Visual Glossary of Patterns

I thought I'd start off this week with a little design lesson on pattern. A pattern is defined as a repeated form or design especially used to decorate something (via Merriam-Webster). Patterns surround us in our daily lives, but how often do you see a design you like and are not able to call it by name? 

Going off a post I recently wrote about my favorite fabrics, I created a glossary of 30 common patterns that you often see in home decor, fabrics , tiles and fashion. Different textile designers interpret these patterns in various ways, changing up the color scheme, scale,  texture, et cetera. The list below shows common examples of each pattern with a short description of characteristics. Hopefully this helps you determine calico from damask and quatrefoil from ogee. 

Arabesque: An elaborate design of intertwined floral or geometric motifs. Commonly inspired by Islamic art.

Arabesque: An elaborate design of intertwined floral or geometric motifs. Commonly inspired by Islamic art.

Calico: Small-scale allover floral design in bright colors originally from India, and later associated with American country-style. 

Calico: Small-scale allover floral design in bright colors originally from India, and later associated
with American country-style. 

Chevron: A traditional, woven or printed design of zigzags in a stripe layout.

Chevron: A traditional, woven or printed design of zigzags in a stripe layout.

Floral: Decorated with or consisting of flowers or patterns of flowers. 

Floral: Decorated with or consisting of flowers or patterns of flowers. 

Herringbone: A traditional woven or printed design of zigzags in a stripe layout.

Herringbone: A traditional woven or printed design of zigzags in a stripe layout.

Lattice: A design of interlacing, criss-crossing stripes forming a network.

Lattice: A design of interlacing, criss-crossing stripes forming a network.

Palmette: A classical motif based on a radiating, fan-shaped palm leaf.

Palmette: A classical motif based on a radiating, fan-shaped palm leaf.

Quatrefoil: A stylized four-petal flower motif.

Quatrefoil: A stylized four-petal flower motif.

Scroll: A spiral design derived from the curves of partly rolled parchment scroll.

Scroll: A spiral design derived from the curves of partly rolled parchment scroll.

Toile De Jouy: A scenic pattern usually printed in one color on a light/white ground.

Toile De Jouy: A scenic pattern usually printed in one color on a light/white ground.

Argyle: Geometric pattern of varicolored diamonds in solid and outline shapes on a single background color.

Argyle: Geometric pattern of varicolored diamonds in solid and outline shapes on a single background color.

Celtic Knot: A knot formed by ribbons that lead seamlessly into one another. Also known as everlasting knot. 

Celtic Knot: A knot formed by ribbons that lead seamlessly into one another. Also known as
everlasting knot. 

Damask: A jacquard woven ornamental pattern usually in one color. 

Damask: A jacquard woven ornamental pattern usually in one color. 

Gingham: Pattern of solid squares made by overlapping stripes of the same width. 

Gingham: Pattern of solid squares made by overlapping stripes of the same width. 

Houndstooth: A pattern of small jagged checks created by four-pointed stars.

Houndstooth: A pattern of small jagged checks created by four-pointed stars.

Ogee: An onion-shaped motif. An arch formed by two S-shaped curves meeting at a point.

Ogee: An onion-shaped motif. An arch formed by two S-shaped curves meeting at a point.

Pinstripes: A pattern of very thin stripes of any color running in parallel.

Pinstripes: A pattern of very thin stripes of any color running in parallel.

Regency Stripes: A mix of wide and thin stripes.

Regency Stripes: A mix of wide and thin stripes.

Tartan: Woven plaids that consist of stripes of different widths and colors. 

Tartan: Woven plaids that consist of stripes of different widths and colors. 

Trellis: A pattern of interwoven lines that mimic structures used to support climbing plants.

Trellis: A pattern of interwoven lines that mimic structures used to support climbing plants.

Basketweave: An all-over checkered weave pattern resembling that of a woven basket. Commonly used in floor tiling.

Basketweave: An all-over checkered weave pattern resembling that of a woven basket. Commonly used in floor tiling.

Chequer/Checkerboard: A repeating pattern of squares of alternating colors, textures, or materials. 

Chequer/Checkerboard: A repeating pattern of squares of alternating colors, textures, or materials. 

Fleur-De-Lis: A stylized three-petal or four-petal lily, originally a symbol of purity.

Fleur-De-Lis: A stylized three-petal or four-petal lily, originally a symbol of purity.

Greek Key: Geometric pattern that consists of lines that meet at right angles.

Greek Key: Geometric pattern that consists of lines that meet at right angles.

Ikat: A pattern design created by tie-dyeing threads prior to weaving the fabric.

Ikat: A pattern design created by tie-dyeing threads prior to weaving the fabric.

Paisley: A stylized teardrop-shaped design that originally appeared in Paisley, Scotland.

Paisley: A stylized teardrop-shaped design that originally appeared in Paisley, Scotland.

Polka Dot: An array of filled circles, generally equally sized and spaced evenly.

Polka Dot: An array of filled circles, generally equally sized and spaced evenly.

 Scales: Design created with overlapping arcs.

 Scales: Design created with overlapping arcs.

Tessellations: Repeated pattern composed of interlocking shapes that can be extended infinitely.

Tessellations: Repeated pattern composed of interlocking shapes that can be extended infinitely.

Vermicular: A pattern of irregular twisted lines (derived from the Latin for worm). 

Vermicular: A pattern of irregular twisted lines (derived from the Latin for worm).