Repeating seamless patterns: definitions, free samples, links, and how-tos

Pattern Design Terms Defined and Illustrated

 
 
 
 
 
 
Pattern Design
A
Abstract Unrecognizable forms and layouts. In the textile business the word "abstract" is used to describe a nonobjective motif that cannot be described any other way. »
Abstract
Adaptation A design based on another design but significantly modified and altered to be considered new and different. »
Adaptation
Airbrush Imitating effects produced with a painter's spray air gun. Often creates patterns with a light, soft, and modern look. »
Airbrush
Alleyways Unintentional lines formed by negative spaces (spaces vacant of motifs) in a design. »
Allover A layout in which motifs are fairly close and evenly distributed as opposed to stripes, borders, plaids, and engineered designs. Another term is overall»
Allover
Anthemion A classical motif based on a stylized honeysuckle plant or a radiating, fan-shaped palm leaf (palmette) commonly found in Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian, and other ancient art. »
Anthemion
Arabesque An elaborate ornamental design of intertwined floral or geometric motifs. Commonly comes from (or inspired by) Islamic art or architecture. »
Arabesque
Argyle A pattern of diamond-shaped rectangles in a diagonal alternating (checkerboard) arrangement. Typically uses a small number (two or three) colors. Mostly used in knitted fabrics. An alternative spelling is Argyll. »
Argyle
Art Deco A style of decorative art typical of the 1920s and 1930s. The name was derived from the 1925 International Exhibition in Paris that showed "des Arts Decoratifs." »
Art Deco
Art Nouveau A design style of the late 19th century characterized by dynamic, flowing curves suggesting foliate motifs»
Art Nouveau
Asymmetrical Pattern A pattern lacking visible signs of symmetry, such as rotation or reflection. »
Asymmetrical Pattern
Asymmetry The absence of symmetry in a motif or pattern. See Asymmetrical Pattern»
Asymmetry
Awning Stripes A pattern of relatively wide, even, usually vertical stripes of solid color on a lighter ground. Resembles the pattern on awning fabrics. »
Awning Stripes
B
Background The part of a design that appears to be farthest from the viewer and behind the objects of interest. Can be a solid color, texture, random objects, or another pattern (patterned ground). Also called ground. Opposite of foreground»
Background
Balanced Design A design with no line-ups, alleyways, or holes»
Balanced Design
Balanced Stripes A symmetrical layout, in which colored bands are arranged around a "center." »
Balanced Stripes
Bandanna A square piece of usually colorfully patterned cloth worn on the head (kerchief) or used as a handkerchief, neckerchief, or a costume accessory. Also bandana. »
Bandanna
Barcode A stripe pattern consisting of lines of varying width as in a barcode. »
Barcode
Basketweave An allover pattern resembling the structure of a basket or a woven fabric. See also examples in weaving»
Basketweave
Batik A design with a tie-dyed appearance created by coating the parts of cloth not to be dyed with removable wax. Colors often include indigo, dark brown, and white. Certain patterns have historic meanings and can only be worn by nobility. »
Batik
Bayadere Stripes Brightly colored stripes of various widths laid out horizontally (from side to side on the fabrics). The color effects usually range from lively to startling to bizarre. Often made with black warps and crosswise ribs (plain or twill weave). Mostly produced in India. The name is derived from the Bayadere dancing girl of India, dedicated to a dancing life from birth. »
Bayadere Stripes
Bead and Reel A decorative motif consisting of oval or round shapes ("beads") alternating with elongated or cylindrical shapes ("reels"). »
Bead and Reel
Bengal Stripes Stripes of apparently the same width and alternating light and dark colors. Bengal stripes are usually wider than candy stripes, but narrower than awning stripes. Commonly used in wallpaper, upholstery, and shirtings. Originated in India and became popular during the Regency era in the United Kingdom. Also called Regency stripes and tiger stripes. »
Bengal Stripes
Bird's Eye A weave forming small-scale diamond shapes (diaper) each with a dot in the center, suggestive of the eye of a bird. Also a small-scale (typically geometric) design of a similar shape. A somewhat bigger weave is sometimes referred to as pheasant's eye»
Bird's Eye
Blending A technique of producing seamless patterns by smoothing away boundaries between neighboring units of repeat. »
Blending
Block Printing A type of relief printing where motifs are printed with wooden blocks. One of the earliest methods of textile printing. »
Block Repeat A layout in which the repeating unit appears directly on a horizontal line to the left or right of the original design unit. Also called square repeat, straight-across repeat, and straight repeat»
Block Repeat
Blotch An irregular area of foreground or background color around the motif»
Blotch
Border Design A pattern designed to run lengthwise along the edge of the fabric or wallpaper. »
Border Design
Botanical A pattern design showing realistic representation of herbs, garden plants, and other botanical objects. Also a design based on botanical illustrations. »
Botanical
Boteh A stylized teardrop-shaped design originally on shawls from Kashmir and mass-produced in Paisley, Scotland. Same as paisley»
Boteh
Brick Layout A layout in which every second row is shifted halfway in the horizontal direction. »
Brick Layout
Brocatelle A variant of damask that incorporates a satin or twill figuring that is contrasted with a plain or satin-weave ground»
Bull's Eye A pattern of concentric circles, often creating optical effects, such as movement or pulsation. »
Bull's Eye
C
Computer Aided Design (CAD) A pattern design CAD software application is a tool for creating repeat patterns by computer. Not to be confused with fashion CAD systems that deal with creating patterns for garments, footwear, or accessories. »
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Calico A small-scale allover floral design in bright colors originally from India. Later associated with American country-style. »
Calico
Camouflage A pattern that conceals the object by blending it into its environment or providing a false impression of the object characteristics (disruptive pattern). Digital camouflage patterns are often pixelated, without discernible shapes or features. »
Camouflage
Cartouche An oblong decorative figure resembling a frame, tablet, shield, or scroll bearing an inscription or emphasizing a design element. Used as a standalone or as part of a pattern's motif. On ancient Egyptian monuments, an enclosure for royal and divine names. »
Cartouche
Cat Patterns Patterns featuring cats or generally on a cat theme.  »
Cat Patterns
Celtic Knot A knot formed by interfaced ribbons that lead seamlessly into one another. Same as everlasting knot»
Celtic Knot
Check A pattern of squares. Some of the check patterns (in order of increasing size) are pincheck, mini check, Gingham check, tattersall check, and windowpane check»
Check
Chequer A pattern of squares of alternating colors, textures, or materials. Another spelling is checker pattern. Same as checkerboard pattern. »
Chequer
Chevron A traditional, woven or printed design of zigzags in a stripe layout, also called herringbone»
Chevron
Chinoiserie Any Western interpretation of an Oriental design. »
Chintz Glazed fabric, usually printed in bright florals and stripes, mostly used for drapery and upholstery, but also for apparel. »
Christmas Patterns Patterns on the Christmas theme. Used for gift wrap, fabrics, greeting cards, and other applications. »
Christmas Patterns
Collage A collage pattern is one assembled by gluing paper scraps, photographs, cloth, or other objects onto a flat surface. Also an imitation of such a technique. Derived from the French "coller", to glue. »
Collage
Composite Overlay Two or more patterns stacked on top of each other. A typical example is patterned background»
Composite Overlay
Composite Repeat A combination of two or more symmetry types in one pattern. For example, rotational medallions put in a drop repeat. In Artlandia SymmetryWorks, created with replicas. »
Composite Repeat
Contemporary A design with simple, extremely stylized motifs»
Contour A pattern of outlines highlighting or suggesting shapes or figures of the motif»
Contour
Contract A design for nonresidential markets such as offices, hotels, and hospitals. »
Contract
Conversational A design with recognizable objects in the motif. Also called object prints»
Conversational
Coordinates Two or more designs related to each other in color, subject matter, and/or technique that are intended to be used together. »
Coral An organic allover pattern suggestive of coral growth. »
Coral
Counterchange A design where a certain color of the motif and its ground are reversed in another part of the design to balance the elements. See also two-color symmetries»
Counterchange
Coverage The amount of design area in relation to the negative space»
Coverage
Croquis A fully painted design that is not in repeat; same as sketch»
Croquis
D
Damask A jacquard woven ornamental reversible fabric usually in one color. Originally produced from silk or wool. »
Decorative Design Artwork created for use in home furnishing and interior decoration. »
Diamond A pattern whose elements are arranged along diagonal (diamond) lines. »
Diamond
Diaper A small-scale geometric pattern in a set layout of interlocking or closely aligned forms. Also a weave forming a diamond (diagonal) pattern»
Diaper
Digital Pattern A pattern that consists of computer-generated elements, such as pixelated or fractal shapes. More broadly, can refer to digital pattern art. An example of a digital pattern would be a digital camouflage pattern.  »
Digital Pattern
Digital Pattern Art A pattern created using a computer as an essential tool in the design process. Examples include digital patterns that exhibit typical computer-generated elements or shapes, such as pixelated or fractal shapes; patterns that would be difficult or impossible to create without a computer, such as algorithmic or procedural patterns; and patterns produced using digital image manipulation techniques. »
Digital Pattern Art
Directional A design in which motifs are oriented along one or several directions. Examples of directional design include one-way, two-way, and four-way layouts. Also a design that looks correct from only one direction. The opposite is a non-directional (undirectional) design»
Directional
District Check A check pattern that originates from uniforms identifying specific Scottish estates. Famous district check patterns include the Glen checks, the Shepherd, the Dupplin, the Benmore, and others. See also Tartans. »
District Check
Ditsies A ditsie (ditzy) is an allover design of small buds, circles, zigzags, and other elements that are simple, eccentrically silly, and may be funny. »
Ditsies
Ditzy A ditzy (ditsie) is an allover design of small buds, circles, zigzags, and other elements that are simple, eccentrically silly, and may be funny. »
Ditzy
Documentary Design A design based on documents or original (usually historical) material and reproduced closely to the original, often using a different technology. Compare to adaptation»
Documentary Design
Dog's tooth A pattern of small broken or jagged checks created by four-pointed stars. Same as hound's tooth»
Dog's tooth
Dotted Swiss A pattern of small, evenly spaced raised dots (usually on a thin, lightweight fabric). »
Dotted Swiss
Drybrush Employing or imitating effects produced with a brush holding a small to negligible amount of paint. Characterized by a scratchy, textured look»
Drybrush
E
Eccentrics An eccentric is a pattern of thin lines generating an illusion of a distortion or op-art effects. Another spelling is excentrics. The class is believed to be originated from the Lane's Net pattern»
Eccentrics
Egg and Dart A classic design consisting of an oval element alternating with an arrow-like element. »
Egg and Dart
Engineered A motif or group of motifs designed to fit a specific shape. »
Engineered
Ethnic Art typical of a specific nationality or a design based on folk art. »
Ethnic
Everlasting Knot A knot formed by interfaced ribbons that lead seamlessly into one another. Same as Celtic knot»
Everlasting Knot
F
Fall-on One transparent color falling on another producing a third color. Also called trapping»
Field The area of a design that is not the border»
Figurative A type of conversational design that uses human or animal figures, often of historic, mythological, or poetic origin. Another term is "figural" design. »
Figurative
Fleur-de-lis A stylized three-petal or four-petal lily. Originally a symbol of purity. Since the Middle Ages has been used in heraldic ornaments. »
Fleur-de-lis
Floral A design using flowers and other nature elements such as seed pods, leaves, and marine plants. »
Floral
Foreground The part of a design that appears to be closest to the viewer and in front of other objects. Contrast to background»
Foreground
Foulard A small-scale pattern with basic block repeat, also called a set pattern or a tailored pattern. Originally, the term foulard referred to a soft, lightweight silk cloth. Classic foulards are small-scale, regular-shaped geometrics, usually in set layouts. »
Foulard
Four-way Layout A design in which motifs face all four directions, for example, up, down, left, and right. »
Four-way Layout
Fret Pattern A plane geometric pattern or an interlocking motif in a band or border that consists of lines that meet at right angles. Also known as Greek key pattern. Often used as an ornamental border design»
Fret Pattern
Fretwork Ornamental openwork, such as created with a fretsaw or scroll saw. Often used in furniture of metal decorations. Also a carved design in architecture. »
Fretwork
Frieze Pattern A pattern that repeats in one direction. There are exactly seven (7) mathematical classes of frieze patterns. Compare with two-dimensional (wallpaper) patterns that have exactly seventeen (17) mathematical types. »
Frieze Pattern
G
Geometric A motif, pattern, or design depicting abstract, nonrepresentational shapes such as lines, circles, ellipses, triangles, rectangles, and polygons. »
Geometric
Geometric Design A design based on a geometric pattern, often contrasted with representational designs, such as floral or conversational»
Geometric Design
Gingham Check Fabrics woven in a block or check effect. An allover pattern of solid-color squares made by overlapping stripes of the same width. »
Gingham Check
Glen Check One of the district check patterns that typically includes hound's tooth (broken) check areas on intersections of alternating darker and lighter stripes. Also called the Prince of Wales check. Commonly used in suiting fabrics. »
Glen Check
Graph Check A check pattern created by crossing lines on a solid ground that resembles graph paper. »
Graph Check
Graphic A design created for the purpose of printing. Also refers to a design with a bold look. »
Greek Key Pattern A plane geometric pattern or a border interlocking that consists of lines that meet at right angles. Also known as fret pattern. Often used as an ornamental border design»
Greek Key Pattern
Ground The part of a design that appears to be farthest from the viewer and behind the objects of interest. Can be a solid color, texture, random objects, or another pattern (patterned ground). Also called background. Opposite of foreground»
Ground
Guilloche A decorative repeat of interlacing curved bands, sometimes forming circles. »
Guilloche
H
Hairline Stripe The thinnest stripe pattern possible, with stripe width of about the diameter of human hair. »
Hairline Stripe
Half-drop A layout in which the motif is repeated halfway down the side in the vertical direction. The most frequently used repeat in textile design»
Half-drop
Hand The style of an artist's design. Tight hand is very fine and detailed; loose hand is a freer, more stylized way of drawing. »
Hand
Herati A stylized rosette, enclosed in a diamond, with a serrated "acanthus leaf" along each side, often used as a motif in the rug designs from the Caspian region. The "leaf" may actually represent a fish and then the pattern is also called the mahi (fish) design. The name comes from the city of Herat in Northwestern Afghanistan (formerly the Persian empire). »
Herati
Herringbone Pattern A traditional woven or printed design of zigzags in a stripe layout, also called chevron. Herringbone is also a type of twill weave that forms a "V" pattern (also called a broken twill). »
Herringbone Pattern
Holes Uneven gaps between motifs in a design. »
Home Furnishing (Home Fashion) A field of design dealing with products for interior design and decoration, such as upholstery, bedding, rugs, and carpets. »
Hound's Tooth A pattern of small broken or jagged checks created by four-pointed stars. Same as dog's tooth»
Hound's Tooth
I
Ikat Pattern A pattern design created by tie-dyeing either warp or weft threads prior to weaving the fabric, or a design simulating such a technique. »
Ikat Pattern
Interlocking Pattern An arrangement in which motifs are linked or otherwise fit together so that one cannot be moved without affecting others. See also tessellations»
Interlocking Pattern
Irregular Repeat A design based on the same principles as the half-drop and brick layout repeats, but in which consecutive units are not always moved by a fraction of the repeat size»
Irregular Repeat
K
Kerchief A triangular scarf or a square scarf that is folded into a triangle and worn over the head or about the neck for protective or decorative purposes. A bandanna is a colorful kerchief. »
Kerchief
L
Lane's Net A pattern of diamonds rotated by 45 and 90 degrees. Diamonds are filled with thin lines radiating from the opposing ends. Legendarily, created by accident in England in the first part of the 19th century and is believed to engender the class of eccentrics»
Lane's Net
Latticework A design of interlacing, crisscrossing stripes forming a network. See also trellis»
Latticework
Layout An arrangement of motifs in a pattern, such as diamond, drop, gradation, grid, spot, and others. Also called repeat system. »
Layout
Liberty Style An allover, small-scale organic (usually floral and other plant-inspired) printed or dyed patterns, characterized by highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms and subtle, artistic tones of Art Nouveau, developed by Liberty & Co. of London. »
Liberty Style
Line-up An unintentional straight line formed by motifs in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal direction. »
Logo Patterns Patterns created from a logo. Used on stationary, fabric, and other identity items. »
Logo Patterns
M
Madder A brown-red dye or pigment obtained from the roots of the plant Rubia tinctorum or an analogous synthetic dye. Also known as Turkey red. A pattern in that palette»
Madder
Madras A design with brightly colored stripes, plaid, uneven checks, or other design elements, usually on a plain-colored background. Characteristic for a fine, plain-woven shirting or dress cotton fabric originated in India. Bleeding madras used dyes that resulted in bleeding and often fading of colors each time the fabric was laundered. »
Madras
Medallion A circular part of the design in the shape of a disk, oval, diamond, hexagon, or other rotational figure, typically with a mirror symmetry, often used in the center as a focal point of an engineered design, or as an organic part of the motif»
Medallion
Millefleurs French for thousand flowers. A flower-studded pattern with naturalistically depicted flowers, originally used on medieval pictorial tapestries. »
Mini Check A very small-scale check pattern of even-sized checks of the same color on a solid ground. Check sizes are somewhere between the pincheck and the Gingham check»
Mini Check
Moire Ripples, wavy lines, and similar effects produced by superposition of two or more simpler patterns, for example, two sets of lines. »
Moire
Mongrel A plaid design in which the warp stripe layout and filling stripe layout are different. »
Mosaic A pattern constructed from small colored pieces. »
Mosaic
Motif One or many distinctive and recurring elements, forms, shapes, or figures that make up a design. »
Motif
N
Naturalistic A design with realistic depictions of organic or non-organic forms. »
Naturalistic
Neats A neat is an allover, small-scaled, spaced pattern with floral or geometric motifs usually printed in one or two colors on a white or colored ground. Inexpensive to produce and economical for dressmaking. »
Neats
Negative Space The area between motifs in a layout»
Non-directional A pattern that looks the same from any direction. Same as undirectional pattern. The opposite is a directional pattern»
Non-directional
Nonobjective A design without recognizable natural objects, figures, or scenes. »
Nonobjective
O
Object Print Another term for a conversational pattern»
Object Print
Ogee An onion-shaped motif»
Ogee
Ombre A shaded effect with gradual changes from dark to light in value, and open to closed in coverage»
Ombre
One-directional A directional pattern that has a distinct top and bottom. Often used in floral, scenic, and figurative designs. See also one-way layout. A typical example is the one-directional allover pattern»
One-directional
One-way Layout A design in which all motifs are oriented the same way. See also one-directional pattern»
One-way Layout
Optical Art An abstract artwork that creates the illusion of movement, vibrating effects, moire (moiré) patterns, an exaggerated sense of depth, or other visual effects. »
Optical Art
Organic A design inspired by, based on, or composed of plants or a matter of animal origin. Contrast to geometric»
Organic
Overall A layout in which motifs are fairly close and evenly distributed as opposed to stripes, borders, plaids, and engineered designs. Another term is allover»
Overall
P
Packed A layout in which the motifs are placed close together. »
Packed
Paisley A stylized teardrop-shaped design that originally appeared on kashmir shawls mass-produced in Paisley, Scotland. »
Paisley
Palette The selected group of colors, shades, or patterns chosen to create a particular work of art. »
Palmette A classical motif based on a stylized radiating, fan-shaped palm leaf commonly found in Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian, and other ancient art. Also Anthemion»
Palmette
Patchwork A pattern simulating a pieced-together effect of different design elements. »
Patchwork
Pattern A design for decorating a surface composed of a number of elements (motifs) arranged in a regular or formal manner. Often refers to "repeat pattern." »
Pattern
Pattern Classifications Ways to group (classify) patterns according to their traits, such as:

These classifications are not mutually exclusive and patterns are frequently described as belonging to more than one class; for example, an abstract undirectional allover madder camouflage pattern, which has the simple shift symmetry and the half-drop layout»

Patterned Ground A background (ground) that is in itself a pattern. Often consists of stripes, plaids, dots, zigzags, and other small geometric elements or textures, but can also contain flowers and more complex motifs»
Patterned Ground
Pencil Stripes A stripe pattern produced by lines that are about as thick as ones drawn by pencil. The distance between lines is often wider than the lines. Also called dress stripe. »
Pencil Stripes
Pet Patterns Patterns featuring pets or generally on a pets theme. One example is cat patterns»
Pet Patterns
Pheasant's Eye A weave forming diamond shapes that are somewhat bigger than bird's eye weaves»
Pheasant's Eye
Picotage An old style of creating stipple patterns in textile printing when highlights and shadows are produced with different sizes of brass pins driven into a wooden block. Also called pinning. Imitated with a modern technology to create an old-fashion look. »
Picotage
Pincheck A check pattern produced by intersecting pin-sized stripes that are one or two yarns thick. »
Pincheck
Pinstripe A stripe pattern produced by (sometimes broken) very thin lines that are one or two yarns thick. »
Pinstripe
Plaid A design that consists of crossing bands or stripes of color, almost always at right angles. »
Plaid
Plain Weave The simplest weave in which each weft thread passes over and under each warp thread. Compare with plain and satin weaves»
Plain Weave
Pop Art An art movement in the 1960s that featured graphic images of everyday figures and objects. »
Pop Art
Portfolio A collection of designs. »
Powdered Ornament A pattern consisting of evenly spaced scatterings of small motifs such as flower springs and stars. »
Primitive Art Art that is simple, naive, or unsophisticated in style, has the imagery of folk art, and often places emphasis on form and expression and looks childlike. »
Primitive Art
Q
Quatrefoil A stylized four-petal flower or a leaf with four leaflets used as a pattern motif or in an ornament, often having a heraldic or symbolic meaning. A similar three-petal motif is a trefoil»
Quatrefoil
Quilting The art of stitching two or more layers of fabric to create a thicker garment, often having an allover pattern on the top layer. »
Quilting
R
Random A design in which elements (for example flowers) are scattered randomly within the unit of repeat. Same as tossed layout»
Random
Recall The repetitive use of the same or similar motifs within a croquis or sketch. Variations in the motifs can include color, shape, weight, or scale»
Regency Stripes Stripes of apparently the same width and alternating light and dark colors. Regency stripes are usually wider than candy stripes, but narrower than awning stripes. Commonly used in wallpaper, upholstery, and shirtings. Originated in India and became popular during the Regency era in the United Kingdom. Also called Bengal stripes and tiger stripes. »
Regency Stripes
Regimental Stripe A stripe pattern with colors originating from British regiments. Most often used in neckwear. Also called regimentals. »
Regimental Stripe
Rendering Another term for finished croquis»
Repeat The horizontal or vertical distance between identical elements of a repeat pattern. In the United States, the repeat is usually measured in inches, for example, a 27" repeat. »
Repeat Pattern A design for decorating a surface composed of a number of elements (motifs) arranged in a regular or formal manner. Same as repeating pattern. Often simply called "pattern." See also seamless repeating pattern»
Repeat Pattern
Repeating Pattern A design for decorating a surface composed of a number of elements (motifs) arranged in a regular or formal manner. Same as repeat pattern. See also seamless repeating pattern»
Repeating Pattern
Roman Stripes Bright, multicolored contrasting vertical stripes. »
Roman Stripes
S
Sateen Repeat A non-directional pattern in which motifs are arranged on a rectangular grid in such a way that each "row" and "column" of the repeated unit contains only one instance of the motif. Additionally, the motifs may be rotated and/or reflected to produce a more uniform pattern. Same as spot repeat. The distribution of the motifs in the grid resembles the satin weave»
Sateen Repeat
Satin Weave A weave in which each weft thread floats over as many as 12 warps and then under a single warp. The next weft passes over the same number of warps, but is woven in by different warps. Compare with plain and twill weaves»
Satin Weave
Scale The relative size of a motif or layout»
Scale
Scale Pattern Design created with overlapping arcs. Also called clamshells. Encountered in many cultures through the millennia. »
Scale Pattern
Scroll A ribbon-like motif in the shape of a partly rolled scroll of paper. »
Seamless Patterns Repeating patterns without visible boundaries between motifs. Created by elements of the motif that appear in a regular manner (as in set layout) or artfully extend beyond geometric boundaries of the repeating region (as in interlocking patterns). Blending of neighboring units is another way to achieve seamless repeats. »
Seamless Patterns
Serpentine Stripes A pattern arranged along wavy (sinusoidal) lines, reminiscent of reptilian movements. »
Serpentine Stripes
Set Layout A design in which motifs are arranged as if on a hidden grid. »
Set Layout
Shades Colors to which black has been added. »
Shepherd's Check The simplest of the district check patterns consisting of small, even-sized checks of two colors. Resembles the Gingham check. Was also known as "Spongebag." »
Shepherd's Check
Side Repeat The horizontal repeat of a design or cloth. »
Sketch A fully painted design that is not in repeat; same as croquis»
Sketch
Spot Repeat A non-directional pattern in which motifs are arranged on a rectangular grid in such a way that each "row" and "column" of the repeated unit contains only one instance of the motif. Additionally, the motifs may be rotated and/or reflected to produce a more uniform pattern. Same as sateen repeat. The distribution of the motifs in the grid resembles the satin weave»
Spot Repeat
Sprig A tossed pattern of small shoots, twigs, or leaves of a plant, commonly on a pastel background»
Sprig
Square Repeat A layout in which the repeating unit appears directly on a horizontal line to the left or right of the original design unit. Also called block repeat, straight-across repeat, straight repeat, and "full-drop repeat". »
Square Repeat
Stipple Dots placed closely together, creating a textured or shaded effect. See also picotage»
Stipple
Straight-across Repeat A layout in which the repeating unit appears directly on a horizontal line to the left or right of the original design unit. Also called block repeat, square repeat, and straight repeat»
Straight-across Repeat
Straight Repeat A layout in which the repeating unit appears directly on a horizontal line to the left or right of the original design unit. Also called block repeat, square repeat, and straight-across repeat»
Straight Repeat
Striae A design made of stripes that change subtly in color and/or texture in one direction. »
Striae
Stripe A pattern of bands or strips, often of the same width and color along the length. Some of the stripe patterns (in order of increasing width) are hairline stripes, pinstripes, pencil stripes, candy stripes, bengals, and awnings»
Stripe
Stylized A design with modified or abstracted elements that give the design a more decorative look. »
Surface Pattern A repeat pattern on a two-dimensional plane. Same as wallpaper pattern. There are exactly seventeen (17) types of surface patterns. See wallpaper groups. Similarly, there are seven (7) frieze patterns that correspond to seven types of linear patterns. »
Surface Pattern
Swatch A small piece of cloth used as a sample. In computer programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, a pattern swatch is a tileable, rectangular unit of a repeat pattern.  »
Swatch
T
Tapestry A woven textile art with hidden warp (vertical) threads and visible colored weft (horizontal) threads usually depicting a floral design, geometric pattern, or historic or other pictorial motif. Commonly used for wall hangings, curtains, and upholstery. »
Tapestry
Tartan Woven plaids that consist of stripes of different widths and colors that were originally patterned to designate a distinctive Scottish clan. Now any plaids with a similar look. »
Tartan
Tattersall A relatively small-scale check pattern (smaller than windowpane) produced by regularly spaced, evenly colored thin lines on a usually light ground»
Tattersall
Tessellations A repeat pattern composed of interlocking shapes that can be extended infinitely. »
Tessellations
Textile Design The art and science of designing for fabrics. Typically (but not always) involves the creation of repeat patterns. Specifications differ drastically depending on application (contract, apparel, home furnishings, etc.), technology (printed, woven, etc.), and other considerations. Commonly done with software. »
Textile Design
Texture A pattern creating the appearance, feel, or illusion of a structure of a surface. Often depicts fabric, earth, wood, or building, granular, and other materials. »
Texture
Theme A subject matter for a design or collection; for example, a Christmas theme or a pets theme»
Theme
Toile De Jouy A decorating pattern on a scenic, pastoral, or floral theme usually printed in one color on a light or white ground. Originated in 18th century France. Often abbreviated to "toile." »
Toile De Jouy
Tossed A design in which elements (for example flowers) are scattered randomly within the unit of repeat. Also called random layout»
Tossed
Tracery The ornamental framework of interlacing stone, wood, or cast iron ribs supporting (or implying the support of) glass in a Gothic window. »
Tracery
Transitional A naturalistic design that is highly stylized, but still showing some recognizable elements. »
Trapping One semi-transparent color falling on another to produce a third color. Also called fall-on»
Trefoil A stylized three-petal flower or a leaf with three leaflets used as a pattern motif or in an ornament, often having a heraldic or symbolic meaning. A similar four-petal motif is a quatrefoil»
Trefoil
Trellis A pattern featuring a supporting structure of interwoven pieces of wood or metal (latticework) sometimes adorned with climbing vines or flowers. »
Trellis
Turnover A design in which the motif is flipped horizontally or vertically. »
Turnover
Twill Weave A weave in which each weft thread passes over two (or more) warps and then under the same number of warps to produce diagonal ridges. Compare with plain and satin weaves»
Twill Weave
Two-color (Counterchange) Symmetries Symmetries that combine geometrical operations (translations, rotations, reflections, and glide reflections) with color reversals. There are exactly 46 types of two-color symmetries on the plane. See also counterchange pattern»
Two-color (Counterchange) Symmetries
Two-directional Pattern A directional pattern that has features in two directions, typically at 90° or 180°. A design that is reversible in the top and bottom directions is also called a two-way design»
Two-directional Pattern
Two-way Layout A design in which half the motifs face an opposite direction, for example, up and down. See also two-directional design»
Two-way Layout
U
Unbalanced Stripes Unbalanced stripes do not have a "center" and are asymmetrical stripes. »
Unbalanced Stripes
Undirectional A design that looks the same from any direction. Same as non-directional design. The opposite is a directional pattern»
Undirectional
V
Vermicular A pattern of irregular twisted lines (derived from the Latin "worm"). Also called vermiculate and vermiculated (for example vermiculated ground), seaweed, scribble, maze, and network pattern. Can be formed by dots (see stippling and picotage). »
Vermicular
W
Wallpaper Group cm A symmetry type characterized by reflections and glide-reflections with parallel axes. Produces "Mirror & glide" patterns (cm patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group cm
Wallpaper Group cmm A symmetry type characterized by perpendicular reflections and perpendicular glide-reflections. Produces "Perpendicular mirrors & glide" patterns (cmm patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group cmm
Wallpaper Group p1 A symmetry type represented only by translations (shifts). Produces "Simple shift" patterns (p1 patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p1
Wallpaper Group p2 A symmetry type characterized by 180° rotations (half-turns). Produces "Half-turn" patterns (p2 patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p2
Wallpaper Group p3 AA symmetry type characterized by 120° rotations. Produces "Three rotations" patterns (p3 patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p3
Wallpaper Group p31m A symmetry type characterized by reflections in axes intersecting at 60° and 120° rotations. Produces "Three rotations & mirrors" patterns (p31m patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p31m
Wallpaper Group p3m1 A symmetry type characterized by reflections in axes intersecting at 60° and 120° rotations around centers that lie on the reflection axes. Produces "Three mirrors" patterns (p3m1 patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p3m1
Wallpaper Group p4 A symmetry type characterized by 90° rotations (quarter-turns). Produces "Pinwheel" patterns (p4 patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p4
Wallpaper Group p4g A symmetry type characterized by reflections and both 90° and 180° rotations. Produces "Quarter-turns & rotated mirrors" patterns (p4g patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p4g
Wallpaper Group p4m A symmetry type characterized by 90° (quarter-turn) rotations with centers on reflection axes, as in a kaleidoscope produced by three mirrors, two of which intersect at 90° and two at 45°. Produces "Quarter-turns & mirrors" patterns (p4m patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p4m
Wallpaper Group p6 A symmetry type characterized by 60° rotations. Produces "Six rotations" patterns (p6 patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p6
Wallpaper Group p6m A symmetry created by reflections in three mirrors intersecting at 90°, 60°, and 30°. Produces "Kaleidoscope" patterns (p6m patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group p6m
Wallpaper Group pg A symmetry type characterized by glide-reflections in paralel axes. Produces "Glide reflection" patterns (pg patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group pg
Wallpaper Group pgg A symmetry type characterized by glide-reflections in two perpendicular axes. Produces "Double glide" patterns (pgg patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group pgg
Wallpaper Group pm A symmetry type characterized by reflections in parallel axes. Produces "Mirror" patterns (pm patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group pm
Wallpaper Group pmg A symmetry type characterized by parallel mirrors and parallel glides that intersect at right angles. Produces "Parallel mirrors & glide" patterns (pmg patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group pmg
Wallpaper Group pmm A symmetry type characterized by reflections in perpendicular mirrors. Produces "Double mirror" patterns (pmm patterns).  »
Wallpaper Group pmm
Wallpaper Groups A mathematical concept that uses symmetry to classify surface repeat patterns (repetitive designs on a two-dimensional plane). There are exactly seventeen (17) wallpaper groups that correspond to seventeen different types of surface patterns. Similarly, there are seven (7) frieze groups that correspond to seven types of linear (frieze) patterns»
Wallpaper Groups
Wallpaper Pattern A repeat pattern on a two-dimensional plane. Same as surface pattern. There are exactly seventeen (17) types of wallpaper patterns. See wallpaper groups. Similarly, there are seven (7) frieze patterns that correspond to seven types of linear patterns. »
Wallpaper Pattern
Watercolor Imitating effects produced by painting with watercolors (aquarelles). Often creates patterns with light, soft, and transparent gradations. »
Watercolor
Weaving A method of making fabrics by interlacing two sets of yarns (threads), in which one set (warp) runs along the length of fabric and the other (weft) runs from side to side. The three basic weaves are plain, twill, and satin»
Weaving
Windowpane Check A widely spaced check pattern resembling panes in a window. Commonly used on suits, shirtings, and accessories. »
Windowpane Check
Wreath A ring-shaped intertwined garland of flowers or leaves, often with ribbons and/or other decorations. »
Wreath
Z
Zalij The intricate geometric mosaic tilework created from sets of characteristic shapes, typically cut from enameled terracotta squares. Used as decorations outside and inside buildings. Another spelling is zillij»
Zalij
Zillij The intricate geometric mosaic tilework created from sets of characteristic shapes, typically cut from enameled terracotta squares. Used as decorations outside and inside buildings. Another spelling is zalij»
Zillij