A pattern consisting of evenly spaced, thin, parallel, vertical stripes that can be woven into any cloth. In woolen fabrics it almost always comes in a light colourwhite or grey–against a dark ground–grey, black, navy, though also in fine navy or red stripes with off white. In linens it’s often a colour such as navy, black, pink, blue or green with white or off white; however, there is no reason why any two colours can’t be worked together.

Lightweight pinstriped linens and sheers look especially good as under curtains to tweeds and plaids. And with floral chintzes too for that matter…

In suiting it produces a smart and seemingly masculine fabric that we all recognise, an industry staple for men’s tailoring.

However, classical pinstripes also work very well in interiors, excellent as a background pattern for most other textiles and furnishings, it even appears in floor coverings, from Wilton pile weaves to hessian flat weaves. Use alongside darker, quieter colours for a study or library, or with chintzes and brighter weaves for family rooms.

Suiting pinstripes in any of the classic widths and colours – usually grey, black or navy –   can be used for particularly sophisticated home furnishings. When combined  with plain, rough-ish weave peasant cloth linens or vintage hemp sheets it all become rather a smart shabby-chic look, as at home in the deep countryside as in  the honeyed-pine, antique-white-painted urban-chic environments.   A classic study -like combination would be to use pinstripes with a tonal dogs tooth check, a more colourful paisley and a fine plaid.

Pinstripes too, because of their unobtrusive formality can become important, or at least very useful, links  that help to hold together and formalise  any scheme, also  when they are mixed in with a monochromatic melee of weaves, classical prints, stripes, toiles, tickings etc.

Pinstripe suitings make really sumptuous walling, more masculine than the classic damasks, more contemporary too. The density of wool provides a level of soundproofing that we want and expect from a fabric walled room, and the stripes bring a level of subtle formality that works equally well as a backdrop for paintings and alongside books.

The no.7 hotel in Amsterdam has drawn upon men’s suiting in tones of grey with camel of all weights and constructions to make a really comfortable environment, warm, welcoming and surprisingly feminine.

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