What Is Houndstooth Fabric?

What Is Houndstooth Fabric?

A timeless design that frequently appears on catwalks and in-home interiors, houndstooth fabric never goes out of style. The houndstooth pattern is often found in monochrome colours, though it can also incorporate other shades such as red for a bolder look. Take a read of our blog post below for all things houndstooth!



Also known as dogtooth, traditional houndstooth check has its origins as far back as 360 BC. However, black and white houndstooth fabric became more mainstream in 19th century Scotland, before emerging into the fashion world in the 1930s.

Back then, houndstooth fabric was known as a symbol of wealth. It was picked up later on by world-famous designers such as Christian Dior, and has dominated fashion and home interior catalogues ever since.



The world-famous houndstooth check pattern is an example of what’s known as ‘tessellation’. Made of broken checks and abstract, geometric shapes, houndstooth is made with an intricate weaving pattern. 

Specifically, manufacturers make a ‘warp’ layout, woven in a simple pattern with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads – most often black and white. Using a 2:2 twill weave structure, the weft goes over two threads and then under two threads. Look closely at a pair of jeans and you’ll see the same pattern.

The end result is a two-tone colour layout with a broken check appearance. It got its ‘houndstooth’ name due to its resemblance to jagged teeth.



Traditionally, hounds or dogtooth woven fabric would be made of wool. While wool itself was cheap and accessible to everyone, the process was difficult, which was why it was generally associated with the upper classes.

In modern-day houndstooth fabric, we might see wool. However, this isn’t always suitable for some applications – some customers may prefer a material they can machine wash, or they may want a lighter fabric for home drapes. 

This is where synthetic houndstooth comes into its own. Modern-day textiles see houndstooth being made from cotton, polyester and other animal fibres. The way it is woven gives houndstooth a natural elasticity – making it favourable for home interior applications.



While these terms are generally interchangeable, it’s worth noting houndstooth’s other names. For example, you may hear of it referred to as pied-de-poule. 

You may also hear the term ‘puppytooth’. This refers to a smaller-scale version of houndstooth, with a simple 2:2 twill effect.




You can use the houndstooth pattern for a range of home interiors thanks to its versatility. As a naturally stretchy fabric, the material lends itself to a houndstooth cushion cover. It is naturally pliable and lends itself to your own upholstery designs.

Choose a durable enough material for a beautiful houndstooth chair. Synthetic fibres may work best here for a higher rub test, but always check to see if it’s best for decorative or everyday use.

If you want to spruce up your curtains, wool houndstooth fabric is the ideal choice. Not only is wool naturally fire retardant, it is also insulative – perfect for period properties or just those at the mercy of the British weather! 

For a lighter use curtain application, try using houndstooth as a Roman blind. This works particularly well in kitchens, and once again, we recommend synthetic fabrics. The natural juxtaposition of light and dark colours will allow natural light to filter through without being overpowering. Perfect for those who like a bit of balance!

Black and white houndstooth fabric is a popular choice for home designers or those just starting out with their interior design projects. Thanks to the monochrome pattern, the two ‘tones’ go with just about anything. Consider using houndstooth against block colours for a mix and match effect.



Houndstooth is absolutely in style, and it’s unlikely to go out of style anytime soon. Popularised by fashion gurus such as Christian Dior, who exploded into the mainstream with his 1948 Haute Couture spring/summer collection, the fabric has never lost its momentum.

Few fabric patterns look as great as houndstooth print does on items around the home. Choose the classic monochrome or mix up the darker black shapes with your own pops of colour, such as mustard yellows or bright reds.



We offer a range of check fabrics here at the-millshop-online. We’ll be happy to guide you through the whole geometric fabric range and help with any queries you may have.

Need more inspiration for your home interior and upholstery projects? Don’t forget to look for more ideas on houndstooth, synthetic fabrics and more on our home style blog.