I’ve been reading about early twentieth century curtain design and realise that there is a lot more to it than just designing a pretty pattern! The design has to be economical which means it has to be suitable for the machine that will be used to produce it and the pattern repeat must not be too long because that would cause wastage when matching patterns to make a pair of curtains. The ‘scaffolding’ of the pattern also has to be considered carefully – you have to have a framework to work on but in most cases it should not be obvious to the viewer, so consider whether the design is making lines or shapes that aren’t intended. Many curtain patterns make use of the turnover, which is when one side is folded over to form a mirror image of the other, but this can look clumsy unless done skilfully. In many cases adding single centre panel eases the design as shown in the image above. I now need to look at some curtains from the time to see how these rules were put into practice.