Status – As an indication of wealth or opulence, uses the motifs (but not limited to) of gold chains, jewels, animal skins and ornate scroll work often all in combination and in rich vibrant colours.
Checks/Spots/Stripes – patterns of squares, circles and rectangles of varying size, colour and orientation i.e. horizontal/vertical as well as edge definition. A broken or ‘non symmetrical’ circle is still considered a spot.
Scenic/Pictorial – Traditionally called a Toile de Jouy, uses figurative scenes of an illustrative quality (now more photographic) and often with a narrative and generally in a horizontal orientation. Traditionally printed in monochromatic colour on a plain white or ivory ground.
Paisley – Stylised tear drop motif often with abstracted floral elements in accompaniment, now seen with various combinations of many types of fashion prints. Paisley takes its modern name from the Scottish town which saw a great deal of production of these patterns in the 1800’s. These motifs are now most recognisable as Indian or Middle Eastern from where its tradition is embedded.
Tribal/Ethnic – Perhaps more appropriately termed World Cultures, using motifs and elements specific to a nationality or culture with a western interpretation. Popular areas of inspiration are Africa, India and Arabia but also include the folk arts of Eastern Europe and South America. Care must be taken not to use motifs or symbols of a spiritual or special meaning to the culture being used as inspiration.