Double width fabrics: what's with the width?

Posted by Nicole Liriano on

Double width fabrics, 110” wide goods, railroaded double width – it can all get a little confusing. We’re going to break this down with the most common questions that come up when we’re using a double width fabric in a project.

sheer drapery fabrics


What’s a double width fabric?

Double width fabrics are fabrics that are literally at least double the width of a standard fabric, which is normally 54” wide. They are most commonly sheer and drapery fabrics, but you can still find them in upholstery and multipurpose fabrics. They can range in widths, but the most common are 108”, 110” and 118” wide.

These wide width fabrics are great because they will lessen, and sometimes eliminate the seams in window treatments. This will make it a little easier to sew because you’re not sewing multiple widths together. You will also see less seams in the final product when hanging in the window. Seams in sheers are more visible when the sun comes through it than seems in regular fabrics.

On the roll, the fabric is on a 54” roll, but folded – so you’re getting double the fabric as you cut your yardage up the roll. The fabric doesn’t come in a roll that is 108” wide (that would be a LOT of fun to ship and get into your house, wouldn’t it?!)

The price can also be a factor, as double width fabrics look like they’re double the price of another fabric, even though they technically can have similar price points. Not all fabrics are created equal and they all have different prices and different reasons for them – just keep the width and how much you’ll need in mind when comparing fabrics to each other.


What does the width have to do with my design?

It matters when you have a print, stripe, or any kind of repeated design on the fabric. If the fabric has a pattern you need to match, how the design runs will be dependent on the size of your window. Now, this might get a little complicated, but I promise we’ll get through it. Plus, we’re always just a phone call away if you have more specific questions on your fabric choice and project.


For example:

ribbon stripe sheer

This ribbon stripe sheer is 110” wide. The pictures on our site will always show what the fabric looks like on the roll, so you aren’t confused as to where the selvage (edges of the fabric) is. In this case, the selvage is on the left and right. This means the pattern is railroaded and goes from left to right.



How does this affect me?


If you want to run the stripe horizontal like shown here, you will have seams – and that’s okay. Depending what kind of drapery design you’re doing, you’ll probably see a seam every 40-60 inches.

If you want the stripes to run vertically, you can – only if you have a window height less than the width of the fabric. You will need to run the fabric “sideways”, using the width of the fabric as your height. The edges of the fabric will now be the top and bottom of your design. Depending on your design, you will need to allow at least 4” to hem/header.


The finished height you need is 98”. This means you must add at least 4” – making it 102”. You can use a fabric that is at least 108” wide and run it however you’d like.

The finished height you need is 112”. That means you need to add at least 4” – making it 116”. Using a fabric 118” is a close call, but might be able to work depending on the fabric and the workroom.

The finished height is 137”. You will need at least 141” for the height, You cannot use the fabric sideways, you have to use it how it runs on the roll.

This will work the same for upholstery fabric, if the pattern will be used for a cornice or back of a sofa.

I calculated my yardage already with regular 54” goods. Can I just cut it in half?

Not exactly. Although it might seem (no pun intended) that it would be logical, your new cuts and possible pattern change can alter your yardage. It can sometimes be less than half, or more than half, of your original calculations. Consult with your workroom to recalculate the yardage.


I hope this was helpful! If you still need a little help or have more specific questions, I'm happy to help. Here's our contact us page with options on how to get in touch. You can also email me directly at


Helping you design your home one stitch at a time,




Share this post