written by Taylor Souder

Fabric orientation is a term used to suggest in which direction a fabric is recommended to be applied. 

Up The Roll

“Up the roll” typically means the pattern runs from top to bottom with selvedges on the left and right, parallel to the pattern. Fabrics that are up the roll are often great for window projects, being that the yardage to order is based upon the standard length of the window. This orientation prevents seaming in bedding and window treatment lengths.


With “railroaded” fabrics, the pattern runs horizontally across the roll, perpendicular to the selvedge. Railroaded fabrics are often great for furniture applications, being that cushions can be made up in one, continuous piece and seaming is not needed.

When fabrics are not applied in the suggested orientation, the fabric is subject to wear differently than normal with my void the warranty. When searching for a fabric from the Greenhouse or Anna Elisabeth line, it is important to look at the selvedge arrow to determine the true fabric’s direction for application. Patterns are not always sampled in books according to the pattern or orientation.

For assistance on a fabric pattern, reach out to a fabric specialist at 866-755-5000 for more information. Subscribe to our blog for new fabrics, emerging trends, and all things textiles!