What are the different patterns of tweed?

To help you choose your tweed fabric, we classify tweed fabrics from our various tweed ranges according to their main pattern. When searching for tweeds, you can choose to see only tweed fabrics of a particular pattern. The main patterns are:

Plain Twill (Unpatterned) Tweeds

Tarbert Plain Twill
Blue 24310 Harris Tweed

Twill is a simple weave with a characteristic diagonal pattern running throughout it, which may be either obvious or so subtle that the fabric appears plain.

Unpatterned tweeds range from effectively single-colour to highly dappled or mottled with a strikingly textured mix of colours.

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Overcheck Twill Tweeds

Glenroyal Overcheck Twill
Green 42001 Highland Tweed

Traditional twill with a large checked design overlaid in a contrasting colour.

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Plain Herringbone Tweeds

Hartwist Plain Herringbone
Green 32005 Highland Tweed

A herringbone pattern consists of columns of slanted parallel lines. The direction of the slant alternates column by column to create v shapes. A typical thin herringbone might use a pattern of four threads alternating direction with the next four threads (4×4) but larger sizes of 6×6 or 8×8 are common, sometimes even up to as large as 12×12.

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Estate (Overcheck Herringbone) Tweeds

Reiver Overcheck Herringbone
Poacher Highland Tweed

A traditional herringbone pattern overlaid with a basic check. These are often known as Estate Tweeds, as each Highland estate would typically commission its own distinctive version for its gamekeepers and for when hunting, with colours tones chosen to match the estate’s local landscape and vegetation, for camouflage.

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See our Overcheck Herringbone Tweed fabrics & products

Barleycorn Tweeds

Barleycorn Harris Tweed
Barleycorn Harris Tweed

Barleycorn Tweeds have a prominent flecked pattern, giving it a richly coarse appearance where the complex colours merge into a single shade from a distance.

Striped Tweeds

Hartwist Striped
Brown 32035 Highland Tweed

Striped tweeds include a distinctive vertical line or lines to create visible stripes of various sizes.

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Houndstooth (or Dogtooth) Tweeds

Hartwist Houndstooth
Green 32020 Highland Tweed

A type of large broken checked pattern using pointed shapes instead of squares. Said to resemble the jagged back teeth of a dog. ‘Houndstooth’ describes the pattern in a larger size, ‘Dogtooth’ when it is smaller.

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Checked Tweeds

Glen Tilt Checked Blue
Glen Morar Highland Tweed

A pattern of horizontal and vertical lines that create small squares. The characteristic small check may also be enhanced by a larger overcheck in a third colour.

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Tartan Tweeds

Gunn Tartan
in Harris Tweed

Any tartan can also be woven in tweed fabric. The characteristic uneven texture of Harris Tweed in particular wonderfully evokes authentic old tartans.

Plaid Tweeds

Braveheart Plaid
Authentic Islay Tweed

Plaid-style tweeds feature a pattern of horizontal and vertical lines, not unlike a tartan.

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