What’s a Chevron Rug?

SGK567A from Safavieh Kids Shag by Safavieh

Looking to purchase a new rug? Looking for something that breaks the mold of plain-colored rugs? Looking for something fun and whimsical but still matches with a variety of styles? Enter, the chevron rug.

Chances are, if you saw a chevron rug, you’d know exactly what it is. A chevron rug is a rug with a zigzag, V-shaped pattern to it. Basically, imagine a striped rug but instead of those stripes being straight, they’re zigzagged. It’s great for anyone who likes striped rugs but is looking for something with a touch more personality.

Chevron patterns appear in clothing, tablecloths, purses, architecture, uniforms, and yes- even in Charlie Brown’s iconic sweater. If you’re thinking about purchasing a chevron rug, what should you keep in mind? Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about chevron rugs.

History of Chevron Rugs

FT-305 from Frontier by Surya

How did chevron turn into the popular pattern that it is today? Unsurprisingly, the chevron pattern has a history that goes far beyond modern style. The chevron pattern actually dates all the way back to 1800 BC. The pattern was first found in ancient Greece, and more specifically, in the palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. It first appeared in many different forms of ancient art, such as stone carvings and pottery.

However, the word chevron did not appear until the 14th century. The origin of the word is both French and Latin and derives from the resemblance the symbol has to rafters. In addition to appearing in different forms of artwork, the symbol has also been used for decades in military garb, with the specific purpose of signifying rank. It also has appeared frequently throughout history in police uniforms. The chevron pattern also appears throughout the history of heraldry, particularly in Normandy and Scandinavia. And, you’ll see it in insignias of higher education institutions, such as Oxford and Trinity College.

Beyond these uses, the chevron also began to appear in parquet floors in the 19th century in Paris. In fact, this pattern continues to be popular in many modern dwellings in the area. As you can see, the chevron has been an important symbol throughout history. Now we can easily make use of it in our homes and offices.

Herringbone vs Chevron vs Zigzag

SGK567A from Safavieh Kids Shag by Safavieh

After doing a little research on the chevron rug, you’ll probably notice that it looks similar to two other types of patterns- the zigzag and the herringbone. What’s the difference between these patterns? Let’s take a look.


There isn’t really anything major that distinguishes a zigzag pattern from a chevron or herringbone pattern. Typically, the word zigzag is used to refer to any pattern that repeats in a “z” pattern. Zigzags also come in solid colors, and their flowing stripes peak on the reverse side of the line of symmetry.


Herringbone is a variation of the chevron pattern- or, some consider the chevron to be a variation of the herringbone pattern. Whatever way you look at it, the herringbone and chevron are certainly similar, and many people have trouble distinguishing the two. The main difference is that herringbone stripes tend to be much thinner and closer together than chevron stripes. And, the herringbone’s color segments are all rectangular. In fact, each individual segment is rectangular with right angles appearing on all four corners. With the herringbone pattern, the peak to peak segments have two colors.

The herringbone pattern is typically associated with a retro vibe, and it was particularly popular during the 1970s. Unlike the chevron pattern, whose name has Latin/French origin, the herringbone is actually named for its close resemblance to the skeleton of the Herring. The herringbone pattern actually has Celtic roots, which date back as early as 600 BC. Traditionally, the pattern first appeared in wool tweeds in Ireland.

The use of the herringbone pattern can also be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was used in textiles and jewels for ancient kings. It was also made up the pattern of paving stones on Roman highways. Just like the chevron pattern, the herringbone pattern is now a part of our everyday lives.

How to Decorate With a Chevron Rug

Amanda Moroccan Chevron Tassel from Diana by NuLoom

Just like striped or other patterned rugs, decorating with a chevron rug isn’t always easy. How do you pull it off?

Less is More

It’s no secret that chevron is bold and eye-catching. And, even though we love it, less is more when it comes to decorating with chevron. In other words, if you’re going to buy a chevron rug, you don’t need to paint your walls in a chevron pattern or buy chevron-patterned decor. The rug will do all the work when it comes to adding a statement.

That being said, if you do use a chevron rug, don’t feel like chevron is off the table for other areas of the home. If you want to tie the chevron pattern together throughout the home, you could place a chevron rug in your entryway, paint a chevron accent wall in your living room, and then hang up chevron paintings in your dining room.

You could find even smaller ways to complement your chevron rug. For example, if you have a chevron rug in your living room, you could buy chevron-patterned throw pillows or a chevron-patterned lamp. Or, if you want to get really creative, you could refinish one of your dresser drawers using the chevron pattern, or paint the chevron pattern onto a ceiling fan.  This is a simple way to incorporate the pattern without being overbearing.

Pick Your Furnishings Carefully

Because chevron is such a noisy pattern, it’s usually best to pair it with furnishings that have a quieter, more laid back vibe. Furnishings with neutral hues, muted patterns, and blocks of solid color are usually the way to go. Textural accessories also look great when paired with a chevron rug. Examples of textural accessories include wooden planters, steel lamps, or gold bookends.

Color Coordinate

Last but not least, you’ll want to be careful when choosing the color of your chevron rug. While rugs that alternate between two bold colors look awesome in theory, it can be very hard to coordinate this look with an entire room. That’s why we suggest choosing a chevron rug that alternates between white or cream and a bolder color.

If you really want a chevron rug that alternates between two bold colors, we suggest placing it in a room that has neutral tones and a very minimalist style. This way, the rug will serve as a simple pop of color.

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