PATTERNS AND PRINTS

  • Characteristics of Patterns and Prints
  • Different types of patterns
  • Different types of  prints
  • How to wear patterns and prints

DENSITY

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.

Low Density Pattern

LOW 

Medium Density Pattern

MEDIUM 

High Density Pattern

HIGH 

SCALE

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.

Small Scale Pattern

SMALL

Medium Scale Pattern

MEDIUM

Large Scale Pattern

LARGE

CONTRAST

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.

Low Contrast Pattern

LOW 

Medium Contrast Pattern

MEDIUM 

High Contrast Pattern

HIGH 

ORDER/LAYOUT

The order/layout of the pattern determines if the pattern is orderly arranged/structured or loosely/randomly across the garment.

Ordered Layout Pattern

IN ORDER

Semi-Ordered Layout Pattern

SEMI ORDER

Random Layout Pattern

RANDOM

SATURATION

Saturation defines the intensity or purity of the colors used in that particular pattern. The scale is between muted/soft and bright/clear.

Bright Contrast Pattern

BRIGHT

Medium Contrast Pattern

MEDIUM

Muted Pattern

MUTED

PLACEMENT

All-over patterns have no negative space; the entire garment is covered with patterns such as plaids, stripes,dots and checks.

PARTLY 

All Over Pattern

ALL OVER 

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

Stripes

Hairline Stripe Pattern

Hairline 

Very thin stripes close to each other, the name refers to the width of the hair.

Pencil Stripe Pattern

Pencil/Dress

Thin stripes as wide as drawn by a pencil.

Pin Stripe Pattern

Pin 

Thin stripes spaced wide apart, the space between stripes are always much wider than the stripes

Candy Stripe Pattern

Candy

Medium scale stripes which are about 1/8 inches from each other, similar to the candy stick stripes

Bengal Stripe Pattern

Regency/Bengal/Tiger 

Same width stripes arranged in alternating light and dark colors. They are smaller than awning stripes but wider than candy stripes.

Awning Stripe Pattern

Awning 

Very wide vertical stripes of solid color on a lighter background. It resembles to pattern of awning fabrics.

Barcode Stripe Pattern

Barcode 

Vertical lines of varying width which resembles the barcode.

Bayadere Stripe Pattern

Bayadere 

Colorful horizontal stripes of varying width.The name is derived from the dancers of India.

Chevron Pattern

Chevron/Herringbone 

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.

Regimental Stripe Pattern

Regimental 

Diagonally placed stripes that have colors associated with the regiment’s uniforms and flags. It is mostly seen in neckwear.

Roman Stripe Pattern

Roman 

Bright, multicolored contrasting vertical stripes.

Chalk Stripe Pattern

Chalk 

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.

Shadow Stripe Pattern

Shadow 

Stripes have lines adjacent to them looking almost like shadows.

Breton Stripe Pattern

Breton 

Horizontally placed Bengal stripes with light and dark colour combination.

Checks

Argyle Pattern

Argyle

Diagonally arranged diamond or lozenges shapes consist of two to three different colours. Mostly used on knitted fabrics.

Buffalo Check Pattern

Buffalo

Big squares formed by the intersection of two different colored yarns, usually red and black.

Checkerboard Pattern

Checkerboard

Equal sized checks of two different colours as you see on the checkerboard game-board.

Dog’s tooth, Hound’s tooth Pattern

Dog’s tooth/ Hound’s tooth

Formed by broken or uneven checks or abstract four pointed shapes that resemble a dog’s tooth.

Dupplin Check Pattern

Dupplin

Formed by a combination of simple checks, usually dog’s tooth and windowpane checks.

Gingham Check Pattern

Gingham

Regular bright colored checks made by overlapping stripes of the color of the same width combined with white thread.

Glen, Prince of wales Pattern

Glen/Prince of wales

Combination of large and small checks creating a pattern of irregular checks.

Graph Check Pattern

Graph

Evenly shaped checks formed by thin bands of a single colour on a white background looking just like a graph paper.

Madras Check Pattern

Madras

Uneven checks formed by bands of vibrant colours with varying thickness crossing each other.

Pin Check Pattern

Pin

One or two yarns thick pin-sized stripes crossing each other to form small checks which look like dots from a distance.

Plaid Check Pattern

Plaid

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.

Tartan Check Pattern

Tartan

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.

Shepherd Check Pattern

Shepherd

Similar to gingham checks, small, even sized checks of two colours which are usually black and white.

Tattersall Check Pattern

Tattersall

Regularly spaced, small checks made on white background by thin, evenly coloured bands.

Gun Club Check Pattern

Gun Club

Alternating bands in two or more colors intersect on a light background creating checks.

Windowpane Check Pattern

Windowpane

Thin, light coloured bands forming checks on a contrasting solid colored background which resemble window panes.

Harlequin Pattern

Harlequin

Repeating pattern of contracting diamonds.There is a tiny dot where the diamonds meet.

Mini Check Pattern

Mini

Small even sized checks on a solid colour sized between the Pin check and the Gingham check.

TYPES OF PRINTS

Animal Prints

Leopard Pattern

Leopard

Horse shoe shapes with thick edged circles on light background.

Zebra Pattern

Zebra

Irregular, long, wavy black stripes with different thickness on white background.

Giraffe Pattern

Giraffe

Rectangular uneven shapes on light background.

Cheetah Pattern

Cheetah

Thick solid black spots on lighter background.

Peacock Pattern

Peacock

Consist of colourful peacock feathers.

Cow Pattern

Cow

Irregular black rectangles on white background.

Tiger Pattern

Tiger

Long, wavy, irregular stripes on lighter background.

Snake Pattern

Snake

Pattern that resembles the skin of the snake. Commonly used on accessories.

Jaguar Pattern

Jaguar

Rosette spots with thick edged circles with black dots in the middle on light background.

Crocodile Pattern

Crocodile

Irregular small squares aligned in a graph mode.

Hyena Pattern

Hyena

Irregular roundish shapes on tan background.

Tortoise Shell Pattern

Tortoise Shell

Dark brown spots on yellow background. Commonly used for accessories especially sun glasses.

Floral Prints

Acanthus Floral Pattern

Acanthus

Resemble leaves from the Mediterranean species. Most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration.

Liberty Floral Pattern

Liberty

All over, stylish, small flower design named by a retail store in London called Liberty & Co.

Anthemion Floral Pattern

Anthemion

Based on a stylized honeysuckle plant of fan shaped palm leaf design originated from Ancient Greece.

Mandala Floral Pattern

Mandala

Originated from Central Asia, consists different size and colour motifs that resembles flowers.

Art Nouveau Floral Pattern

Art Nouveau

Emerged from 19th century, has rhythmic curves and harmonic repetitions.

Paisley Floral Pattern

Paisley

Curved teardrop shape originated from Kashmir and named after a town in Scotland.

Abstract Floral Pattern

Abstract

Combination of lines, shapes and colours that represents a floral scene.

Quatrefoil Floral Pattern

Quatrefoil

Symmetrical shape created by overlapping four circles resembles a clover leaf.

Botanical Floral Pattern

Botanical

Plants, leaves and flowers drawn in a realistic way based on botanical illustrations.

Retro Floral Pattern

Retro

Flowers drawn with muted tones and saturated colours in geometric style.

Calico Floral Pattern

Calico

Small scale, dense, all over flower shapes in bright colours, originated from India.

Toule de Jouy Floral Pattern

Toule de Jouy

Scenic, pastoral, or floral theme of French countryside, mostly one colour prints on a white back ground.

Damask Floral Pattern

Damask

An ornamental design with one or two colours with a repetitive pattern of abstract flowers.

Vintage Floral Pattern

Vintage

Decorative, detailed, mostly oil painted, loosely arranged flowers in feminine colours

Ditsy Floral Pattern

Ditsy

High density pattern with very small scaled flowers.

Western Floral Pattern

Western

Mostly seen on men's attire or carved in leather or metal.

Fleur de Lis Floral Pattern

Fleur de Lis

Stylish lily flower in abstract and repetitive way, originated from France.

Wreath Floral Pattern

Wreath

Ring shaped intertwined garlands of flowers or leaves.

Chinoiserie Floral Pattern

Chinoiserie

Similar to toile, this features Asian-inspired motifs of people and environment.

Jacobean Floral Pattern

Jacobean

17th centruy British desing with branches ornamented in color with fruits, flowers, and/or birds, commonly used for upholstery or window treatments.

Trefoil Floral Pattern

Trefoil

Consist of stylized three petal flowers or leaves with three leaflets.

Suzani Floral Pattern

Suzani

A traditional Middle Eastern pattern, large-scale design with sun and moon disk (medallion), floral, and vine motifs, popular for bedding and window treatments.

Arabesque Floral Pattern

Arabesque

Elaborate ornamental design of intertwined floral or geometric motifs that originated from Islamic art.

Baroque Floral Pattern

Baroque

Emerging in the 17th century, stylish floral design in high contrast arrangement.

Other Patterns&Prints

Polka Dots Pattern

Polka Dots

Consists of equally spaced dots all over the fabric surface in a consistent design.

Pin Dots Pattern

Pin Dots

Very small dots approximately size of a pin head.

Ogee Pattern

Ogee

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 Pattern

Ikat

Ikat refers to a dyeing and weaving method rather than the pattern itself.This method gives ikat fabrics their signature blurred edges.

Greek Key Pattern

Greek Key

An interlocking rectangular pattern constructed from one continuous line, based in ancient Greek history.

Southwestern Pattern

Southwestern

Features bold desert-like colors and repeating geometric shapes or stripes, originated from Southwest America.

Flamestitch Pattern

Flamestitch

A bold, colorful zigzag pattern involves four threads in four different colors.

Abstract Pattern

Abstract

Modern pattern consist of lines, shapes and colors that represent ideas than any physical object.

Tribal Pattern

Tribal

Natural motif with vibrant patterns and vivid colors that represents African tribal culture.

Basketwave Pattern

Basketwave

Pattern resembles the surface of a woven basket.

Water-colour Pattern

Water-colour

Pattern looks like a water colour painting technique with those light transparent brush strokes and a gradation effect.

Bird's eye Pattern

Bird's eye

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.

Lane's Net Pattern

Lane's Net

Diamonds that are filled with thin lines radiating from the opposing ends and rotated by 45 and 90 degrees.

Trellis Pattern

Trellis

Supporting structure of interwoven pieces of wood or metal, adorned with climbing vines and flowers

Celtic Knot Pattern

Celtic Knot

Knots formed by interfaced ribbons lead seamlessly into one another.

Zellige Pattern

Zellige

Geometric mosaic tile-work created from sets of characteristic shapes.

Camouflage Pattern

Camouflage

Specially designed pattern that blends in with the surrounding, mostly used by military personnel.

Bull's eye Pattern

Bull's eye

Consists of concentric circles or oval shapes.

Geometric, Network Pattern

Geometric/Network

Repetitive patterns with geometric shapes.

Bohemian Pattern

Bohemian

Use of right brilliant colours reminiscent of the hippie movement of the 1960s.

Vintage Pattern

Vintage

Historical decorative patterns.

Scroll Pattern

Scroll

Consist of lots of spiral shapes and curves that resembles rolled scroll of paper.

Scales Pattern

Scales

Repeating pattern with motifs resembling clam shells.

Lattice Pattern

Lattice

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.

Fabric Patterns and Prints

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Fabric Patterns and Prints

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Fabric Patterns and Prints

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Fabric Patterns and Prints

Mix..

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.

Peacock Animal PrintPeacock Animal Print

Dominant Colour

You can choose two different prints that share at least one dominant colour.

Neutral Fabric Print

Two Neutrals

Pair two neutral colour prints. That combination style is a good alternative if you prefer calmer look.

Polka Dots PatternPolka Dots Pattern

Invert

If you want to use the same pattern, you can invert the colours.

Trefoil Floral PatternNeutral Floral Print

Bright and Neutral

Pair bright prints with neutral colour prints.

Pelican Fabric PrintPelican Fabric Print

Opposite Colours 

Pair same print with different colour. For bold combination, choose the ones that contrast each other.

Navy Floral Fabric PrintPink Neutral Fabric Pattern

Dominant and Accent

Choose one print to dominate and one as an accent.

Mix same prints; different scales

High Density Botanical PrintMedium Density Botanical Print

Different Density

Use two different density types of the same pattern.

Large Scale Fabric PrintMedium Scale Fabric Print

Different Scale

Use the same pattern with different scales, like large on the top small on the bottom.

Simpler graphic prints are easier to mix

Medium Density Floral PrintTartan Check Pattern

Plaid/Tartan

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.

Leopard Animal PrintBlack and White Stripes

Stripes

Stripes, especially black and white stripes, go with everything. They're so simple, they're pretty much the neutral of prints.

Black and White Geometric PrintDog’s tooth, Hound’s tooth Pattern

Go Graphics

Graphic prints go great with each other and with more complex or organic prints like floral or animal prints.

Large Polka Dots PrintPin Polka Dots Print

Polka Dots

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


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