From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Red and white houndstooth pattern

Houndstooth, hounds tooth check or hound's tooth (and similar spellings), also known as dogstooth, dogtooth, dog's tooth, (French: pied-de-poule, lit.'hen's foot'), (Chinese: 千鸟格; pinyin: qiānniǎo gé; lit. 'thousand-bird pattern'), is a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, traditionally in black and white or such contrasting dark and light pattern, although other colour combinations are also often applied.

The classic houndstooth pattern is an example of a tessellation.

A smaller-scale version of the pattern can be referred to as puppytooth.[1]

Design and history[edit]

The oldest Bronze Age houndstooth textiles found so far are from the Hallstatt Celtic Salt Mine, Austria, 1500-1200 BC.[1] One of the best known early occurrence of houndstooth is the Gerum Cloak,[2] a garment uncovered in a Swedish peat bog, dated to between 360 and 100 BC.[3] Contemporary houndstooth checks may have originated as a pattern in woven tweed cloth from the Scottish Lowlands,[4] but are now used in many other woven fabric aside from wool. The traditional houndstooth check is made with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads in both warp and weft/filling woven in a simple 2:2 twill, two over/two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. In an early reference to houndstooth, De Pinna, a New York City–based men's and women's high-end clothier founded in 1885, included houndstooth checks along with gun club checks and Scotch plaids as part of its 1933 spring men's suits collection.[5] The actual term houndstooth for the pattern is not recorded before 1936.[6]

Oversized houndstooth patterns were also employed prominently at Alexander McQueen's Fall 2009 Collection, entitled Horn of Plenty.[7] The patterns were a reference to Christian Dior's signature tweed suits.[8]

Houndstooth patterns, especially black-and-white houndstooth, have long been associated regionally with the University of Alabama (UA). This is because the longtime UA football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant often (though not exclusively) wore black-and-white houndstooth fedoras.[9] The university has attempted to assert a trademark for houndstooth, especially when used in conjunction with other symbols of the school and its football team, a legal strategy that has been largely unsuccessful.[10][11]

The Australian department store David Jones's branding—a black-on-white houndstooth pattern—is one of the most recognised corporate identities in Australia. A government-sponsored panel judged it in 2006 as one of Australia's top-10 favourite trademarks.[12] The iconic design was the result of a 1967 rebranding exercise by chairman Charles Lloyd Jones, Jr., who wished that the store would be so well known by the design so as to not require the use of the name on the packing. It was allegedly inspired by the houndstooth design on a Miss Dior perfume bottle of his mother's, Hannah Jones.[13] On 25 July 2016, David Jones' introduced a new logo, with a revised font style and removed references to the houndstooth online.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Style hints & tips, everything a gentlemen needs to know about style - Charles Tyrwhitt". www.ctshirts.co.uk.
  2. ^ "Gerumsmanteln-Färganalys - Historiska Museet". historiska.se.
  3. ^ "Sveriges äldsta bevarade klädesplagg - Historiska Museet". historiska.se.
  4. ^ Dunbar, John Telfer: The Costume of Scotland, London: Batsford, 1984, ISBN 0-7134-2534-2, 1984 (paperback 1989, ISBN 0-7134-2535-0)
  5. ^ "Gun Club Checks". The New Yorker. New Yorker Magazine, Inc. 9: 28. 1933. OCLC 1760231. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  6. ^ "Houndstooth". Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  7. ^ Eric Wilson (11 March 2009). "McQueen Leaves Fashion in Ruins". New York Times. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  8. ^ Sarah Mower (10 March 2009). "Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Alexander McQueen". Vogue. Retrieved 2 November 2015. The clothes were, for the most part, high-drama satires of twentieth-century landmark fashion: parodies of Christian Dior houndstooth New Look and Chanel tweed suits [...]
  9. ^ University of Alabama Supply Store. "Houndstooth, the Bear, and the University of Alabama". University Supply Store. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Jon Solomon (November 13, 2013). "Who has a right to use houndstooth? University of Alabama fights, even without a trademark". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Kent Faulk (March 9, 2016). "Trademark board tosses Alabama houndstooth opinion but fight may continue". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "IP Australia - Trademarks Centenary 2006". Australian Government. 2006. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  13. ^ McGinness, Mark (17 July 2010). "Name synonymous with DJs". The Age. Retrieved 10 June 2013.

External links[edit]