Fabric Pattern : 80+ 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 makes us 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. If interested to know more about how fabric patterns are arranged in repeats checkout the post " 25 different ways of pattern repeats in fabric design"

The motifs you will find in fabric patterns are generally classified as  Geometric motifs (with geometric shapes/ stripes plaids) Realistic motifs (imitations or repeats of natural or man-made objects), Stylised motifs ( simplified variations of natural or man-made objects) Abstract motifs (combinations of colour shape size without relationship to natural or man-made objects) 

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

fabric patterns

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.

Airbrush Patterns

This is a blurry soft pattern which looks like you have used the painters spray gun and made the designs.

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

Bird's Eye Pattern

This is usually a pattern 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. Even without the weave, a pattern resembling this weave is also called the same.

Bull's Eye Pattern

This  pattern consists of concentric circles or oval shapes (concentric circles are circles inside circles with a common center) giving an illusionary feel.

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

Coin Dot Patterns

Dots are very big, like coins in this pattern

Celtic Knot Patterns

Lines seamlessly form interlocked knots in this pattern

Chinoserie Patterns

This is a pattern with motifs of chinese origin.

Ditsy Print

This is an all over  small print scattered all over the fabric in a random fashion; ditsy prints are simple lighthearted and usually floral designs

Dotted swiss Patterns

This is a pattern filled with raised small dots; the fabric is usually thin.

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

 

Fleur De Lis Patterns

This is a pattern with stylised lily flowers

Floral Patterns

This is a pattern with allover  floral motifs.

Fret Patterns

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

Graphic Patterns

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

 

Geometric Patterns

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

 

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)

 

Half Drop Patterns

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

Harlequin Patterns

This is repeating pattern of contrasting diamonds or elongated squares standing on end as per wikipedia. 

Illusion Patterns

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

Ikat Patterns

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

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 

Polka Dot Patterns

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

 

 

Pin Dot Patterns

This is a pattern of very small dots, like one made by a pin head.

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

 

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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; named because of resemblence to rolled scroll of paper

Swirl Patterns

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

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Sprig Patterns

This is a repeating pattern with  sprigs of foliage  all over the fabric

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Tartan Patterns

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

Toil de Juoy Patterns

This pattern has a scenic, pastoral, or floral theme epecially of french countryside. Referred as toile mostly, this is usally one colour prints on a white back ground  

Trellis Patterns

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

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

 

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Water colour Patterns

This is a pattern which looks like a water colour painting with those light transparent brush strokes and a gradation effect.

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

Animal Patterns

More details on different types of animal prints

Zebra print

 

Leopard Print

This pattern has horseshoe-shaped black circles all over

Cheetah Print

This consists of solid black spots

Jaguar print

This pattern also has horseshoe shapes but with small dots in different sizes and shapes scattered inside

 

Giraffe print

 

Ethnic Patterns

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

Aztec Patterns

This is a pattern specific to the ethnic group called Aztecs in Mexico. These are typically geometric patterns with horizontal or vertical repeats. Bright natural colours are used in these patterns

 

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Navajo Patterns

This pattern has its origin among the native Americans of south-west America. This pattern has geometrical shapes represented inside wide stripes. Colours used are more understated and natural

Kilm Patterns

These patterns belong to the areas of Pakistan, Afganistan etc and are usually seen in the carpets woven in this area

Suzaani Patterns

 

 

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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

Checkered Patterns

This is a pattern formed by horizontal and vertical stripes that cross each other. To know more in detail check out the post on Checkered pattern : 15 types of checks 

Shephered checks patterns.

Argyle check Patterns

 

Hound's tooth check Patterns

 

Chequered checks patterns.

Pin check Patterns

 

Graph check Patterns

 

Dupplins checks patterns.

Madras check Patterns

 

Mini check Patterns

 

Glen checks patterns.

Buffalo check Patterns

 

Gingham Patterns

 

Windowpane checks patterns.

Tattersall Patterns

 

Plaid Patterns

(Learn more about this in the post "What is Plaid" )

 

Stripes Patterns

Stripes patterns have bands/ lines running along the length  /breadth or across the fabric. For more details on stripes check out the post - 15 types of stripes in dress materials 

Hairline stripes

Dress Stripes

Candy Stripes

Pin Stripe Patterns

Multi colour stripe patterns

Bengal Stripes Pattern

Awning Stripes pattern

Regimental Stripe Patterns

Shadow stripe patterns

Bayadere Stripes Pattern

Roman Stripes pattern

Barcode Stripe Patterns

Chevron stripe patterns

Serpentine Stripes Pattern

Breton Stripes pattern

Comments 6

  1. can you tell me what the fabric is called that has a rustic scene on it ? ın English it is called impressions of nature but has a French title

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      Hi Maggie
      Do you mean the Toile fabrics of French country style with pastoral scenes printed on it. Toile de Jouy – it is called so in French. I will add it to the list. Thanks

  2. How is the Dotted Swiss pattern different from Polka Dots pattern? Is it the size of the dots or the texture of the fabric?

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      Author
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