Directionality in Fabric

What is Directionality in a Fabric?

If a fabric has a pattern, that pattern can be oriented in one of two ways: either:


“railroaded,” meaning the pattern is horizontal from selvedge to selvedge; or,


“up the roll,” where the pattern parallels the selvedges.

Why Do You Care?

Most upholstery fabrics’ useable width (excluding selvedges) is 54”. If you have an expanse of your to-be-upholstered piece that is wider than 54”, you’ll have a seam unless you have a railroaded fabric.

Ignoring seam placement considerations, our customers vary in preferring a pattern orientation to be vertical, horizontal, or both combined on one piece. Velvet placement is an exception. Velvets must be applied in upholstery so that the nap of the velvet is pile down everywhere on the piece.