What is "Harlequin" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 05-Apr-2023 (1 year, 1 month, 23 days ago)
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Harlequin is a distinctive and intricate pattern commonly used in textiles, known for its vibrant and multicolored diamond shapes. This pattern derives its name from the character Harlequin in traditional Italian theater, known for his colorful and chequered costume. In textile design, Harlequin pattern adds a playful and lively element to fabrics, making it a popular choice for various applications.

Meaning and Definition

Harlequin pattern is characterized by a repetitive arrangement of diamond-shaped motifs in contrasting colors. The pattern is created by alternating and intersecting rows of diamonds, resulting in a visually striking design. The diamond shapes in the Harlequin pattern can vary in size, with smaller diamonds creating a more intricate and detailed look, while larger diamonds produce a bolder and more dramatic effect.

Types of Harlequin Patterns:

  1. Traditional Harlequin: This type of Harlequin pattern features a classic color palette, including vibrant primary colors such as red, blue, and yellow, arranged in a balanced and symmetrical manner.
  2. Contemporary Harlequin: Contemporary variations of the Harlequin pattern experiment with different color combinations, including pastels, metallics, and even monochromatic schemes. These modern interpretations give the pattern a fresh and updated look.
  3. Geometric Harlequin: Geometric Harlequin patterns incorporate additional geometric shapes, such as triangles or hexagons, within the diamond motifs, creating a more intricate and complex design.
  4. Abstract Harlequin: Abstract Harlequin patterns deviate from the traditional diamond shape, exploring more organic or irregular shapes while maintaining the overall essence of the Harlequin design.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

The Harlequin pattern is widely used by numerous international textile brands and manufacturers, enhancing their collections with its vibrant and eye-catching design. Here are some of the top users and manufacturers:

  1. Christian Lacroix: Known for their bold and artistic textile designs, Christian Lacroix incorporates the Harlequin pattern into their high-end fashion collections, infusing garments with a sense of theatricality and extravagance.
  2. Designers Guild: Designers Guild, a renowned interior design company, features Harlequin patterns in their fabric and wallpaper collections, adding a touch of whimsy and color to home dcor.
  3. Roberto Cavalli: Roberto Cavalli, a luxury fashion brand, utilizes Harlequin patterns in their designs, often combining them with exotic prints and opulent embellishments for a truly lavish aesthetic.
  4. Etro: Etro, recognized for its eclectic and vibrant textiles, incorporates Harlequin patterns in their collections, blending them with other geometric and floral motifs to create a unique visual tapestry.
  5. Harlequin Fabrics and Wallpapers: Harlequin Fabrics and Wallpapers, a notable brand, specializes in producing a wide range of textiles featuring the Harlequin pattern. They offer diverse color palettes and design variations, catering to different tastes and styles.
  6. Osborne & Little: Osborne & Little, a renowned British brand, includes Harlequin patterns in their fabric and wallpaper collections, showcasing the pattern's versatility and adaptability across various interior design applications.

Tips for Handling Harlequin Fabrics

When working with Harlequin fabrics, it is important to consider a few key tips to ensure their longevity and maintain their visual appeal:

  1. Careful Cleaning: Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance, as different fabrics may have specific requirements. Some Harlequin fabrics may need to be dry cleaned, while others may be suitable for gentle machine washing.
  2. Avoid Abrasion: Harlequin fabrics with intricate details and raised surfaces are more susceptible to snagging and abrasion. Handle them with care to prevent damage, and avoid contact with sharp objects.
  3. Protect from Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading and deterioration of Harlequin fabrics. Protect them from excessive sunlight by using curtains, blinds, or UV-protective films on windows.
  4. Storage Considerations: When storing Harlequin fabrics, ensure they are clean and completely dry. Avoid folding or storing them in damp or humid conditions to prevent mildew or mold growth.


The Harlequin pattern is a vibrant and dynamic design that adds a playful touch to textiles. Its roots in traditional Italian theater and its timeless appeal make it a popular choice for fashion, interior design, and other applications. By incorporating Harlequin fabrics, international brands and manufacturers create visually striking and lively collections that captivate and inspire.

A large check turned 45 degrees to form a diamond in two or more contrasting colors; suggested by the loudly checked costume of a harlequin.
A design motif dominated by diamond shapes or checks in 3 or more contrasting colors as in a harlequin costume.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

1. Term means 'soft and light' - and was originally used for Japanese waste silk. Fabric is now made in many Far Eastern countries on power looms in plain or twill weave; is heavier than traditional...
In the world of textiles, the sand wash technique is a unique and fascinating process used to achieve a distinct aesthetic and texture on fabrics. This article aims to provide a comprehensive...
Shorts 252
Shorts are a garment worn by both men and women over their pelvic area and the upper part of the upper legs or more, but not the entire length of the leg. They are called "shorts" because they are a...
The removal of dye from a fabric by rubbing. Crocking can be caused by insufficient dye penetration or fixation, the use of improper dyes or dyeing methods, or insufficient washing and treatment...
Antimicrobial is a wet finishing technique that is durable. It is an application of chemicals that inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria and fungi. This is of particular use on wicking...

Add a definition

Add a definition for a textile term that you know about! Send us an email & tell us:
  • The term you want to define
  • Its definition in 500 words or less
  • Attach an image if necessary.
  • Optionally, tell us about yourself in 200 words or less!

Companies for Harlequin:

If you manufacture, distribute or otherwise deal in Harlequin, please fill your company details below so that we can list your company for FREE! Send us the following details:
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Attach a logo, if necessary.
  • Optionally, tell us about yourself in 200 words or less!

(s) 2024 TextileGlossary.com Some rights reserved. • Sitemap