Herringbone cloth is cloth weaved in a rather distinctive pattern. The pattern includes a series of slanted lines. The lines are parallel and their direction is reversed in every row. This gives the effect of alternating upside facing and upside down facing chevrons, or zigzags. For this reason, herringbone cloth is also called chevron cloth. Other names the herringbone pattern is called are arrowhead and fishbone.
Herringbone is actually the method of weaving. The word herringbone is derived from the fact that the pattern looks like the herring fish skeleton. The herringbone cloth is weaved in such a way that the cloth has a tweed look and spongy feel. The warp yarn will be a different color from the weft yarn to create the effect.
Herringbone cloth is most commonly made of wool or cotton fabric. This cloth is usually used to make outer layer clothing such as suits, jackets, sports coats and other items of sportswear and skirts. Herringbone cloth is also used to make scarves, socks and stockings. Tweed clothing, which is clothing made of rough wool, quite often features the herringbone pattern. This cloth is also used to make upholstery.
Men’s suits made of herringbone cloth were very popular in the 1940s. This is because they were thought to project status and authority and be exceedingly stylish. The suits were also very durable and hard wearing and therefore ideal for the working man. Herring bone suits are still quite the rage today and are still featured in many design houses’ collections. This is because the herringbone style while being a classic is still quite elegant and fashionable.
Herringbone suits are still work to the work place and to other functions. Typically, the suits will come in dark colours such as black, charcoal grey and navy blue for formal and business purposes. However, other colors are available. Herringbone jackets and coats can be paired with jeans, corduroy slack or formal pants. They can be paired with a button down shirt. It is best not to wear different herringbone items of clothing unless it is a suit.
Taking care of herringbone cloth will depend on the fabric it is made of. It is best to follow the care instructions on the label of the garment. Generally speaking, wool herringbone should be dry cleaned as washing will shrink it. However, certain wool fabrics are treated to prevent shrinking and therefore are washable. These should however be washed with great care. They should be washed in cold water (as this reduces the risk of shrinkage) with a mild soap or detergent. The fabric should not be wrung, but gently squeezed in a towel. The clothing should then be laid flat to dry.