Have you ever wonder where the origin of the trendiest patterns come from?

Today I am going to discuss three different fabric patterns that have been around for generations and still continue to be very important in the design world: Houndstooth, Flamestitch, and Ikat.

The Houndstooth Pattern:

When you are in the field of design, you often see the current fashion trends emerge in different genre’s of design, such as furniture design or interior design.  The houndstooth design has been a leading pattern in all aspects of design for many decades.  The first time that I noticed this pattern was in a 1969 Camaro.  I thought it was an odd choice for car interior, but soon realized that this pattern was used to mark the car as a special edition.

From then on I started to realize that the houndstooth pattern has been used in multiple applications in design for many years.  In 1885 a high-end clothier by the name of De Pinna created a line of clothes that highlighted this pattern in both women’s and men’s clothes.  Once he was known for incorporating this particular pattern into his designs, he put out a full men’s suit clothing line.  This pattern is a timeless pattern that has been seen throughout the decades.

Today, the houndstooth is used as a fashion statement in both fashion and interior design just as it has been in the past. Some common places where you might see a houndstooth is on purses, pillows, chairs, artwork, and jewelery.

The Flamestitch Pattern:

When Missoni decided to be the latest designer to participate in Target’s “Go Line” products, we found out that flame stitch patterns were back in demand.  The line was released in September, and the anticipation for the line was so extreme that Target sold out of all merchandise around the U.S. in a matter of hours.  If you are not familiar with Missoni, he is a high-end fashion designer that is known for the incorporation of the “flame-stitch” pattern in most of his fashion pieces.

The origin of the Flamestitch, came from a style of embroidery that was very popular during the 1600’s.  This pattern was hand-woven and used in many applications except for clothing fabric. Below is a picture showing the flamestitch pattern used in the 1600’s.

1600’s Upholstered Flamestitch Wall

Today, the pattern is used for many purposes.  As an interior designer, I’ve mostly seen the pattern used for more traditional designs.  But as the interior design world starts to merge with the fashion world, I have seen more contemporary flamestitch patterns emerge.  Celebrities and high-end designers used this “zig-zag” pattern to draw the eye to something specific in the room.  When a room is designed with balance in mind, this bold pattern can create hierarchy within the design because it makes such a bold impression.

Currently, I have noticed this trend in the homes of celebrities. During the recent seasons of  the Kardashians “Khloe and Lamar”,  I have noticed that the family has recently redecorated all the Kardashian homes and somewhere in each room of Khloe and Lamar’s home, the flamestitch is incorporated.  Below you will see what I am talking about.

Khloe and Lamar’s Home Office using Flame Stitch Chair

Khloe and Lamar Velvet Sofa with Flame stitch Accent Pillows. (Khloe sits on flamestitch pillow)

The flamestitch pattern has been around for centuries and should continue to be known as a timeless pattern as well. As a designer I would usually suggest this pattern for a soft contemporary or a very traditional feel.  The difference in looks will depend on the color tones that are in the flamestitch itself.  When you have more earth tones or very bold bright colors in the pattern, it may come off as being more modern.  When there are more jewel tones incorporated in the pattern, it will generally have a more traditional spin. Contemporary Flamestitch:

Traditional Flamestitch:

traditional flamestitch chair in jewel tones

The Ikat Pattern:

The Ikat Pattern is the world’s traditional “tie-dye” technique.  The word “Ikat” actually means “to tie” or “to bind” in the Indonesian Language.  This form of dying practice is used in many different cultures.  The difference between a traditional IKAT design and tie-dye design is that with the IKAT design the fabric is woven first and the resist bindings are then applied to the fabric which is dyed.  In warp ikat the patterns are clearly visible in the warp threads on the loom even before the plain colored weft is introduced to produce the fabric. In weft ikat it is the weaving or weft thread that carries the dyed patterns which only appear as the weaving proceeds. In weft ikat the weaving proceeds much slower than in warp ikat as the passes of the weft must be carefully adjusted to maintain the clarity of the patterns. This past season IKAT’s became a big trend.  You saw this pattern emerge in fashion, furniture, pillows, and accessories.

Regardless of the pattern choice, we see that all these patterns have their own unique origins and have continued to be used in the design world for many years.  In the desigh world, we often find that the key to a good design is putting a contemporary spin to an old idea.

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:


We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Written By: Erica Guajard

Edited By: Linda Decuir


5 thoughts on “Have you ever wonder where the origin of the trendiest patterns come from?

  1. hello i have one big question i want to thank you for you posting this blog on flamestitch and to show pictures … my question is what is the style number and maker of the flamestitch fabric on khloe kardashians throw pillows on her sofa i love it??

    • Hello Tara,

      Usually when looking at a picture off the internet it is hard to see where the exact fabric looks like, and where it comes from. I have found a similar fabric through a company called Clark and Clark… ( http://www.clarke-clarke.com/design.php?hdnDesignID=94&hdnColourID=455&hdnCollectionID=0) This fabric is also a flame stitch with the brown and beige color pallet. If for some reason this is not the look you are looking for there are companies like Robert Allen (www.robertallendesigns.com) or Kravet (www.kravet.com) which will allow you to search by color, type of fabric, and pattern styles. If you have any questions about how much something cost, we can look that up for you. Please reply to andy@fabricsandframes.com if you have any other questions about a particular fabric from these companies.

      Thanks for reading our blog,

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