Glossary of Prints and Patterns

This is a list of the most common prints and patterns that you may have seen but can’t quite name. It’s important that you know prints and patterns, so when you have a print you’re looking for, you know what it’s called and you can look smart. So, basically, useless information, but fun to know!

Argyle

It’s a pattern made of diamonds. Most argyle patterns contain layers of overlapping motifs that adds a sense of depth and movement.

Plaid

Plaid is a pattern that consists of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in different colors.

Gingham

Like plaid, it’s a pattern of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands, but square. Basically a checkered pattern.

Stripes

Seriously, we don’t need to discuss this.

Chevron

Chevron pattern is a zigzag stripe!

Ombre

Ombre is a print or pattern with tones of color that shade into each other.

Leopard

An animal print inspired by the pattern on leopards’ furs.

Snake

Another animal print inspired by the snake.

Zebra

It’s commonly in black in white but people adapt this to other colors for aesthetic purposes.

Floral

Floral pattern uses the flowers or plants aesthetics to make a print. It’s very girly and elegant.

Polka Dots

Polka dots is what you call the pattern that has an array of large filled circles. The dot is the circle, “polka dot” is the pattern.

Paisley

This is the ornamental design using the Persian “buta”, a teardrop-shaped motif with a curved upper end.

Tribal

Tribal art is from indigenous peoples. It varies per region, and each motif means something for the tribes it represents.

Lace

Lace has an open weblike pattern that’s very elegant, sometimes incorporating floral designs. It’s mostly used in delicate fabrics.

Greek Key

Greek Key consists of a repeated motif of right-angled spirals.

Quatrefoil

A decorative element consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles of the same diameter.

Imperial Trellis

An iconic Schumacher design, Imperial Trellis epitomizes Hollywood Regency glamour.

Scale

Design created with overlapping arcs. Also called clamshells.

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