Plaid Matching

This 10 minute video is a rough draft of part 1 of a Plaid Matching video. You may watch this short video in Full Screen mode by clicking on the Full Screen button (with the 4 arrows) at the bottom right of the video.

Plaid Match, Starting Point

Here is a clarification of the starting point in plaid match. (This article includes some additional points that weren't made clear in the video.) The plaid in the video is a mirror image or reversible plaid. As I explain further in this article, the basic premise for the video and this article is for using this type of plaid. A one-way plaid would have similar instructions, but would have some differences. Those differences won't be included in the first version of this article.

For a Full Plaid match of a reversible plaid, the center of the cushion boxing has to be the starting point. It is important that the cushion be reversible and that the pattern be centered in the middle of the boxing, both horizontally and vertically. However, the challenge , is that it is important that the seat base is finished and solid before the arms are matched to the cushion. However, the plaid fabric for the deck can't be aligned until the pattern placement of the arms have been determined. Consequently it is recommended that you first rebuild the deck (including springs, padding, etc.) first. Then cover the deck with a lining fabric so that all the padding is compressed and held in place. Then you can cut, sew, & stuff the cushion and position it on the covered deck. With the finished cushion in place, you can then align the pattern on the inside of the arms.

It kind of goes like this (after the fabric has been totally removed

When matching a plaid, I recommend that the frame, springs, and padding of the sofa or chair be rebuilt (if needed) before doing any fabric alignment

Next would be to apply a lining fabric on the inside of the deck, inside arms, inside backrest and cushion(s). The idea here is to make sure that all the padding on the inside of the furniture be held firmly in place by the lining and that the lined cushion fits correctly. On sofas with multiple cushions, cut the foam (or other filling) of all the cushions, apply the dacron or other wrap and make the lining cover. Stuff all the cushions in the lining covers, and put them all in place on the sofa before proceeding. The assumption here would be that all the inside is padded and held in place with the lining fabric, including the cushions. And, there will be no additional padding (or anything else) will be added to the inside of the chair or sofa once we start matching and applying the fabric.

I generally make a cutting layout of the fabric before proceeding, but that won't be included in this article at this point.

Before Proceeding, please read the article on Making Upholstery Prototypes.


Cutting the fabric: When you cut the fabric, add one pattern repeat to both the height and the width of every piece. This will allow you to position each piece as needed to match the pattern.