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Coordinating Fabrics in Three Easy Steps

There are several factors to consider when you are trying to coordinate fabrics for a room or project, but - when you enter a large fabric store with row after row of beautiful materials, or you gaze upon the many pages of a fabric catalog - it can be quite overwhelming and mind boggling. Well, as a decorator, I realize the different aspects of fabric and coordination, and sometimes even I get overwhelmed. But, I always fall back on a few basic considerations, and everything just falls into place. I have outlined those three basic steps, and I know it will work for you too.
Your Personal Fabric Journal

An easy way to take some of the confusion out of the coordination of fabrics is to start a journal. By simply attaching swatches of fabrics - and using the "check the box" system provided, you will have a journal within easy reach to carry with you. Follow the link below to print a copy of the Fabric Journal.

Fabric Journal

The Elements of Fabric

1) Color
The first element to consider when coordinating fabric is the obvious - color. The colors of the fabrics must present a cohesive package that compliment each other - not compete.
2) Pattern
The second element is pattern. Fabrics fall under one of two patterns - curvy or straight. A sample of a curvy pattern is a chintz. There is no set pattern, but more of a "wave" of color and design. An example of a straight pattern is a plaid. There is a definite pattern that is easily recognizable throughout the fabric. What about a solid pattern such as a brocade or velvet? All fabrics which feature a nap or raised pattern, etc, are considered curve fabrics.
3) Size
The third consideration is size. When speaking of size, I am referring to the size of the overall pattern, and not the actual width. Sizes of fabric patterns fall under small, medium or large categories. For example, I will use a cabbage rose chintz to further explain. When you look at a fabric such as this, you would immediately assume that the fabric is considered a large print. This may be true. But, what happens when you pair this chintz with a large plaid? The "large" chintz fabric becomes a "medium" pattern. In other words, the size and scale of the fabric is determined by the other fabrics.

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