Updated on October 1, 2022 by Sarina

This post tries to identify the commonly seen stripes on fabrics.

What are stripes?

Stripes on fabrics are bands/lines seen along the length or breadth or diagonally, woven into it or as prints. These stripes stand out because of their contrast with the adjasent areas. The lines on fabrics bring a beautiful dimension to the design of a garment, especially by the way they are placed.

There are many types of stripes. It will be difficult to name all of these stripes because many combinations of balanced and unbalanced stripes can be seen on fabrics. Some stripes cannot even be named – they can be very subtle, and will be part of the weave and will be formed by a play of light on alternate shiny and matte finishes on the fabric.

But there are some common stripes which you must have seen repeatedly on your clothes. They are classified according to their size, as well as their design elements like color and space between them and their arrangement on the fabric.

Name the lines – Can you?


1. Hairline stripes

hairline stripes
Hairline Stripes

These are very very thin stripes, which are usually placed quite close to each other but could be arranged with more space between too; The name refers to the width of the hair, so you can imagine the width of the stripes.

2. Dress stripes

Dress stripes
Dress stripes

These are also thin stripes; They are also called Pencil Stripes because the stripes are as wide as drawn by a pencil.

3. Pinstripes

Pin stripes
Pinstripes

These are thin stripes spaced wide apart; the space between stripes are always much wider than the stripes

4. Candy stripes

candy stripes
Candy stripes

Stripes which are about 1/8 inches from each other

5. Bengal stripes

Bengal stripes
Bengal stripes

These stripes are arranged in alternating light and dark colors. The stripes are of the same width and they are 1/4 inches spaced. They are smaller than awning stripes but wider than candy stripes. (alternatively called by names Regency stripes ; tiger stripes)

6. Awning stripes

awning stripes
Awning stripes

Very wide vertical stripes of solid color on a lighter background. It is called so because of its likeness to the fabric used for awnings. It is also called Cabana stripes

7. Multicolor stripes

multi color stripes

As the name suggests these stripes have multicolor lines

8. Barcode stripes

barcode stripes

This is a pattern which resembles the barcode.It could be of single colour or multicolour.

9. Bayadere stripes

bayadre stripes

This stripe pattern has very colorful horizontal stripes of varying width. This is a playful type of stripes with vivid and bold multicolors. The name is derived from the dancers of India

10. Chevron stripes

These are stripes laid out in a zigzag layout ( also called herringbone). These stripes can have either a broadening effect on the figure or a narrowing effect depending on the way it is positioned. If it is vertically placed these stripes can make you look taller. The v shape of these stripes can have the effect of narrowing

chevron stripes

11. Regimental Stripes

These diagonally placed stripes that have colors associated with the regiment’s uniforms, flags and heraldry. It is mostly seen in neckwear.Classic red, blue, yellow are usually seen in these stripes.

regimental stripes

12. Roman Stripes

These are bright, multicolored contrasting vertical stripes. These are playful stripes and has to be used with caution especially in a formal setting

roman stripes

13. Serpentine Stripes

These are stripes arranged in wavy lines resembling the serpent’s movements. These stripes bring a softness to the design because of its curvy nature. The figure can look wider because of these stripes

serpentine stripes

14. Shadow stripes

These stripes have lines adjacent to them looking almost like shadows

shadow stripes

15. Breton stripes

These are horizontally placed Bengal stripes ie alternating light and dark colored stripes. These stripes can have a broadening effect on the body. Barre is another name for these stripes 

breton stripes

You can read more about Breton stripes here

16. Chalk Stripes

This is very similar pin stripes, the difference being that it is a fainter line with some discontinuity at regular intervals, like it was made with a chalk. This is commonly found in suiting materials and can look like a very thin fuzzy rope in wool fabric.

chalk stripes
Chalk stripes

17. Convict Stripes

convict stripes
Convict stripes

Name given for black stripes on a white background – same as the uniform of convicts.

18. Balanced stripes

This is a general term for evenly wide stripes that are placed equidistant from each other.

19.Peking stripes

peking stripes

Thinner balanced stripes on either side of wide stripes.

Related posts: How to wear striped clothes; 80+ Different types of Fabric patterns

What are striped fabrics called?

Tartan is a fabric that is composed of stripes. Peking silk has self toned subtle stripes as part of its weave (warp stripes). Gingham fabric has wide alternately white and dark stripes. 

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  1. What is it called when there is pen striping around a stripe? Like blue and white 1/4 inch stripes with the blue stripe having darker blue pen stripe or outline of the blue stripe?