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Herringbone vs. Chevron: Here’s How to Tell the Difference

Herringbone and chevron often get mixed up, thanks to their similar v-shaped patterns. Here is how to tell the difference between them.

How to Tell the Difference Between Chevron and Herringbone

The main difference between herringbone and chevron patterns lies in the way the edges of each rectangle are fitted together. In chevron, rectangles are fitted together at 45-degree angles. In herringbone, rectangles are fitted together at 90-degree angles.

In the first of the two images below, you will see a chevron pattern. Note the pointed ends of each zigzag. See the thin line coming down from each of the points in the zigzag? When you focus on the line, you will see two rectangles: one on the left side of the line, and one on the right side of the line. Each of those rectangles has, thanks to the line, a diagonal-cut side. Now, notice the pattern in the second of the two images below. See how the lines which divide the short (width) end of each rectangle are straight (not diagonal)? This is a sign of a herringbone pattern.

What Is Herringbone

Popularized in flooring and tiles, herringbone is a series of individual rectangles, placed so that the width of one meets the length of another. This creates a series of broken-up zigzags, an elegant way to add background pattern in home decor.

What Is Chevron?

Chevron is a decorative pattern used in fabrics, floors and paneled wood which features a series of rectangles. Each rectangle has a diagonal width and adjacent to the width of the other. The result is a smooth zigzag formation of defined angles or points.

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