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  • Writer's pictureDeland Pelto

About Railroading Fabric

The concept of railroading fabric has always been there but the term comes from the way railroads are laid. It has to do with which direction the pattern is woven into the fabric.

Railroad tracks heading to infinity

Most of the fabrics we work with are a standard 54" wide with a pattern that works best when it runs in the same direction as the bolt. That means that the direction of my stripe fabric is parallel to the selvages. Draperies can be made any length and the stripe will appear vertical.

Normal fabric - pattern running into roll

Sometimes, we just do not want to see a seam. Railroaded fabrics are woven to eliminate the need for seams. In this case, the stripes run perpendicular to the selvages, hence the term "railroaded." Standard 54" Fabrics can be railroaded and this type of fabric is perfect for upholstery or extra long cushions.

Railroaded fabric - pattern perpendicular to selvage.

Sheers are also commonly woven at wider widths for the sole purpose of eliminating seams. Because seams in a sheer fabric will show, these wide fabrics work well on wider windows. Usually, these fabrics can range from 110" to 130" and can be made into fairly tall draperies ranging from 116" to 124" depending on the actual width of the fabric.

There's an exception to every rule and sheers for our super tall windows can't always be constructed without seams. When this happens, we cut the fabric "up the roll" and seam it as needed, but the seams are anywhere from 110" to 130" apart. You can always trust Window Dressers to help you plan and construct your treatments in the most professional way.

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