Wallpaper Explained: Pattern Repeats & Matches

It can sometimes be a complicated business ordering wallpaper; how many rolls do you need (luckily we have a handy wallpaper calculator for that!)? What does half drop match mean? How can I tell if there's a pattern repeat?

Luckily it's just industry jargon and in actuality, is fairly easy to get your head around. 

We've put together a guide to all of the wallpaper technical terms you might need to know to make sure you're ordering the right type and amount of wallpaper for your project.

Pattern Repeat
Pretty much all wallpapers will have a pattern repeat. A pattern repeat is how far down the strip of wallpaper the design goes until it's repeated again (vertically). Sometimes the distance can be small and sometimes it can be as much as the entire height of the wall.

Drop Match
Drop match wallpapers are possibly the most complicated to install as the pattern must be aligned both horizontally and vertically with the wallpapers on each side.  

Half Drop Match
A half drop match means that when the wallpaper is hung, each individual panel of wallpaper on the wall must be dropped half the repeat height of the design to match the pattern, so that it looks correct on the wall.

For example, if the repeat height of the design is 60cm the next strip of wallpaper would need to be dropped 30cm to match the pattern on the wall.

Straight Match
A straight match is when the pattern runs straight down from the ceiling and in order to match each strip, you just hang from the ceiling and repeat each vertical strip in the same way.
Random/free Match
This is probably the easiest type of wallpaper to hang as the pattern doesn't need to match to a specific length, for example plain or textured wallpapers. 

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