Everything You Need to Know About Houndstooth

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We’ve been sharing some insight into textile patterns recently. Previously we’ve discussed the Prince of Wales Check and the history of tweed. Today we’re covering houndstooth and everything you need to know about this iconic pattern.

Houndstooth is a two-colour pattern made up of a broken check. It’s a repeated pattern consisting of abstract four sided shapes. These shapes are reminiscent of a tooth shape, which is how the pattern got its name.

Something that may surprise you about the houndstooth pattern is that it has an impressively ancient history. A version of the houndstooth check was discovered on the Gerum Cloak found in a Swedish peat bog which dates back to between 360BC and 100BC. Now that’s what we call an enduring traditional pattern!

The houndstooth pattern we wear today has a more contemporary history. It was developed by weavers in the Scottish Lowlands who worked with wool cloth. This type of handmade weaving started to gain worldwide popularity in the 1930s.

Thanks to this worldwide popularity, over the years the houndstooth pattern has grown and adapted. The original woven wools are still the most popular way to wear it, but houndstooth can now be found in different colours, materials and even as a simple print.

However you like to wear houndstooth, we think it is an attractive and versatile pattern. It works brilliantly for wool suits, sports jackets and even trousers. It can also be found replicated on silk handkerchiefs and ties if you want to start smaller.

Is your wardrobe crying out for some traditionally made woven houndstooth garments? If you’re thinking about introducing it for the first time, we think a sports jacket or blazer is an excellent initial step. You can find out more about our bespoke sports jackets here.