Adventures in Dressmaking: Yes, there is a difference between chevrons and zigzags...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yes, there is a difference between chevrons and zigzags...

We all love chevrons. At least we think we do. I guess they're still gaining in popularity, although it's been, what, 5 years now since they first became trendy? Anyway, I guess since I'm seeing them everywhere now, it's bugging me more and more when people get the names mixed up.

Yes, there is a difference between zigzags and chevrons. It's not just the number, either--like, one chevron repeated is zigzags. Nope. Luckily, I found this great infographic in this post on a graphic design co's blog. Picture = thousand words, all that--I couldn't have explained it better!! Check it out and spread the word. ;)

Source: Honest Agency

Now, maybe I'm being too picky, and it's just semantics, but... it's not just, really!! There is a definite difference between zigzags and a chevron pattern, right?!, and I just want the world to be safe from pattern confusion... anyone with me, or does my desire for accuracy bother you?

22 comments:

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. GAH! I love you for posting this! It is such a huge pet peeve of mine that these are confused! Thanks for bringing it to the world's attention.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think both are wildly overused (probably because of Pinterest, like so many other trends) ... so I just vote to strike Chevron and Zigzag patterns from home decor in general! Though, yes, there is definitely a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Auna Kay - totally agree with you! I made an ugly poster on my site over a year ago saying "herringbone is the new chevron" and boy was I totally wrong!

      Delete
  3. Yesssssss, the mix-up of terminology bugs me, too. You're not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for this post! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't agree. A chevron is the pattern unit, and the two examples in the image are just different chevron pattern repeats. Zigzag is a subset of chevron — it's still a chevron pattern. A zigzag can be accurately described as both "zigzag" and "chevron."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kind of see what you mean --seems like a zig is the same as a chevron, and when you have a bunch of them, it's zigzags/a zigzag pattern. I think of "chevrons" when you have a bunch of them stacked vertically...

      Delete
  6. It doesn't really bother me. I feel like a zig zag is made up of chevron shapes and people just like saying 'chevron" right now. it sounds cooler than zigzag, i'm ok with that.

    I do get annoyed when other words are used incorrectly (like "their", "they're" and "there" or "your" and "you're") But i've been know to make that mistake as a typo before too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Meh, I'm very pet-peeve prone but I don't agree with this graphic designer at all. That image labeled "chevrons" in the top left corner looks like herringbone. Just because she offset the rows slightly (it's worth noting I've never seen a fabric, paper, or graphic with that offset look) to define each column doesn't make them any more chevrons than the ones that are not offset. If you drew a line down each column in the one labeled zig-zags, guess what-- they become chevrons. Just think of lining up rows of the Chevron gas station's logo-- guess what, it makes zig-zags.

    Plus, I've been reading design blogs like Design Sponge for years now, and they have much more influence than some random design agency. If D*S and Apartment Therapy call it chevrons, it is so... because old habits are hard to break, and because they're so influential over their readers. Just think of the thousands of mom-bloggers who have labeled posts "chevron this" and "chevron that". Even if the pattern was not chevron patterns before... it is now.

    So, all zig-zags are chevrons, but not all chevrons are zig-zags. And all herringbone is chevron, but not all chevrons are herringbone.

    Also, why is this an issue? I think the real problem here is that people are still using this tired, overplayed look!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good questions!! I do wonder what the big fab design blogs say... true that an industry standard matters!

      I guess it seems like a zig is the same as a chevron, and a bunch of them are zigzags/a zigzag pattern. I think of "chevrons" as a vertical repeat, I guesss....... the example above does look like herringbone instead.

      Delete
  8. I'm a very simple person so what you've given me as chevron vs zigzag works to me. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Actually I agree with the two comments above that say the picture is inaccurate, I've also not seen a chevron not matched up before. I think chevrons are made up of zig zags, so I don't think it's wrong to call repeated zig zag patterns a chevron. They look the same to me normally, I'll have to keep an eye out for mismatched patterns

    ReplyDelete
  10. Absolutely!! I primarily make quilts, and I refuse to call a certain collection "chevrons" because it's clearly zig-zags. And all the quilters look at me like I'm completely insane. I was in the military, and that wasn't a zig-zag on my arm. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always thought "chevron" was just the fancy French word for "zigzag". But I'm not big on either of them so I don't have to talk about them much! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you! I agree with you. What is herringbone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like an interrupted chevron, common classic blazer fabric... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herringbone_(cloth)

      Delete
  13. I can see the difference and it's interesting to read this, never know about chevrons! But now that I do, I was just browsing Etsy and it really bothered me how so many sellers were listing items as 'chevron pattern' when it's evidently zigzag! grrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  14. Chevron, Herringbone, Ricrac, Ric rac, Zigzag, or zig zag - just make a quilt and enjoy it, share it, or give it with love. You don't want to turn into the dreaded Quilt Police, judging skills and fabric choices.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just found this post after mentioning that fashion bloggers/vloggers seem to call anything zigzag 'chevron' and anything burgundy/maroon coloured 'oxblood' on twitter...yes, I think their should be clarification because there IS a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  16. There's plenty of the unmatched chevron patterns in digital scrapbooking right now.

    ReplyDelete
Pin It button on image hover