try to explain the half drop rule. This is the method of working which allows one to alternate the joining of the fabric between half drop patterns to maximise fabric use.

    A half drop occurs when a fabric designer creates a patterned fabric with an uneven number of pattern repeats across the fabric width, alternating the pattern spacings at the edges of the fabric on the half drop of the full vertical pattern repeat, as in the diagram below.

    If you cut two identical lengths of fabric and offer them together they will not match and will look like this.

    This simply means that the point at which the patterns match is half the vertical pattern repeat lower on each joining and if you cut all your lengths without noticing this you would be a half a pattern out on every cut drop as you can see below.

    The most common method used to alleviate this variance is shown below and consists of rounding up your pattern repeats to the next whole number then removing half of a vertical pattern repeat so that the second cut drop matches the first.

    This is all well and good if you are only cutting two panels of fabric but is terribly wasteful if you are cutting more than two.

    There two processes by which we can join this fabric and match the pattern correctly and be less wasteful of the clients or your fabric.

    The first method A is as follows. If you need, for instance, to cut 6 drops or lengths from a roll of fabric to make two x three width curtains you can cut the first three identical lengths from the roll without making any adjustment or additional cuts.

    Next cut away one half pattern and then cut the three remaining lengths.

    You will then be able to alternate these 6 lengths of fabric to make your two curtains of three drops each. The only difference this has made to your fabric order is that you will need to add one half pattern repeat to your overall fabric order.

    If you have any questions about setting out curtains or blinds when using half drop fabrics then please ask and I will gladly reply.

    If you're a guest and you can't see any of this post why not join the forum, Its very easy and so quick to join.

    You will find more information on half drop pattern repeats on my blog at the bottom of the page

    Last edited by Classical Genesis; 27-05-2017 at 10:34 AM.
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