What is "Repeat" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 28-May-2024 ( ago)
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Repeat in Textiles: The Rhythm Behind the Designs

Unraveling the Textile Mystery: The Concept of "Repeat"

Textiles, a universe of colors, patterns, and techniques, hide within them intricate terminologies, concepts, and histories. One such term that profoundly influences design and production is "repeat". In textile lingo, "repeat" refers to the distance between a point in one motif to the same point in the next motif, both vertically and horizontally. The "repeat" ensures consistency in design, giving textiles their signature looks and patterns.

History and Origin

From the dawn of textile design, the repetition of motifs, patterns, and designs became essential to create a sense of rhythm and uniformity. Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, India, and China, showcased textiles with repeating motifs, indicating an inherent understanding of the principle of "repeat". With the advent of automated weaving during the Industrial Revolution, the concept of "repeat" became even more crucial, as machines required specific measurements to produce consistent patterns.

Types of Repeat

  • Straight Repeat: The motifs are repeated vertically or horizontally in straight lines.
  • Drop Repeat: The motifs are repeated diagonally, creating a staggered pattern.
  • Half-Drop Repeat: Every other motif is dropped halfway between its neighbors.
  • Mirror Repeat: The motifs are mirrored or reflected either horizontally or vertically.
  • Block Repeat: The motifs are repeated in a block grid format.

Tips for Handling Repeat

  • When designing, always consider the size and layout of the repeat pattern.
  • For precision, use grid paper or digital tools to ensure consistent repeats.
  • Always consider the end-use of the fabric. Large repeats might not be suitable for smaller products.
  • When printing or weaving, regularly check the machinery to ensure repeat consistency.

Profiles of Leading Manufacturers or Users

  • Calvin Klein: As a leading fashion brand, Calvin Klein has consistently showcased apparel featuring intricate repeat patterns, especially in their seasonal collections.
  • Givenchy: French luxury fashion and perfume house Givenchy, known for its chic designs, often employs sophisticated repeats in its textile selections.
  • Laura Ashley: Renowned for its curtains and home furnishings, Laura Ashley's products are often characterized by classic repeat patterns, giving them a timeless appeal.
  • Tory Burch: This American fashion label, while celebrated for its eclectic styles, often integrates repeated motifs in its designs, making them uniquely identifiable.
  • Zara: A global fast-fashion giant, Zara's extensive range of apparel often plays with different types of repeat patterns, staying ahead of contemporary trends.


  • Apparel: From dresses to ties, the repeat in a textile design can transform the appeal of an attire, creating iconic looks.
  • Home Furnishings: Curtains, wallpapers, and bed linens with repeat patterns give a room character and consistency.
  • Accessories: Bags, scarves, and even footwear use repeated patterns to create distinct and memorable designs.
  • Upholstery: Furniture stands out with fabrics that have attractive repeat designs, often becoming conversation pieces in a setting.


The concept of "repeat" in textiles is akin to the rhythm in music. It brings harmony, structure, and an alluring cadence to the world of fabrics. Whether it's the straight lines of a plaid pattern or the mirrored motifs of a paisley design, the repeat dictates the visual story that a fabric tells. Behind every curtain that graces a home or every dress that turns heads, there's a meticulously crafted repeat pattern at work. As we stand at the intersection of tradition and innovation in textile design, the age-old principle of "repeat" reminds us of the timeless essence of patterns and the stories they weave across threads and yarns.

The distance, in a fabric, before there is an element or motif that repeats. The larger repeat, the more waste factor in getting the pattern to align on adjacent panels.
A term used to describe how often the pattern repeats on a fabric.
The distance between the beginning of one complete pattern in the fabric weave, print, or design and the beginning of the next identical pattern. Fabric may have vertical or horizontal repeats or both.
Layout used for making emblems or designs on a fabric span that are repeated at regular intervals.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

A type of fiber variant that takes deep and brilliant colors. When mixed or blended with conventional fibers various multi-color and cross-dye effects are possible in a fabric from one dye bath or...
In wet spinning, the polymer used to form the fibre is dissolved in solution. The solution is forced under pressure through an opening into a liquid bath in which the polymer is insoluble. As the...
A hydrophilic compound applied to a fiber or fabric which results in superior breathability and a moisture management system within the fabric that helps to maintain a comfortable body temperature...
A shuttle in weaving is a device used with a loom that is thrown or passed back and forth between the threads of the warp in order to weave in the weft or woof. Shuttles are often made of flowering...
Formation of a non-woven fabric by suspending fibers in water to disperse them evenly. The suspension is poured onto a moving screen allowing the water to pass through and leaving a fiber web, which...

Add a definition

Add a definition for a textile term that you know about! Send us an email & tell us:
  • The term you want to define
  • Its definition in 500 words or less
  • Attach an image if necessary.
  • Optionally, tell us about yourself in 200 words or less!

Companies for Repeat:

If you manufacture, distribute or otherwise deal in Repeat, please fill your company details below so that we can list your company for FREE! Send us the following details:
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Attach a logo, if necessary.
  • Optionally, tell us about yourself in 200 words or less!

(s) 2024 TextileGlossary.com Some rights reserved. • Sitemap