Herringbone (formation)

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Herringbone refers to a pattern that consists of columns of short parallel lines, with all the lines in one column sloping in one direction and the lines in the next column sloping in the other direction. The resulting pattern resembles the bones in a fish. Such a pattern may be used in the weave of a cloth, for example.

A Herringbone is also one type of military formation. When in a Herringbone formation, the person at the front of the squad faces forward, while the rest of the squad lines up behind them, facing left and right, alternating as such. The final member of the squad in the herringbone formation faces backwards. When the squad decides to relocate, the person next to the member facing backwards will tap him on the shoulder to make sure he is not left behind. This formation is performed commonly after crossing obstacles.

Formation of Herringbone[edit]

The pattern consists of very short rows of slanted parallel lines. The rows are oriented in opposition to each other, causing the slanted lines to form a dense pattern of chevrons, with each slant meeting up at the end with a slant going in the opposite direction. The pattern is named for the herring fish, which is famous for being rather densely bony. Depending on personal taste, a herringbone pattern may be made with different colors or textures to make the lines stand out, or it may be left subtle and simple.

Clothing produced with a herringbone pattern[edit]

Clothing produced with a herringbone pattern is usually intended for use as an outer layer. Tweed, a fabric well known in England, is often produced with a herringbone pattern. Tweed is a coarse woolen cloth which is worn as an outer layer. The wool makes tweed highly insulating, and also resists water so that the garment can be worn outdoors for activities like hunting and shooting. Twill fabric is also produced with a herringbone pattern, in which the alternating lines are often ribbed, creating a raised pattern.

Other Uses Of Herringbone[edit]

In parquetry, more casually known as flooring, herringbone patterns can be accomplished in wood, brick, and tile. Subtle alternating colors may be used to create a distinctive floor pattern, or the materials used may be the same, causing the floor to look uniform from a distance. Laying a herringbone floor is very challenging, since the multitude of small rows must be made to line up smoothly, which can be difficult in a room which is not perfectly plumb. Small mistakes in a herringbone floor can be rather glaring because of the way the pattern lines up, so care must be taken.

Masonry also utilizes herringbone, often as an accent pattern on the sides of buildings and other structures. A floor or outdoor walkway made from stone or brick may be made entirely from herringbone, or herringbone stripes may be integrated into other patterns. Just like with flooring, the rows must be carefully aligned to maintain the integrity of the pattern.

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