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Tartan Designer: symmetry & mirroring


The great majority of tartans have setts that use a reversing or mirrored symmetry. This means the sequence of colour bands runs one way, then pivots and repeats itself in reverse. The pivot colours at the ends do not double up. So a threadcount described as 2Green-4Red-6Black would actually be woven as 2Green-4Red-6Black-4Red-2Green-4Red… and so on.

For simplicity, these are conventionally described only with the first part of the threadcount, along with a note that the tartan is symmetrical. This is the normal way that most tartans are designed. So our systems automatically create and display this pattern.

However, a small number of tartans are designed to be non-reversing. We do not recommend asymmetric setts unless you are sure you know what you are doing. A symmetric pattern will normally result in a more visually pleasing and traditional tartan. But if you do wish a non-reversing result, you will find a checkbox to set this in the View panel of the Design page.



Categories Help Centre Fabrics Tartan/ fabric design Arrange pattern
Tags tartan designer symmetry repeat size