Polka Dot Definition and DesignsBrittany Wittman McLaughlin
The polka dot has been and will always be a classic pattern. A basic favorite among textile patterns, it has never been out of style.
The polka dot is a classic spring pattern, particularly in the colors of navy and white. It takes its name from a Bohemian folk dance, first performed in Prague in 1837 and brought to Paris by 1840. By 1845 the polka had spread to England. In the United States, Godey’s Lady’s Book (https://www.accessible-archives.com/collections/godeys-ladys-book/), featured a polka-dotted scarf in 1857. The Polka Dot became such a craze that numerous consumables were named after it – puddings, hats, fishing lures, drapery arrangements – in the hope that they would share its popularity.
For nearly two centuries the Polka Dot has remained popular. The 1960’s hit, Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini song by Brian Hyland, gave a new generation of fashion icons a love for the whimsical pattern.
To a print designer, the difference between the polka dot and the circle is that circles contain some internal motif, or are empty outlines; the polka dot is a round of solid color. And unlike the solid dots in the dot pattern, which are used as the elements of some other motif, the polka dot is arranged in random or set layouts. This pattern and its popularity are recent in textile history. Medieval Europeans rarely wore dotted patterns on fabric, because it was virtually impossible to space the dots evenly without the help of machines.
We are huge fans of polka dot patterns at Design Pool. Polka Dots are timeless and look great in almost any environment. Check out all of our polka dot licensable designs!
Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period, Susan Meller and Joost Elffers