Moiré Wallpaper Patterns

moiré   [mwä-rA´] noun

1.  an irregular wavy finish on a fabric (like silk) or a fabric having a wavy, watered appearance;

2.  an independent usually shimmering pattern seen when two geometrically regular patterns (as two sets of parallel lines or two halftone screens) are superimposed especially at an acute angle. [Etymology: French, 1818]



Left-click and drag the diamond to control the pattern.

Creating designs with Spirograph is creating moiré patterns!

The word  moiré  comes from the French word for "watered". In English, it originally referred to the shimmering quality of the French moiré silk. A moiré pattern occurs when two or more different geometrically regular patterns are superimposed. A classic moiré pattern is composed of two sets of parallel lines that are at a slight angle. You can see this effect in real life if you go past two fences located one behind another or when you look at folded silk stockings. A moiré pattern does not necessarily have to be composed of lines. It can also be composed of circles, dots or any other repetitive pattern, consist of multiple colours, and be either moving or still. The essential quality of a moiré pattern is that a new pattern emerged from two existing ones. Often the new pattern seems to resonate or implies a depth not seen in the patterns individually.

Moiré patterns have been implemented by the Japanese and other Asian cultures for centuries, weaving fabrics and baskets with them. More recently, the French became known for their moiré textiles, particularly silk scarves. Today, clothing, fabric, wallpaper, and many other items are made with moiré patterns. The moiré look was especially popular during the Victorian era and could be found on everything from wallcoverings, to gowns, to furniture.

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