PATTERNS AND PRINTS
- Characteristics of Patterns and Prints
- Different types of patterns
- Different types of prints
- How to wear patterns and prints
The density of the pattern means the amount of coverage versus negative space. It ranges between low to high depending on the negative space between the elements.
The scale of the pattern defines the size of the pattern. The smaller the pattern, the easier it is to wear. Generally larger patterns are recommended for taller individuals, or they can be placed the areas that you might need volume.
The contrast is a result of combining dark and light colours or colours that are far away on the colour wheel. The greater the difference between the colours, the high is the value of contrast in that pattern. Low contrast patterns and prints are easier to wear and mix rather than high contrast ones. A strong contrast makes the area appear larger. If you naturally have high contrast in your features, than you can use higher contrast patterns and prints.
The order/layout of the pattern determines if the pattern is orderly arranged/structured or loosely/randomly across the garment.
Saturation defines the intensity or purity of the colors used in that particular pattern. The scale is between muted/soft and bright/clear.
All-over patterns have no negative space; the entire garment is covered with patterns such as plaids, stripes,dots and checks.
PATTERN VS PRINT
Often the terms PATTERN and PRINT are used incorrectly but they are not the same. Printed patterns are actually very different from woven patterns.
A PATTERN is any repeated design, such as a floral, geometric, medallion, etc. It can be woven into a fabric or printed on top.
A PRINT is a pattern, however it is not woven into the fabric but applied to the top with dye by various methods such as digital printing or screen printing.
Try flipping the fabric over to the backside, if you can no longer see the pattern, it is probably a print. When in doubt, refer to fabrics with a design as a pattern, because ALL prints are patterns, but not all patterns are prints!.
TYPES OF PATTERNS
Very thin stripes close to each other, the name refers to the width of the hair.
Thin stripes as wide as drawn by a pencil.
Thin stripes spaced wide apart, the space between stripes are always much wider than the stripes
Medium scale stripes which are about 1/8 inches from each other, similar to the candy stick stripes
Same width stripes arranged in alternating light and dark colors. They are smaller than awning stripes but wider than candy stripes.
Very wide vertical stripes of solid color on a lighter background. It resembles to pattern of awning fabrics.
Vertical lines of varying width which resembles the barcode.
Colorful horizontal stripes of varying width.The name is derived from the dancers of India.
Stripes laid out in a zigzag layout.They can have either a broadening or a narrowing effect on the figure depending on the way it is positioned.
Diagonally placed stripes that have colors associated with the regiment’s uniforms and flags. It is mostly seen in neckwear.
Bright, multicolored contrasting vertical stripes.
Similar but wider than the pin stripes, it is a fainter line with some discontinuity at regular intervals, like it was drawn by a tailor's chalk.
Stripes have lines adjacent to them looking almost like shadows.
Horizontally placed Bengal stripes with light and dark colour combination.
Diagonally arranged diamond or lozenges shapes consist of two to three different colours. Mostly used on knitted fabrics.
Big squares formed by the intersection of two different colored yarns, usually red and black.
Equal sized checks of two different colours as you see on the checkerboard game-board.
Dog’s tooth/ Hound’s tooth
Formed by broken or uneven checks or abstract four pointed shapes that resemble a dog’s tooth.
Formed by a combination of simple checks, usually dog’s tooth and windowpane checks.
Regular bright colored checks made by overlapping stripes of the color of the same width combined with white thread.
Glen/Prince of wales
Combination of large and small checks creating a pattern of irregular checks.
Evenly shaped checks formed by thin bands of a single colour on a white background looking just like a graph paper.
Uneven checks formed by bands of vibrant colours with varying thickness crossing each other.
One or two yarns thick pin-sized stripes crossing each other to form small checks which look like dots from a distance.
Colourful stripes with different width crisscrossing each other to form symmetrically placed checks. The pattern of the vertical stripe does not necessarily have to match the pattern of the horizontal stripe.
Similar with Plaid. The pattern of the stripes running vertically is duplicated EXACTLY on the horizontal axis. Where the different colors overlap, new colors are created.
Similar to gingham checks, small, even sized checks of two colours which are usually black and white.
Regularly spaced, small checks made on white background by thin, evenly coloured bands.
Alternating bands in two or more colors intersect on a light background creating checks.
Thin, light coloured bands forming checks on a contrasting solid colored background which resemble window panes.
Repeating pattern of contracting diamonds.There is a tiny dot where the diamonds meet.
Small even sized checks on a solid colour sized between the Pin check and the Gingham check.
TYPES OF PRINTS
Horse shoe shapes with thick edged circles on light background.
Irregular, long, wavy black stripes with different thickness on white background.
Rectangular uneven shapes on light background.
Thick solid black spots on lighter background.
Consist of colourful peacock feathers.
Irregular black rectangles on white background.
Long, wavy, irregular stripes on lighter background.
Pattern that resembles the skin of the snake. Commonly used on accessories.
Rosette spots with thick edged circles with black dots in the middle on light background.
Irregular small squares aligned in a graph mode.
Irregular roundish shapes on tan background.
Dark brown spots on yellow background. Commonly used for accessories especially sun glasses.
Resemble leaves from the Mediterranean species. Most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration.
All over, stylish, small flower design named by a retail store in London called Liberty & Co.
Based on a stylized honeysuckle plant of fan shaped palm leaf design originated from Ancient Greece.
Originated from Central Asia, consists different size and colour motifs that resembles flowers.
Emerged from 19th century, has rhythmic curves and harmonic repetitions.
Curved teardrop shape originated from Kashmir and named after a town in Scotland.
Combination of lines, shapes and colours that represents a floral scene.
Symmetrical shape created by overlapping four circles resembles a clover leaf.
Plants, leaves and flowers drawn in a realistic way based on botanical illustrations.
Flowers drawn with muted tones and saturated colours in geometric style.
Small scale, dense, all over flower shapes in bright colours, originated from India.
Toule de Jouy
Scenic, pastoral, or floral theme of French countryside, mostly one colour prints on a white back ground.
An ornamental design with one or two colours with a repetitive pattern of abstract flowers.
Decorative, detailed, mostly oil painted, loosely arranged flowers in feminine colours
High density pattern with very small scaled flowers.
Mostly seen on men's attire or carved in leather or metal.
Fleur de Lis
Stylish lily flower in abstract and repetitive way, originated from France.
Ring shaped intertwined garlands of flowers or leaves.
Similar to toile, this features Asian-inspired motifs of people and environment.
17th centruy British desing with branches ornamented in color with fruits, flowers, and/or birds, commonly used for upholstery or window treatments.
Consist of stylized three petal flowers or leaves with three leaflets.
A traditional Middle Eastern pattern, large-scale design with sun and moon disk (medallion), floral, and vine motifs, popular for bedding and window treatments.
Elaborate ornamental design of intertwined floral or geometric motifs that originated from Islamic art.
Emerging in the 17th century, stylish floral design in high contrast arrangement.
Consists of equally spaced dots all over the fabric surface in a consistent design.
Very small dots approximately size of a pin head.
An arc that formed at the connection of two mirror image, elongated S shapes that resembles an onion as well, often used in bedding and rugs.
Ikat refers to a dyeing and weaving method rather than the pattern itself.This method gives ikat fabrics their signature blurred edges.
An interlocking rectangular pattern constructed from one continuous line, based in ancient Greek history.
Features bold desert-like colors and repeating geometric shapes or stripes, originated from Southwest America.
A bold, colorful zigzag pattern involves four threads in four different colors.
Modern pattern consist of lines, shapes and colors that represent ideas than any physical object.
Natural motif with vibrant patterns and vivid colors that represents African tribal culture.
Pattern resembles the surface of a woven basket.
Pattern looks like a water colour painting technique with those light transparent brush strokes and a gradation effect.
Formed by a special fabric weave, with 4 small diamond shapes with a dot or space in the center prints looking like the eye of a bird.
Diamonds that are filled with thin lines radiating from the opposing ends and rotated by 45 and 90 degrees.
Supporting structure of interwoven pieces of wood or metal, adorned with climbing vines and flowers
Knots formed by interfaced ribbons lead seamlessly into one another.
Geometric mosaic tile-work created from sets of characteristic shapes.
Specially designed pattern that blends in with the surrounding, mostly used by military personnel.
Consists of concentric circles or oval shapes.
Repetitive patterns with geometric shapes.
Use of right brilliant colours reminiscent of the hippie movement of the 1960s.
Historical decorative patterns.
Consist of lots of spiral shapes and curves that resembles rolled scroll of paper.
Repeating pattern with motifs resembling clam shells.
Interconnected in a crisscross pattern with square or diamond-shapes or holes in the junctions.
HOW TO WEAR PATTERNS&PRINTS
There are different ways to use patterns and prints in your combinations. If you are not a big fan of using them, you can add some accessories with patterns to start with, or you can choose one low density, small scale classic pattern for your top. You can always combine printed garment with plain, neutral colour fabrics. If you'd like to wear more than one printed item in your combination, than there are some basic rules in order to mix and match different patterns and prints.
Pattern mixing seems like that scary realm that only fashion bloggers, celebrities, and models can enter. But wearing only solid colours is easy, the hard but the fun part is throwing more colours to your outfit by using and mixing patterns. To give you a better idea of where to start, check out these pattern mixing combinations guidelines:
Match the colours first
If the colors look good together, more often the prints will look good together too.
You can choose two different prints that share at least one dominant colour.
Pair two neutral colour prints. That combination style is a good alternative if you prefer calmer look.
If you want to use the same pattern, you can invert the colours.
Bright and Neutral
Pair bright prints with neutral colour prints.
Pair same print with different colour. For bold combination, choose the ones that contrast each other.
Dominant and Accent
Choose one print to dominate and one as an accent.
Mix same prints; different scales
Use two different density types of the same pattern.
Use the same pattern with different scales, like large on the top small on the bottom.
Simpler graphic prints are easier to mix
Easy way to pair plaids is to combine opposites. A large, simple plaid looks perfect when paired with a smaller, busier, more colorful plaid. Or you can pair it with other patterns as you like.
Stripes, especially black and white stripes, go with everything. They're so simple, they're pretty much the neutral of prints.
Graphic prints go great with each other and with more complex or organic prints like floral or animal prints.
Mixing a polka dot print with another contrasting one with larger or smaller dots is very popular in pattern mixing. Try a larger polka dot on top and pair with a small polka dot print skirt on the bottom.
Distribute them nicely
* Try distributing your prints more evenly by doing one on the top and one on the bottom, that way your outfit would be less busy
* Spread your prints out across your outfit
* Break up the look with solids. If print-on-print-on-print is too much for you, you can layer in some solid-colored clothes and accessories like belts to calm things down and ground your look