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What Are the Best Tips for Working with Zebra Print Fabric?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Working with zebra print fabric can be a fun project, but the striped design of the fabric does often present some problems. In general, it is considered appropriate for this type of fabric to be implemented in such a way that the lines all flow roughly in parallel, although zebra print is often curved. While this problem does sometimes require purchasing more fabric than a person might otherwise, it is usually quite easy to overcome with a little planning. When working with zebra print fabric, a person's personal design preferences determine what is and is not appropriate, but it is a good idea to keep in mind that zebra print can be overwhelming on the eyes when used in large quantities.

The most common problem with zebra print fabric is the direction of the zebra stripes in the finished item. While zebra print fabric often uses curvy lines much like a zebra, there is a clear visual direction to those lines. Making sure that the lines look matched even at seams takes a little planning, but is relatively simple to do. The lines may not be perfectly matched, but usually the eye can be convinced that they are parallel even if they are slightly off because of the curved design.

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Zebra print fabric can be used for any number of different items, so working with zebra print fabric involves thinking both about how the design will look and how the fabric will feel. Clothing, furniture, and decorations can all be made out of fabric of this type. It is, however, important to select fabric at an appropriate weight and texture for the project at hand. Upholstery fabric, for example, is more appropriate for furniture, and quilting fabric might be more appropriate for making blankets. In addition to the traditional black and white design, there are also versions of zebra print that are more colorful.

While many people enjoy the look of zebra print fabric, the close contrasting stripes of the fabric can make this design inappropriate for large areas. Zebra print curtains, for example, are pleasant to a relatively small number of people. Using strips of zebra print is one way to cut down on the jarring visual effect of large black and white stripes, but another good tactic is to reduce the contrast between the two colors used to make the stripes. Making the stripes very small can also help reduce this unfortunate effect. This can make it possible to use more of the print without making people dizzy.

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