Herringbone pattern

Herringbone pattern

Parallel to boundary

45° rotated
Variations by ratio




The herringbone pattern is an arrangement of rectangles used for floor tilings and road pavement, so named for a fancied resemblance to the bones of a fish such as a herring.

The blocks can be rectangles or parallelograms. The block edge length ratios are usually 2:1, and sometimes 3:1, but need not be even ratios.

The herringbone pattern has a symmetry of wallpaper group pgg, as long as the blocks are not of different color (i.e., considering the borders alone).

Herringbone patterns can be found in wallpaper, mosaics, cloth and clothing (herringbone cloth), security printing, herringbone gears, jewellery, sculpture, and elsewhere.


Egyptian mats with herringbone pattern with two different colors Salzburg, Austria pavement Budapest, Hungary pavement

Related tilings

As a geometric tessellation, the herringbone pattern is topologically identical to the regular hexagonal tiling. This can be seen if the rectangular blocks are distorted slightly.

Parallelogram distorted

Hexagonal distorted

hexagonal tiling


  • (Page 476, Tilings by polygons, #19 of 56 polygonal isohedral types by quadrangles)
  • www.britannica.com