Understanding Pattern Matches


All wallpapers (except for some plains/textures and murals) have a pattern repeat. The repeat is the vertical distance between one point on the pattern to the next identical point vertically. The pattern repeat is an important part of the design, and can range anywhere from a centimetre up to as much as the width of the wallpaper or more.

If the wallpaper to be hung has a pattern, check what the pattern match is before hanging, and also to calculate how many rolls you will require. There are three major types of pattern matches:

Random Match

In this type of pattern, the pattern will match no matter how the adjoining strips are positioned. Stripes are the best example of this type of match. It is generally recommended to reverse every other strip to minimise visual effects such as shading or colour variations from edge to edge. A random match wallpaper will produce less wastage as there is no repeat distance to take into consideration.

Straight Match

This match has design elements which match on adjoining strips. Each strip will be the same at the ceiling line.

Drop/Offset Match

There are 2 options for a drop match (also called an offset match):

Half-drop match: Every other strip is the same pattern at the ceiling line and the design elements run diagonally. It takes 3 strips to repeat the vertical design. If you numbered the strips consecutively, the odd-numbered strips (1, 3, 5 and so on) would be identical, and the even-numbered strips would be identical. Number the strips on the back as you cut them to avoid confusion.

Multiple drop match: A match that takes 4 or more strips before the vertical design is repeated. Similar to a half-drop match except that it takes more strips until you repeat the first strip.

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