Houndstooth Definition and Design

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Posted by: Brittany Wittman McLaughlin Category: Design Tags: , , Comments: 0

Houndstooth Definition and Design

Like the herringbone, the Houndstooth is a traditionally woven, two-toned textile pattern. Rather than just squares, however, houndstooth is made up of a specific repeating geometric block. The houndstooth pattern is characterized by an almost checked appearance.

The term ‘houndstooth’ itself is derived from the protruding jagged teeth that define that particular block. A houndstooth motif is called by the French a pied de poule (chicken’s foot); an extra-large houndstooth is a pied de coq (cock’s foot).  The English used to maintain the birdlike metaphor for houndstooth with the name crow’s foot.

Plaid Houndstooth Pattern P456 in Hotel Lobby

Christian Dior was one of the first designers to incorporate houndstooth in his designs for the 1948 Haute Couture spring/summer collection. In 1959, French shoe designer Roger Vivier created pointed court heels for Dior with a smaller-scale version of the pattern.

The houndstooth pattern is a similar pattern as that featured in the Shepherd’s check and Glen plaid, in that it is a weave that is affected by color placement in the warp and the weft. It is woven in a balanced 2/2 twill pattern. When alternating dark stripes and light stripes cross each other, they create a pattern of small and large checks.

Plaid Houndstooth Pattern P456 in Blue on Bedding Sheets and Pillows
Plaid Houndstooth Pattern P456

A very versatile pattern, the houndstooth has a classic and conservative look. Textile designers can play with size, scale, contrast, and color to add interest and bring an element of surprise to a design. A large-scale houndstooth can be bold and daring, while a micro-pattern will look almost solid from a distance. Textile printers have now developed this pattern well beyond the limits of weaving.

Sources:
Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period, Susan Meller and Joost Elffers
scadconnector.com › 2015/02/02 › history-houndstooth
www.alexander-west.com › styleguidehttp://hespokestyle.com/houndstooth-fabric-pattern-history/
www.popsugar.com › fashion › photo-gallery › image › How-did-houn..

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