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African Handbags: Herringbone Pattern Overview

African Handbag with Herringbone Print

When shopping for B.Eclectic’s handbags, we’d like for you to know the history behind our prints, patterns, and designs. It’s very important to us to educate readers about our style sources. Each design has a meaning and every pattern has a backstory.


Herringbone is a timeless pattern that is used in African handbags. To fully appreciate the beauty of these bags, it’s best to understand exactly what this pattern is and where it came from. We’ve put together a little guide to herringbone that will answer all these questions and turn you into an expert at spotting this design!  

What Is The Herringbone Pattern?

Herringbone is a V-shaped woven pattern, also called a broken twill. Unlike a regular twill that is a diagonal weave that goes over and under the same amount of warps, a broken twill is reversed every two warps. 


In less technical terms, it can be described as a striped layout with zig-zags (or a “broken” zig-zag). This pattern can be woven or printed and is also commonly confused for chevron.

Herringbone Pattern History

The name “herringbone” comes from the idea that this pattern looks similar to the bone structure of a herring fish.  The skeleton looks like a pattern of Vs separated by a thick line. 


Although the description refers to a fabric herringbone pattern, it actually started as a flooring design. The Ancient Romans laid rectangular blocks in this zigzag style to make the roads more stable. Now, you can find herringbone designs on castle walls, tapestries, kitchen backsplashes, etc. 

What’s The Difference Between Herringbone And Chevron?

As mentioned earlier, herringbone and chevron are often mistaken for each other. While both of these patterns look very similar, there is a distinct difference. The easiest way to spot this difference is to look at the zigzag. 

If it’s a continuous zigzag pattern, then it’s chevron. But if the zigzag is broken, it’s herringbone. 

Herringbone Handbag Examples

Now that you understand the background of the herringbone pattern, it’s time to look at a super cute example of it. 

Black and Brown African Print Crossbody Bag

This African print handbag is the embodiment of a bold staple piece that will never go out of style. It’s a large crossbody bag that features a classic black and white herringbone pattern with an African twist.  


As a nod to African culture, this bag uses cowrie shells. These were used as currency in West Africa up until the 20th century. Cowrie shells have also been used to decorate accessories, clothing, and even women’s hair. They are a symbol of prosperity, wealth, and fertility. 


On the other side of this African handbag, there’s a houndstooth print. This print resembles the tooth of a dog and dates back to Scotland in the 19th century. B.Eclectic’s signature harlequin stitching brings together pops of green and gold fabric at the top of the handbag. The combination of these patterns and colors makes this bag a head-turner that will be sure to capture everyone’s attention.


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Summary

Herringbone print on an African handbag is a match made in heaven. This staggered zig-zag look, originally designed to make the roads smoother, has come a long way. From floors to jewelry to print purses, it’s sure to stun others with its elegance.