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Fabric Pattern Names :100+ different prints and patterns on fabrics

Patterns are designs formed by the repetitive arrangement of elements or motifs. These designs have been a part of human culture since ancient times like the sharp houndstooth, the symmetrical checks of gingham, and the intricate paisley patterns
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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. This post lists the names of the most prominent and popular types of prints and patterns on fabric with photos for you to identify them, wherever you go. 

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These different types of fabric prints and patterns are what attracts us to a fabric shop. They energize, inspire and give us new ideas and make 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

General Classification of fabric pattern – names

The motifs you will find in the different types of prints and patterns available 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.

I have listed some of the most obvious patterns/prints you will find in fabric below.

Types of prints and patterns on fabric

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Abstract Patterns

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Abstract artwork is the opposite of the 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 represents ideas than any physical object.

African Patterns

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This refers to designs that are closely related to African culture. It is also known as Ankara and also Kitenge. 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. They are made by the wax resist process known as batik. 

 Airbrush Patterns

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

Animal Patterns

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

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Zebra print, Leopard Print ( This pattern has horseshoe-shaped black circles all over) and Cheetah Print (This consists of solid black spots)

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Jaguar print (This pattern also has horseshoe shapes but with small dots in different sizes and shapes scattered inside) and Giraffe print.

Basket weave Patterns

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This pattern resembles the surface of a woven basket.

Batik Patterns

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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 in batik patterns.

Read more on Batik fabric patterns here.

Bird’s Eye Pattern

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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

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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

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

You can read more on the different elements that make up a bohemian fashion style here.

Brick network Patterns

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

Camouflage Patterns

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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. Read more about the different camouflage patterns here.

Coin Dot Patterns

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Dots are very big, like coins in this pattern

Celtic Knot Patterns

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Lines seamlessly form interlocked knots in this pattern

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

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Chequered checks patterns; Pin check Patterns; Graph check Patterns

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Dupplins checks patterns ; Madras check Patterns ; Mini check Patterns

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Glen checks patterns ; Buffalo check Patterns; Gingham Patterns

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Windowpane checks patterns ; Tattersall Patterns ; Plaid Patterns

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(Learn more about this pattern in the post “What is Plaid” )  

Chinoserie Patterns

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This is a pattern with motifs of chinese origin.

Cloverleaf pattern

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A pattern with 4 leaf leaves like that of a clover leaf.

Ditsy Print

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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

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

Damask Patterns

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This is an allover classic print with floral motifs.

Diagonal Patterns

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

Designer Patterns

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

Diamond Patterns

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

Digital Patterns

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

Fleur De Lis Patterns

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This is a pattern with stylised lily flowers

Floral Patterns

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This is a pattern with allover  floral motifs.

Fret Patterns

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

Graphic Patterns

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Fabric prints and patterns based on pre-existing graphic art.This pattern usually has motifs like stars, circles, triangles and letters of the alphabet 

Geometric Patterns

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

Hawaiian Patterns

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

Hexagonal Patterns

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Hexagonal shapes in an allover network (diaper)

Half Drop Patterns

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

Herringbone Patterns

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Herringbone pattern has broken zigzag lines; It is somewhat similar to a chevron pattern, though there the zigzag line is continuous.

Harlequin Patterns

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

Illusion Patterns

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

Ikat Patterns

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This pattern has designs that are made by a special dyeing process called ikat. Learn more about Ikat patterns and fabric here.

Indian Patterns

Indian fabric has very unique motifs and patterns that are very authentic to their culture.

Indian Fabric Patterns includes a variety of fabric prints printed in the different states of India. They included colourful Bandhni patterns; Kalamkari Pattern; Patola pattern; Dabu Prints; Pochampilli patterns; Temple prints; Leheriya pattern ; Buti Prints

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You can learn more about the popular 16 Indian fabric patterns here.; Traditional Indian textile motifs

Jacobean Patterns

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

Landscape Patterns

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These are patterns of landscape scenes.

Lattice Patterns

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

Metallese Patterns

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

Natural Patterns

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

Network Patterns

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

Nursery Patterns

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These are patterns which appeal to kids

Ogee Patterns

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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

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

Patriotic Patterns

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

Paisley Patterns

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

Palmette Patterns

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

Polka Dot Patterns

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

Pin Dot Patterns

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

Placement prints

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This is a stand-alone print which is strategically placed on the garment so that it is a highlight on that clothing 

Provencal Patterns

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This is a general term used for 17th-century Indian origin prints with abstract motifs of mostly flowers printed in rich colours  and outlined with black  

Quatrefoil Patterns

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

Retro Patterns

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This is a name given to patterns for a previous fashion 

Scale Patterns

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This is a repeating pattern with motifs resembling clam shells

Scroll Patterns

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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 resemblance to a rolled scroll of paper.

Stripes Patterns

Stripes patterns have bands/ lines running along the length  /breadth or across the fabric. 

Hairline stripes; Dress Stripes; Candy Stripes ; Pin Stripe Patterns

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Multi colored stripes; Bengal Stripes Pattern; Awning Stripes pattern; Regimental Stripe Patterns

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Shadow stripe patterns; Bayadere Stripes Pattern; Roman Stripes pattern; Barcode Stripe Patterns

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Chevron stripe patterns (zigzag pattern); Serpentine Stripes Pattern; Breton Stripes pattern

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For more details on stripes check out the post – 15 types of stripes in dress materials 

Swirl Patterns

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

Sprig Patterns

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

Tartan Patterns

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

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Toil de Juoy Patterns

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This pattern has a scenic, pastoral, or floral theme especially of the french countryside. Referred as toile mostly, this is usually one color prints on a white background.

Photo courtesy for Toile de Jouy – 

Trefoil Patterns

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This pattern consists of three-lobed clover-like shapes

Trellis Patterns

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

Vintage Patterns

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

Vermicular Patterns

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

Water colour Patterns

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

Zig Zag Patterns

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

Ethnic Patterns

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

   Aztec Patterns

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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.

  Navajo Patterns

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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

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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

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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.

Related post:

25 different ways to make pattern repeats in fabric design 

18 different types of fabric weave patterns. 

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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
19 thoughts on “Fabric Pattern Names :100+ different prints and patterns on fabrics”
  1. Anonymous
    You did a great job on this post and I really appreciate you so much!! I am using your information for a personal project that includes fabrics that I am a complete beginner of. You are truly my hero! ♡ Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Thank you! This was on the top of my tongue…
    But I couldn’t think of the name:
    Toil de Juoy Patterns

    Toil de Juoy Patterns Reply
  3. Jon
    Thank you! I got an idea the pattern names from your posting! Reply
  4. ahmed

    thanks a lots for y information
    can you send me as PDF

    Reply
    • Sarina
      Thanks Ahmed; But I do not have a pdf version. You can browse the site whenever you want – it is 24/7 live on the net.
  5. Karen Miller
    Am having a hard time finding a name for a retro pattern that is now current.Usually involves hardware such as chains…maybe equstrian hardware in this print..but definitely chains.Am in retail and am seeing it a LOT also in fashion magazines. Reply
    • Sarina

      Hi Karen
      I am afraid I do not get this. other than maybe the obvious equestrian anchors and chains which you would know already.

  6. Brooklee
    You should add Herringbone to the list! Reply
    • Sarina

      Hi Brooklee
      I don’t know why I missed it because Herringbone is a favorite. Thanks for for the tip off.I have added it.

  7. Lavelle Garcia
    Mini check pattern how much a yard? Reply
  8. Isabella
    Great information; thank you for taking the time to post this! There is one little error: the picture for Natural Fabrics displays as a link to circular skirts. Reply
    • Sarina

      Hi Isabella
      You are a savior; thanks for pointing it out.

  9. Jyothi Kammela
    Wonderful information. What are club prints? Reply
  10. Maggie
    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 Reply
    • Sarina

      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

  11. Ruth
    How is the Dotted Swiss pattern different from Polka Dots pattern? Is it the size of the dots or the texture of the fabric? Reply
    • Sarina

      Hi Ruth
      it is the texture – it is a raised pattern of small dots

  12. Shirls
    Your tartan plaid shows as paisley. Nice selection of fabrics though Reply
    • Sarina
      Yes, thank you for pointing it out. corrected
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