Learn about the different stripe patterns used in fabric items to determine which ones to add to your wardrobe, home decor, sewing essentials, and more. Whichever type of stripe you choose, though, it's versatile, decorative, and functional. Its long history brought about the many types of stripes you can see nowadays.
Stripe Patterns - The History
You can find a lot of patterns that add style and life to the fabric. Just like the checkered pattern, stripes are among the oldest and have a rich history. It's rich enough that stripes might not be part of the fashion and interior design industries if things turned out differently.
Stripe Patterns for the Isolated
When first introduced, stripe patterns had a bad reputation and were often considered vulgar. Medieval Europe's “outcast” population, such as prostitutes, clowns, hangmen, heretics, and lepers, were the first to wear them. Stripes were also frowned upon because they lack depth.
Stripe Patterns for Style
In the latter part of the 18th century, Europe started embracing the Neo-classical style, a stricter and purer style. Thus, there were already drapes, curtains, wallpapers, and clothes with stripes.
Still, the negative connotation with stripes remained; in fact, North American penal colonies started using this pattern for prisoners’ uniforms. The types of stripes used were black and white. They also had horizontal arrangements and wide spaces for high visibility. This way, it was hard for prisoners to escape, as they could be seen easily.
Stripe Patterns as High-End Fashion
In the early 20th century, specifically around 1920, public school students started wearing striped uniforms while males wore striped neckties. Then, university goers wore striped uniforms and neckties, linking the pattern to privileged individuals.
Similarly, professionals began wearing striped suits and ties, while those belonging to the rich society wore stripes as part of their daily fashion style. Specifically, the candy and pinstripe stripe patterns, associating them with high-end fashion and luxury.
Stripe Patterns Today
Nowadays, you’ll find several kinds of stripes used in different fabrics and made into clothes, curtains, blankets, and more.
Stripe Patterns - Types of Stripes
Stripes are mostly lines or bands woven or printed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on the fabric. Apart from their position, the way to categorize the different types of stripes is through their sizes and design elements, including color and space.
Also known as cabana or block stripes, the awning is currently considered the widest vertical stripe with a bold statement. Evenly spaced, this stripe pattern has an elegant appearance that can sometimes be jarring.
Balanced is among the stripe patterns with multiple and differently sized colored stripes arranged vertically and symmetrically. The center has a wide band surrounded by narrower bands and lines. It also has an interior layered with thin lines.
From the name itself, this type of stripe was patterned from the Universal Product Code. It also has differently-sized vertical stripes. The difference is that it doesn’t have 95 vertical stripes made of black and white only. Instead, barcode stripes on fabric can be monochromatic, dichromatic, or multichromatic.
Bayadere is an Indian term that pertains to a Hindu female ritual dancer, so the stripe pattern also originated from India. These are horizontal stripes of different sizes. They are made of bright, bold, or vivid colorways and are distributed randomly on the fabric.
These vertical types of stripes have two or more colors, usually, a white background paired with pastel colors, such as blue, pink, and/or yellow. Such a design gives it a young, sweet, girly vibe, making it a common pattern on children's clothes and babywear. Distributed evenly and alternately, the stripes have a one-eighth-inch space in between them.
Although more common in menswear, Bengal stripes are becoming a norm in female fashion, especially since we’re becoming a more non-gender-exclusive world. Also known as the tiger stripe, it has two colors, light and dark, distributed alternately and spaced at one-fourth inch. Each stripe has a width that isn’t as wide as the awning stripe but not as thin as the candy stripe.
The banker is similar to Bengal stripe patterns, but the lines are thinner, specifically one-eight inches. Also, the color combination is almost always white and baby blue.
8. Candy Cane
Aptly named, this stripe pattern looks like the candy canes associated with Christmas. It usually has two alternating, similarly width red and white stripes. At times, you’ll find candy-striped fabrics with broad red stripes surrounded by narrower red stripes; again, placed against a white background. Either way, they have a diagonal direction.
Chalk patterns are unique because the “stripes” are made of dots or speckles that follow a straight line. With a fuzzy and thin appearance, you'll commonly find this pattern on wool and suit fabrics.
Also known as herringbone and zigzag types of stripes, the chevron has a compelling and unique visual effect. Unlike most other stripe types, the short bands' placement portrays a “v” shape. This pattern has two different effects on your body figure, depending on how it’s positioned. Horizontally placed “v” stripes will make you look broader while vertically placed ones will make you appear slimmer and taller.
From the name itself, you’ll expect that this has very thin lines of different colors, usually three. Two colors are usually close to each other while the other is placed a little further.
This stripe pattern was initially used in work jackets and overalls worn by railroad workers and engineers. Now a design seen in most fabric-made items, the hickory stripe hasn’t changed. It is still a white stripe placed vertically against an indigo blue background.
Initially seen in French Navy uniforms, this horizontal stripe type was then used on official Breton t-shirts; hence, the other name, Breton stripe. Then, Coco Chanel adopted it and turned it into one of the most famous and fashionable stripe patterns. This has a dark-colored stripe placed alternately against a white background.
Believed to be first used on bank employee uniforms with the stripe color as an identifier for a specific bank, you’ll find these stripe patterns on pants, skirts, jackets, and suits. The pinstripe has a thin, dash-like line made of one or two colors placed alternately. The distance in each line is too wide so that the background appears as a much broader stripe.
This stripe originated in India and is one of the first types used during the neo-classic-style era in Europe we discussed earlier. Therefore, you can also find upholstery and wallpaper with this pattern type.
The regimental stripe has the most basic colors such as blue, burgundy, red, navy, and yellow, making it common on uniforms and heraldric items. You’ll also usually find it on neckwear or ties. The stripes are placed diagonally.
The roman is among the boldest types of stripes made of neon or bright colors. They have different widths and are placed vertically. Be mindful of wearing clothes with this stripe design because they project a playful vibe, making them mostly unsuitable for formal occasions.
This stripe design has a wavy, undulating look that resembles how a serpent moves. It gives any fabric a softer look, but when worn, can make your body appear wider than normal. Thus, be careful when choosing clothes with serpentine stripes.
These stripe patterns have an elegant design with the lines placed adjacent to each other to create a shadow. It has light-colored stripes bordered by darker ones.
Stripe Patterns - Sewing Tips
Striped fabrics are among the most challenging to sew because you have to be mindful of how the patterns line up or appear. That’s why it’s important to get it right even before the exact sewing process. Below are some of the things to keep in mind when you plan to sew fabrics with all types of stripes.
Do Not Fold
Ideally, you place the sewing pattern on a folded fabric and then cut, but for stripes, experts recommend that you lay the fabric flat on a wide, flat surface. You can do the folded technique but make sure you do it more carefully than usual.
Use as Many Pins as You Can
To achieve the correct stripe patterns, you need to use more pins to ensure the fabric pieces are as secure as you want. Better yet, use double-pronged pins or those used for quilting.
Place one pin for every stripe, down to its seam. Consider placing a pin on the stripe’s bottom and top. Always check the fabric’s front and back sides to see if you lined them up accurately.
Consider Using Double-Sided Basting Tape
If you’re not confident about how well the pins will hold the fabric pieces together, you can use washable, double-sided basting tape. Place it along the first pattern’s right side seam allowances. Then, attach the second pattern’s right side.
Double-check the stripe patterns' alignment, and then unpeel and re-position if they’re imperfectly aligned.
Stripe Patterns - In Conclusion
Multiple types of stripes exist. They can help you improve the interior design of your place and your fashion style. You can match stripes with stripes or stripes with plains. Sometimes, though, you need to be careful when choosing stripe patterns, as some of them are too bold and playful.