Learn Your Prints and Patterns: Names and Descriptions for Home Decor Fabrics

Are you obsessed with fabric pattern names and designs, or do you feel lost among gingham, houndstooth, and paisley? Brush up with these home decor swatches and corresponding pattern descriptions (scroll toward the bottom).

Pattern Names

Basket Weave
A pattern inspired by the appearance of a woven basket.

Buffalo Check
A check pattern with stripes of equal size; larger than a gingham check.

Chevron
Strictly speaking, a chevron is a “V” or inverted “V” shape. A zigzag pattern, often with stripes of equal thickness, is commonly referred to as a chevron design.

Damask
Damask (derived from the Syrian capital city of Damascus) originally referred to a luxurious fabric with unique woven designs. As a pattern name, damask usually indicates an elaborate design with flourishing acanthus leaves, though many variations exist, from cats to chandeliers.

Fleur-de-Lis
A stylized lily design; historically, it was a symbol of French nobility, though its origin can be traced back to ancient times.

Fret
A complicated ornamental pattern that is often geometric.

Gingham
Typically, a small check pattern with stripes of equal size; smaller than a buffalo check.

Greek Key
A type of fret design characterized by right angles and often used as a decorative border. Also called a meander, the Greek key design is thought to symbolize infinity and unity.

Honeycomb
A pattern with hexagonal shapes.

Houndstooth
A duotone, broken check pattern, originally from Scotland.

Ikat
A complex dye technique used to pattern textiles, with roots in many cultures around the world; ikat prints inspired by this technique can be simple or intricate, often with a hazy or blurred effect.

Jacobean Floral
A fanciful, stylized floral design that harks back to the reign of King James I of England in the 17th century.

Lattice
A crisscross design that can be simple or ornately embellished.

Moroccan
A tile pattern with lantern-like shapes.

Ogee
A design inspired by the ogee arch in Middle Eastern and English Gothic architecture; ogee patterns may consist of mirrored arch designs or more stylized, onion-like shapes.

Paisley
A curved droplet shape with origins in ancient Iran. The name paisley draws from the Scottish town of the same name that produced textiles and shawls with this pattern.

Plaid
In the United States, plaid refers to patterns featuring crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors.

Quatrefoil
A stylized design resembling a clover with four rounded “leaves.” The design may vary to include pointed embellishments (a “barbed quatrefoil”).

Suzani
A pattern with elaborate medallions inspired by those featured on hand-embroidered textiles from central Asia.

Toile
As a pattern name, toile refers to a scenic, monochromatic print that often depicts vignettes of pastoral life. Originally known as “toile de Jouy,” meaning “cloth from Juoy,” toile was popularized by a textile factory in the French town of Jouy-en-Josas in the late 1700s.

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