Check (pattern)

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Cloth of green gingham in check pattern
The original check pattern was the ancient oriental chess-board
A heraldic escutcheon chequy gules and argent
Stylish check patterned Zentai

A check (also checker, Brit: chequer) is a pattern of modified stripes consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical lines forming squares.


The word is derived from the ancient Persian language word shah, meaning "king", from the oriental game of chess, played on a squared board, particularly from the expression shah mat, "the king is dead", in modern chess parlance "check-mate". The word entered the French language as echec in the 11th century,[1] thence into English.

Other uses[edit]

The check pattern is also used in many areas other than textile styles, for example: on a board used by the mediaeval Exchequer to perform financial computations, and on a board used for playing checkers and chess, and in heraldry.

See also[edit]


  • Harrison, E.S.; Our Scottish District Checks; National Association of Woollen Manufacturers, Edinburgh; 1968 p6.


  1. ^ Larousse Dictionnaire de la Langue Francaise, Lexis, Paris, 1993