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Pattern Matches

All wallpapers, except some textures and murals, have a pattern repeat. The repeat is the vertical distance between one point on the pattern to the identical point vertically. This pattern repeat is an integral part of the design. The repeat can range anywhere from an inch -- or even occasionally less -- up to as much as the width of the wallpaper or more.

If the wallpaper to be hung has a pattern, find out what type of pattern match it has. There are three major types of pattern matches:

  • Random Match -- In this type of pattern, the pattern matches no matter how adjoining strips are positioned. Stripes are the best examples of this type match. It is generally recommended to reverse every other strip to minimize visual effects such as shading or color variations from edge-to-edge. Note that any random match will produce less waste since there is no repeat distance to take into account.
  • Straight Across Match -- This match has design elements which match on adjoining strips. Every strip will be the same at the ceiling line. 
  • Drop Match -- This match has several different types:
    • Half-Drop Match -- Every other strip is the same at the ceiling line and the design elements run diagonally. It takes three strips to repeat the vertical design. If you numbered the strips consecutively, the odd numbered strips (1, 3, 5 and so on) would be identical and the even numbered strips (2, 4, 6, and so on) would match one another. (Note that a drop match is simply a straight match split in half.) Be sure to lightly number (in pencil) on the back of each strip the order in which they are to be hung to avoid confusion.
    • Multiple drop Match -- a match that takes four or more strips before the vertical design is repeated. Similar to drop match except it takes more strips to repeat the first strip.


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