Types of Plaid That Everyone Should Know Part One: Check Patterns

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 décor. 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 quite a lot in common when it comes to how they are woven, the fastest way to tell them apart is that check patterns are usually made up of only two colors, where plaid will almost always have multiple. Houndstooth, buffalo check, and windowpane are the most popular when it comes to check patterns in decor.  These fabrics come in a variety of colors and size variations that make them perfect for a multitude of home décor projects.  

Houndstooth is a Swedish pattern that is a relative of the Shephard’s Check pattern, except that 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, although 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 décor.  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. Recently our designer, Dianne, turned a classic upholstered chair on its head (or, turned on the diagonal, if we’re being technical) to create a diamond design that is a true showstopper. 

Window Pane is a classic textile that is most commonly used in menswear and menswear inspired décor, which if you follow the blog regularly you know I love!  Made up of one large stripe crossed with an equal width or smaller stripe it is a simple and elegant pattern that can be utilized 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 a multitude of ways.  The possibilities and styles are endless when working with these wonderful patterns and I can’t wait to see what looks are created with them this year. Until next time – happy decorating!