Herringbone Pattern: Clothing, Accessories, Architecture, and Home Décor
It's believed that the herringbone terminology came from the herring fish's bone pattern. In addition to the traditional terminology for the tweed or twill cloth weaving pattern, herringbone can also refer to a brickwork bonding pattern, a cross-stitch pattern, or a paving or floor tile pattern. It is also a skiing term used for a cross country skiing movement. Additionally, there are herringbone techniques for both beadweaving and wire wrapping.
The pattern has been used in decoration and architecture throughout history, from as early as Roman times. One of the most recent influential designs is United Kingdom Tudor Revival Architecture or Tudorbethan, which has walls with the pattern that have since been adapted in the more modern Tudor style..
Traditional Jackets and Coats
When I think of herringbone patterns, I think of jackets and coats so this seemed like an appropriate place to start. There are a number of coats available for both men and women. Generally these coats have classic cuts but there are a handful of trendy and modern styles available, too. If you're interested in something vintage, don't be afraid to do some hunting. If you can't find something in your size, consider coats made with vintage fabrics and/or in vintage cuts.
Herringbone skirts are another classic option. Many herringbone skirts add an elegant touch for any work ensemble. There are a number of repurposed skirts and herringbone skirts made from printed non-wool fabrics, which can provide a lot of different fabrics and cuts to choose from.
I was amazed how many herringbone hats I found just on Etsy. People have really had a lot of fun with this. Again, there are a number of repurposed options as well as hats made from both traditional wools and other printed fabrics. There are all sorts of styles available with everything from ski caps to berets.
I'm sure it's not a surprise that every time a new technological device comes into the market, companies have already started designing cases for it. Handmade markets catch up very quickly. There are a wealth of herringbone bases available for all of your electronic devices including laptop computers, iPads, iPhones, Kindles/Nooks, iPods, other MP3 players, and more.
In addition to the technology related accessories, herringbone patterns can make versatile designs for a number of other accessories, such as handbags, card cases, glasses cases, and more. The bag pictured on the right is perfect for every day wear but can be dressed up as well.
Items for Babies and Children
As I was searching Etsy, I was also surprised by how many herringbone patterns there are in baby and children's clothing. There are almost as many options for young ones as they are for young adults and grown ups. Many of these pieces are truly one of a kind options that you will not be able to find in stores. If you need a unique gift for a special family member or friend's baby, this is a great option to consider.
Herringbone is a popular offloom beadweaving technique. You can see from the examples above how the beadwork mimics the fabric design. One of the reasons that I love the herringbone beading technique is because it's so versatile. Herringbone can be worked in both flat and tubular patterns with a number of variations for both, such as twisted tubular. Herringbone can be used to make bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, and more.
Herringbone Beaded Jewelry Patterns, Search Etsy for Many More
Tubular Twisted Herringbone Bangle Bracelet | offthebeadedpath
Jewelry: Wire Wrapping
I addition to the herringbone beadweaving stitch, there is also a herringbone wire wrapping technique. The design works up as a perfect earring and is most frequently used as such. The components can also be used to make bracelets and necklaces. If you enjoy wire wrapping, this is a great technique to add to your repertoire.
Herringbone Wire Wrap Pattern
Wire Wrapped Herringbone Link | Jamie Anderson
There are a number of furniture designs with herringbone. Some designs use herringbone fabrics or prints such as the covered chair on the right. Herringbone designs are also used in woodwork, as in the dresser on the right, which was completely repurposed from a plain wooden dresser. If you enjoy refinished or designing your own furniture, herringbone is a great option.
Just as people have enjoyed transferring the herringbone pattern to beadwork, wire work, and furniture, people have also transferred the pattern to paper products. There are a number of cards and journals with herringbone prints available. For those who enjoy designing their own cards or other paper crafts, consider a herringbone print for your next project.
The herringbone print is a wonderful motif for home décor, such as pillows and quilts. Just as there is no end to all of the accessories out there with herringbone prints, there is no end to the home décor options either. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for, you can probably find a pattern for it or can find someone who will make a custom version for you.
You'll have to check out the full post for the picture on the right to really appreciate the work of Alison Brooks, who is one of the most popular architects today for herringbone designs. Search herringbone on apartmenttherapy.com for a number of other great modern options, such as this herringbone fireplace. Check out some other great herringbone architectural designs here.
More Great Herringbone Design Resources
© 2011 Rose Clearfield