Fabric Pattern : 55 different prints and patterns you can find in fabrics

When prints go out of fashion I know someone who will stop wearing clothes! Just joking, but the patterns of fabric is a major factor in most of our fabric/clothing purchases.

For the minimalist, who vouches by the solids, with not a whiff of patterns/designs/prints in their clothes, this importance given to patterns and prints may sound ridiculous. But most of us relish the complexities, colors, and designs of different patterns of fabric available today.  These different types of fabric prints and patterns are what attracts us to a fabric shop. They energize, inspires and gives us new ideas and an ability to come up with beautiful creations.

A pattern is a repeating of an element or motif. They are almost as old as humankind. A fabric may have regular all over pattern or irregular random designs scattered in unmeasured repetition throughout. 

Fabric pattern fashions come and go. Some patterns are in vogue at some point in time and then they disappear into oblivion, only to reappear again shortly. New patterns or rehashed patterns - interesting patterns are always evident in fashion.To make these prints first the fabric is dyed then the fabric is printed.   Check out the post on the different types of fabric printing techniques used to print these patterns on the fabric - like direct printing resist printing, discharge printing, and digital printing

Have you seen a favorite pattern in a  fabric and struggled to pinpoint its name? Here is a post putting a name to your dilemma. I have listed some of the most obvious patterns/prints you will find in fabric

Abstract Patterns

An abstract artwork is the opposite of traditional representation of physical objects. These patterns are mostly about forms (lines and shapes) and colors and are very modern - the work in these prints represent ideas than any physical object.

African Patterns

This refers to designs that are closely related to African culture. It is also known as Ankara. Vibrant patterns and vivid colors are typical of this pattern. They have mostly tribal and natural motifs and are also known by the name Tribal prints

Animal Patterns

This  types of patterns have skin patterns of different animals, like leopard, snake, crocodile, zebra  etc.

Argyle Patterns

This is a pattern incorporating diamonds. An overall pattern with diamonds is more common 

Basket weave Patterns

This pattern resembles the surface of a woven basket.

Batik Patterns

This is an elaborately coloured pattern traditionally made by resist dyeing, though nowadays any pattern resembling the result of these techniques are called batik prints . Natural designs and motifs ( floral designs , birds) geometrical patterns are used

Bohemian fabric Patterns

Bohemian refers to use of bright brilliant colours reminiscent of the hippie movement of the 1960s . ( These fabrics are also called boho prints)

Brick network Patterns

This consists of horizontal lines in alternate repeats in a brick laying pattern.

Camouflage Patterns

This is a pattern which blends in with the surrounding. It is mostly used by military personnel so that they are not spotted by enemies easily.Black, tan, brown, khaki colours are used mostly

Check / Checkered Patterns

Check design consists of crossing of horizontal and vertical lines making a repetitive pattern of alternating squares of different colours


Chevron Patterns

This is a pattern filled with shapes which looks like an inverted V ( a zig-zag pattern).

Damask Patterns

This is an allover classic print with floral motifs.

Diagonal Patterns

The print includes a set of shapes or lines organized on the diagonal.


Designer Patterns

One of a kind Prints/ patterns created by specific designers. They are mostly copyrighted.

Diamond Patterns

This is a print with lots of diamond shapes. A similar one is argyle pattern. 

Digital Patterns

This involves  the sort of patterns that cannot be made on fabric by any other means, but  on the computer


Ethnic Patterns

These patterns incorporate ethnic cultural specific motifs (Indian, African, Oriental, Native American)



Floral Patterns

This is a pattern with allover  floral motifs.

Fleur De Lis Patterns

This is a pattern with stylised lily flowers

Fret Patterns

This pattern has interconnected symmetrical motifs running in an all over pattern. Mostly geometrical motifs are seen in this pattern

Geometric Patterns

This is a repetitive pattern with geometric shapes like  diamonds or interlocking cubes


Gingham Patterns

This is an all American print with small checks all over.

Graphic Patterns

Fabric prints and patterns based on pre-existing graphic art.


Half Drop Patterns

This is similar to the brick pattern ; difference being that here it is a vertical pattern

Hawaaian Patterns

These patterns include Hawaain cultural motifs like pineapple fruit, the sea.You usually find these patterns in the Aloha shirts

Hexagonal Patterns

Hexagonal shapes in an allover network (diaper)


Houndstooth Patterns

This is a black and white check pattern with broken squares. (an abstract 4 pointed shape will be visible in the prints )


Ikat Patterns

This pattern has designs that are made by a special dyeing process called ikat

Illusion Patterns

This is a pattern which gives the viewer an optical illusion. The motifs are cleverly used towards this effect

Jacobean Patterns

This is a pattern which resembles the Jacobean embroidery pattern with its stylised depiction of flowers, birds etc.

Landscape Patterns

These are patterns of landscape scenes.


Lattice Patterns

These are patterns which are interconnected in a crisscross pattern with square or diamond-shapes or holes in the junctions

Metallese Patterns

This is a pattern that looks quilted. The quilting lines will appear as a pattern on the fabric

Natural Patterns

These are filled with motifs you find in the nature like waves of the ocean, trees mountains etc

Network Patterns

This is a general category of patterns with repeating combinations of motifs like rectangles, squares, ogee shapes etc.


Nursery Patterns

These are patterns which appeal to kids

Ogee Patterns

These are patterns  with onion-shaped motifs. It is an ancient Moroccan pattern and you can find this in repeated design all over the fabric or in a single design.

Oriental Patterns

These are patterns filled intricate and ornate motifs from India and Arabian countries.A very intricate medallion is a recurring design in these patterns

Patriotic Patterns

These are patterns with a patriotic theme with the colours/figures representing specific countries

Paisley Patterns

Paisley is an oriental teardrop motif. This pattern has paisley motif all over the fabric. More here - paisley pattern & 10 ways to embroider a paisley motif

Palmette Patterns

Palmette is a stylised version of the leaves of the palm tree. The fan-shaped leaf motifs fill this pattern 

Plaid Patterns

This is another name for the tartan pattern with criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours

Polka Dot Patterns

This pattern consists of equally spaced dots all over the fabric surface in a consistent design.



Quaterfoil Patterns

This is a pattern formed by an allover motif of 4 similar sized partially overlapping circle

Retro Patterns

This is a name given to patterns for a previous fashion 

Scale Patterns

This is a repeating pattern with motifs resembling clam shells



Scroll Patterns

This is a pattern with lots of spiral shapes and curves; usually, you will find this pattern filled with vines and floral elements

Striped Patterns

This pattern consists of lines on a different colored surface. It could be vertical horizontal or diagonal.

Swirl Patterns

This is a repeating pattern with plenty of circular swirls all over the fabric


Tartan Patterns

This is a pattern with with  crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors (Plaid)

Trellis Patterns

This is a pattern with interwoven elements. Trellis is originally a wooden structure supporting climbing vines

Tribal Patterns

Usually African prints are called Tribal prints . But other cultures have their own tribal prints like the warli print (Indian) in the picture and Aboriginal australian patterns

Vintage Patterns

These are historical patterns which are valued currently for the heritage as well as beauty

Vermicular Patterns

This is a pattern filled with irregular lines resembling the curvy shapes of  worms



Zig Zag Patterns

It is a jagged wave-like pattern made with connecting straight lines at an angle. The lines makes sharp turns in alternating directions

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