Patternity

Designers’ love their patterns and sometimes the layman gets lost in the sea of unknown.  Patterns are not just about printed, dotted, zigzag, floral and stripes. There are more complicated terms used for each. And if you look at it more closely, every pattern is a very different variety than the other.

It’s good to be well-versed and not get drowned in your designer’s cryptic terms. Know your patterns so you can be at par with l’artiste. Here are some of the commonly used patterns in fabric and wallpaper print:

ARGYLE
A series of overlapping diamonds in an array of colors (usually 2-3 colors).

BASKETWEAVE
A pattern resembling a basket weave. 

An example of a bull's eye pattern

BULL’S EYE
A series of concentric circles forming a bull’s eye-like pattern.

CHECKERED
Square pattern with an alternating series of colors.

CHEVRON, HERRINGBONE
OR  ZIGZAG
A continuous band of V’s in alternating colors.

CHINOISERIE
Chinese-style or Chinese-like decorative motif. It is the Western adaptation of Oriental designs.

DAMASK or BROCADE
Repeating pattern enriched with stylized flowers and foliage

DIAPER
A repeating floral and geometric pattern set into boxes.

DOTTED SWISS or POLKA DOT
A pattern with evenly spaced tiny dots.

FLORAL
A pattern using flowers, seeds, leaves and other natural elements.

FRET or GREEK KEY PATTERN
Originally, a Greek border motif or geometric band. It is made up of interlocking lines.

GINGHAM or PLAID
A repeating pattern of colored stripes of the same width that overlaps and forms a solid square.

GUILLOCHE
Geometric band of overlapping and interlacing circles.

 

HOUNDSTOOTH or DOG’S TOOTH
A pattern with broken checks.

IKAT PATTERN
Patterns created by tie-dyeing the warp or weft threads of a fabric.

 

LANE’S NET
A pattern of diamonds filled with lines rotated at 45 and 90 degrees radiating from opposite ends.

 

MOIRE
A waved or water effect pattern.

PAISLEY or BOTEH
Tear drop or amoeba shaped patterns usually adorned with flowers and foliage.

 

SCALES
A pattern created by a series of overlapping arcs.

 

STRIPES
Bands of alternating colors that may have the same or varying widths.

 

TOILE DE JOUY
A pattern depicting pastoral scenes printed in one color (red, blue, green or eggplant) over a white or cream background.

 

TRELLIS or LATTICEWORK
A pattern featuring interwoven bands with a reticulated appearance.

 

VERMICULAR
A pattern formed from squiggly, worm-like lines

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About Elaine

interior designer | occasional bookworm | closet otaku | music lover | frustrated craftsman | lazy artist | part time bum
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