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The perfect guide to select the right floral pattern on fabrics

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Floral fabric is not limited for the spring season, we can wear it at any time we want colors and flowers together. We wear them with our plain denim or shirts, and patterned pants or skirts. It doesn't matter how you wear them, because they will look stunning nevertheless. Such is the beauty of floral prints.

However, despite our grounded love for the prints and fabric, not all of us know the different patterns that come under the umbrella term floral. Often this lack of knowledge limits our choices, or we make the wrong ones. Therefore, to prevent you from causing such blunders, we give you a crash course on different varieties of floral prints and how you can choose the right one for yourself:

Different types of floral patterns

1. Acanthus

Acanthus is a large scale print that resembles a flower of the same name and has leaves arranged in an ornamental round pattern. It was designed in 1874 by designer William Harris and is used chiefly in upholstery.

2. Anthemion

A classical motif used in architecture by the Ancient Romans and Greeks, Anthemion is a floral print based on the honeysuckle plant. It is also known as palmette due to its resemblance to a fan-shaped palm leaf.

3. Art Nouveau

This print came about at the end of the 19th century between 1890 to 1910 and is part of an art style. Compared to the academic art of the 19th century, Art Nouveau, inspired by natural forms, is rhythmically curvy.

4. Abstract

Abstract art meets flowers, and the result is this unique print. Very much like the art, floral print utilizes shapes, colors, forms, and line to create a design that resembles nature.

5. Botanical

The print arose from an art form depicting the form, color, minute details of plant species. Likewise, the fabric features realistic illustrations of various flora.

6. Calico

Mostly found on cotton fabrics, Calico is a small scale floral print originating from India. Due to the flowers' small size, they are spread all over a material, making it indistinguishable from a distance.

7. Damask

Damask, originally a fabric woven using multiple techniques, is a print pattern that features intricate motifs scrolled and arranged in a grid. They are a large scale prints suitable for upholstery but not limited to the same.

8. Ditsy

Ditsy is a floral pattern that features small scale, extremely tiny flowers jammed with one another and spread all over, making the print indistinguishable.

9. Fleur-de-Lis

Fleur-de-Lis is a stylised lily flower that once featured in gold color on the former royal arms of France. On fabric, it is repeated in a specific manner.

10. Liberty

Liberty is floral print designed exclusively for cotton fabric in the 1920s by the British band, Liberty London. They are small scale and spread all over the fabric. They differ from calico with its curvilinear forms.

11. Mandala

Mandala is a spiritual symbol used in Buddhism and Hinduism, and are geometric designs. When these symbols are repetitive on fabrics, they are known as Suzani.

12. Paisley

Paisley is an ornamental floral design originating from Persia and features buta, teardrop-shaped designs. They were popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th century following the fame of Kashmiri shawls with the print. They get their name from a town in Scotland, namely, Paisley.

13. Quatrefoil

Quatrefoil is a geometrical design that takes the overall shape of four overlapping circles. Their names come from the four-leafed clover.

14. Retro

A combination of saturated colors and geometric patterns, Retro is inspired from floral patterns prior to the 60s and the 70s.

15. Toile de Jouy

A quintessential French print that depicts pastoral scenes on a backdrop of plain clean cloth. The illustrations are mostly in red and blue hues.

16. Vintage

This print defines feminity with the patterns in feminine hues. The vintage design is spread all over in irregularly and is usually oil-painted with attention to details.


How to choose your floral?

When it comes to choosing a floral print for yourself, there are some things you need to keep in mind. They are:


Each type of print has its own personality. For instance, vintage gives you a feminine touch, while abstract or other large-scale prints can give you a modern look. Therefore, choose a print that fits your personality, and above all else, catches your eye.


The size of the flowers and print can decide how you pull off the garment and how people perceive you. Meaning, the right pattern can make you look slimmer and the wrong one, fat. Moreover, the density of the print can also make you look fat or thin (large scale makes you look chubbier than the small ones, same goes for the density.)

Body type:

Different body type requires a different kind of clothing and fabric. Choose your floral based on yours and what suits it the best.


Your age can determine which floral print you should get and which will suit you. For instance, if you are a young woman in her 20s or early 30s, then a bolder and bigger print will suit you much better than it will for your grandmother or mother.


Color is an important factor when choosing most fabrics, floral print included. If you choose the wrong shade, one that doesn't suit your skin tone, you will end up with a disaster.

Style of garment:

Some prints suit a certain type of clothing better. For instance, large scale floral patterns suit fluid clothing like kimono or skirts. Donning them elsewhere will make you look like wallpaper. Therefore, before you choose a fabric, decide what you want to wear first.

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