We weave a lot of herringbone patterned fabric, all using natural fibres, usually New Zealand wool of course!
The herringbone pattern has been around for a long time. It was named for its similarity to the skeleton of a herring fish with its distinctive v-shaped weaving pattern. It's also known as a broken twill weave and you will find it used a lot in woollen tweed fabrics.
Evidently the earliest examples of the herringbone design were found in valuable Ancient Egyptian jewellery, in fabric originating in Ancient Italy and in religious texts. During the times of the Roman Empire roads were paved using the herringbone pattern. It seems that the popularity of the herringbone design disappeared with the Roman Empire but it became popular again during the European Renaissance, especially in religious architecture. Herringbone patterned textiles from earliest times have been found in Viking-age graves in Scandinavian countries and in Irish peat bogs.
The herringbone pattern is similar to the chevron except a chevron pattern zigzags non-stop across the fabric with each zig-zag having a sharp point, while the herringbone pattern has an offset point at the top and bottom of the zig-zags.
Chevron patterned textiles started appearing more frequently in textiles from the 1500's. The origin is Anglo-French and comes from its resemblance to the pattern of roofing rafters.
Whether you prefer herringbone or chevron is completely up to you. We can weave both easily - it's all in the way the warp is threaded. I'll show you when we are next warping one up!
Here are just a few of the herringbone fabrics we have woven. Each one has it's own character depending on the yarn used, the ends per inch (how many thread ends make up one inch), the colours used, the thickness of the yarn etc. It's easy to create your own style, whether contemporary or traditional with this versatile weaving pattern.
This is our TWEED fabric, a black and white tweed featuring both chevron and herringbone, designed and woven by us with the inspiration coming from an image sent by a friend holidaying in Scotland a few years ago. Sadly I don't still have the image to share with you, but we do have some of the fabric you can buy by the metre. (Coming to the website very soon!!)