Such a simple word, but so many meanings! In our case, however, railroading has to do with how fabric is applied to a piece of upholstery or used to create window treatments and the like. Normally a bolt of fabric is somewhere around 56”-60” wide, and it is applied vertically as it unrolled from the bolt. However, there are some cases – with a striped pattern, for instance – that you might prefer to have the fabric railroaded so that the pattern lays out perpendicular to the way in which it comes off the bolt. There are other instances when what you need to upholster – a cushion or pelmet, for example – is too wide and the fabric width just isn’t long enough to accommodate the application. Therefore, some fabric mills will work with you to manufacture a railroaded version of the desired fabric directly at the mill. This condition makes it appear as if you had applied the fabric/pattern in the direction that was originally intended, but without the seams that would have been required. This is especially helpful if the pattern is an intricate one and would have been complicated to align.