Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

The Creative Possibilities of Panel Prints

I love working with panel prints because they offer unique opportunities to showcase fabric design motifs.

What is a panel print, exactly, and how does it differ from its close cousin, the border print?

Border prints vs. panel prints

Border prints feature a design that runs along the fabric’s length, or straight grain. As the name suggests, the designs decorate the top edge, the bottom edge, or both edges, and can be narrow or wide. Border prints are often used in women’s skirts and other garments with a full hem.

Two border prints live in my stash, just waiting for the right projects.

Blue and maroon floral border print.
I found this Indonesian wax print at the Chelsea Flea Market in Manhattan. Notice that both edges have decorative borders, the closer edge wider and the farther edge narrower.


Pink and brown border print with botanical motif.
This cotton border print with a botanical motif along one edge is from Metro Textiles, also in Manhattan.

Panel prints, by contrast, usually feature a large repeat: often one motif over the entire width of the fabric. On some panel prints, the decorative motif runs along the fabric’s width, or cross-grain. This gives each panel a look similar to that of a border print. With wider fabrics, such as a 54-inch or 60-inch, you’ll potentially get more decoration in a yard of a panel print than you would in a border print, since a yard of fabric yields only one yard of border.

Here are three projects I’ve made using panel prints: a shirt, a pair of pants, and a parka.

Peter Lappin wearing his panel print parka

Panel print shirt

The cotton  print below is Hugo Boss fabric purchased at Elliott Berman Textiles in New York City. The pattern is composed of confetti-like squares in shades of brownish gray, interspersed with flecks of mint green. I purchased three…

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. [email protected] | | #1

    I have dabbled in panel prints, but not reached nearly your level. That jacket is probably the best I've seen. Deeply inspiring!

  2. User avater
    smcfarland | | #2

    The parka is stunning! I would love to make one :) I recently worked with an ombre silk charmeuse I would consider a panel print because the shade transitions (turquoise to deep purple) ran parallel to the selvage. It's almost finished, and you've inspired me to share the result in the reader galleries here when I complete it.

    1. User avater
      Peter_Lappin | | #3

      Thank you, Sarah!

Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All