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Herringbone Pattern: Clothing, Accessories, Architecture, and Home Décor

Updated on September 7, 2016
randomcreative profile image

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Wool Jacket, Skirted Herringbone Coat
Wool Jacket, Skirted Herringbone Coat | Source

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..

Vintage Harris Tweed Gray Herringbone Size 46 short
Vintage Harris Tweed Gray Herringbone Size 46 short | Source
Jackie O retro swing jacket in Pink Wool herringbone and recycled buttons
Jackie O retro swing jacket in Pink Wool herringbone and recycled buttons | Source

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.

SMOKING Herringbone Mini Skirt
SMOKING Herringbone Mini Skirt | Source

Skirts

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.

Cloche Hat -Vintage Beige Wool Herringbone- with Flower
Cloche Hat -Vintage Beige Wool Herringbone- with Flower | Source

Hats

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.

iPad case - gray herringbone
iPad case - gray herringbone | Source

Technology

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.

Herringbone Tweed Wool Wristlet Clutch bag with a leather strap, purple brown
Herringbone Tweed Wool Wristlet Clutch bag with a leather strap, purple brown | Source
Black and White Herringbone Fabric-Covered Camera Strap EXTRA LONG
Black and White Herringbone Fabric-Covered Camera Strap EXTRA LONG | Source

Other Accessories

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.

Herringbone Wool Kimono Jacket 3-12 mos.
Herringbone Wool Kimono Jacket 3-12 mos. | Source

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.

Aqua Pink Ring. Magenta Shell Coin in a Handmade Beaded Turquoise Blue Herringbone Band
Aqua Pink Ring. Magenta Shell Coin in a Handmade Beaded Turquoise Blue Herringbone Band | Source
Beaded Bracelet Herringbone Weave Silver Purple
Beaded Bracelet Herringbone Weave Silver Purple | Source

Jewelry: Beadweaving

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.

Tubular Twisted Herringbone Bangle Bracelet | offthebeadedpath

Purple Amethyst round bead - herringbone wrapped earrings
Purple Amethyst round bead - herringbone wrapped earrings | Source

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.

Wire Wrapped Herringbone Link | Jamie Anderson

Chair Herringbone Patterned Fabric - Black Cherry / Ivory / Black. Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams Fabric
Chair Herringbone Patterned Fabric - Black Cherry / Ivory / Black. Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams Fabric | Source
Vintage modern upcycled white and wood herringbone dresser
Vintage modern upcycled white and wood herringbone dresser | Source

Furniture

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.

Neon Herringbone Card - gocco screen printed
Neon Herringbone Card - gocco screen printed | Source

Paper Products

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.

Classic Herringbone Red and White Striped Pillow 18x18
Classic Herringbone Red and White Striped Pillow 18x18 | Source
the Herringbone runner quilt pattern
the Herringbone runner quilt pattern | Source

Home Decor

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.

Source

Architecture

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.

Further Inspiration

Scarf, Gramophone Printed Herringbone Button-up: In addition the the traditional wool, there are other fabrics with herringbone prints now, such as the cotton/wool blend used for this scarf.
Scarf, Gramophone Printed Herringbone Button-up: In addition the the traditional wool, there are other fabrics with herringbone prints now, such as the cotton/wool blend used for this scarf. | Source
Black & Gray Herringbone Wool Tweed Shoe Bow Clips with Luxurious Zig Zag Chevron Pattern: Many herringbone items predominantly feature the pattern, but it can work well as an accent detail, too.
Black & Gray Herringbone Wool Tweed Shoe Bow Clips with Luxurious Zig Zag Chevron Pattern: Many herringbone items predominantly feature the pattern, but it can work well as an accent detail, too. | Source
PDF 456: Lime Sherbet Herringbone Look Beanie Crochet Hat Pattern with Flower -- Multiple Sizes Newborn through Age 3: This crochet technique creates a herringbone effect.
PDF 456: Lime Sherbet Herringbone Look Beanie Crochet Hat Pattern with Flower -- Multiple Sizes Newborn through Age 3: This crochet technique creates a herringbone effect. | Source

© 2011 Rose Clearfield

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    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I always think of suits, too, but you really can get out of the box with just about any pattern. I may do more explorations like this. Thanks so much!

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Just beautiful. I loved the herringbone-patterned table and the child's coat. This is one hub that shows you can really think out of the box with a traditional pattern. I always think of men's suits when I think of herringbone. Lovely, lovely! Great job.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks! I'm glad that you were able to learn something from this. I can't believe how many cute herringbone things are out there.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      So many cute herringbone things here! I never knew that's what this pattern was called but I feel enlightened now :) Fun hub!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Isn't that funny how we can see something on a regular basis and not know what to call it? I'm more aware of herringbone now, but I know that there were lots of times that I saw it before and didn't necessarily put the name with it.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      6 years ago

      This simple pattern looks great on everything. You know what? Before reading this hub, I didn't even know it was called "herringbone." lol

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      A.CreativeThinker 

      6 years ago

      Very well put together and interesting hub randomcreative.

      Thanks for sharing. Voted up and beautiful. :)

      Regards,

      A.CreativeThinker

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks! I really hadn't either before I started doing the research for this hub.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      6 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Very interesting hub. I like the herringbone 'pattern' but hadn't before thought of accesorizing with errings, shoe clips etc. This is great - thanks so much!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much! I had no idea it appeared in so many places until I started doing research for this hub.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 

      6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      The herringbone weave is so beautiful in jewelry, I especially liked it in the bracelet you shared here. You also pointed out lots of places that I hadn't even noticed that design before! Great hub, interesting and voting UP.

      Cloverleaf.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, I'm glad!

    • profile image

      marellen 

      6 years ago

      Herringbone has been around forever and look how versatile it is. This hub was very informative.

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