How To Mix Fabric Patterns

One of my passions is fabrics, and one of my favorite things to do is picking out fabrics for my clients.  I love going through fabric books, and finding just the right combination of fabrics for a project.  If you sometimes have trouble deciding which fabrics go together,  I’m going to share with you my five tips for how to mix fabric patterns.


How To Mix Fabric Patterns

Before I go into the tips for mixing fabric patterns, I just want to say that these are only guidelines that I like to follow.  As they say – rules are made to be broken.

I thought it might be easier to see examples of mixing and matching fabric patterns in a video.  The 5 tips are also written out below the video.

Tip #1 – Use odd numbers. Just like they say to use odd numbers for grouping plants or accessories, it’s best to use odd numbers when picking out fabrics too.  You want to have at least 3 and no more than 5 in one room.

The first fabric should be a large, bold print that has at least 2 or 3 colors in it.

The second fabric should be a smaller scale than the first fabric.  A geometric, stripe or plaid works well.

The third fabric should be a tone-on-tone fabric that reads as a solid.

Tip #2 – Pick two or three of the colors from the first fabric to accent.  If you have several colors in your large main fabric, then pick just 2 or three to use in the other fabrics.

Tip #3 – Don’t mix formal and informal fabrics.  If you have an informal linen fabric, for instance, don’t mix it with a formal, shiny silk fabric.

Tip #4 – Choose the same tone or intensity in all of the fabrics.  As an example – you wouldn’t want to mix a muted pastel fabric with one that had  vibrant jewel tones.

Tip #5 – Vary the scale of the fabric patterns from large to small.  It looks better if you use large scale fabrics with ones that are smaller in scale.  I would stay away from using all large prints, or all small prints.

I’m joining these parties.

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps On The Porch

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  1. Jeanette Sampson says:

    Great job on how to pick and mix fabric.

  2. Kathy Donohue says:

    Well done Jan! I enjoyed your fabric tutorial!

  3. Fabulous video and such great information. I loved learning more about mixing patterns. Such fun. Hugs, Marty
    Marty@A Stroll Thru Life recently posted…Checks, Herringbone, Plaid & GreenMy Profile

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