When it comes to textiles, there is no shortage of colors, weights, fibers and patterns. It can be quite overwhelming when searching for the perfect pattern for your decor. Looking at just one style of pattern like plaid can send you down the rabbit hole with an unlimited number of patterns to sort through. Don’t worry, though. As a self-identified plaid and check enthusiast, I am here to break down the most common variations to make designing easy.
While plaid and check patterns have a lot in common in how they are woven, the fastest way to tell them apart is check patterns are usually made up of only two colors, whereas plaid will almost always have multiple. Houndstooth, buffalo check and windowpane are the most popular check patterns in decor. These fabrics come in a variety of colors and size variations that make them perfect for a multitude of projects.
Houndstooth is a Swedish pattern that is a relative of the shepherd’s check pattern, except instead of standard squares, this textile has shapes that are notched, much like a pointed canine tooth. This textile is most commonly found in a black-and-white colorway, though preppy pastels and calming neutrals are becoming more and more popular. It is a timeless pattern that mixes well with other textiles and is just as much at home in your family room as it is in a formal dining area. Perfect for pillows and throw blankets, it is a great accent fabric to add depth and interest to your rooms.
Buffalo check is the bigger and bolder sibling to gingham and is a hugely popular fabric choice when it comes to home decor. Due to its adaptable nature, it is used for larger upholstered pieces, bedding, table decor and accent pillows alike. This pattern comes in a wide variety of color pairings and is a versatile textile that can translate to anything from traditional to modern farmhouse depending on the usage.
Windowpane is a classic textile that is most commonly used in menswear and menswear-inspired decor. Made up of one large stripe crossed with an equal width or smaller stripe, it is a simple and elegant pattern that can be used in many situations. I love using this pattern in our bedding for a strong and timeless aesthetic or on a large sectional to add some visual interest.
Not many patterns can boast to be classic, modern and traditional all at the same time, but checks are one of those few. This playful but structured textile can be used in many ways.