You would probably recognize it even if you don’t know its name—buffalo check, after all, dates back more than 160 years. And that’s just in the United States! But what is buffalo check fabric? What is it about this iconic pattern that has stood the test of time? And how can you best integrate it into your home today?
A History of Buffalo Check Fabric
A longtime staple in the textile world, buffalo check fabric dates back to the mid-1800s. What likely began as a simpler alternative to more complex weaving patterns has become a staple in a wide array of design styles. Its classic bold colors and wide intersecting stripe design have long been popular as fabric. Its uses range from clothing and scarves to wallpaper, upholstery, and even gift wrap. It has stood the test of time because of its versatility and classic look. Buffalo check is also known as buffalo plaid. It is often seen as a red-and-black combination, but it can come in a variety of colors. However, it is always just two colors with wide, evenly spaced stripes that cross to form equal-sized squares.
Buffalo Check in Today’s Design
When it comes to integrating buffalo check upholstery fabric into your home’s design, you have many options. Though on clothing it is often thought of as a cold-weather look—think heavy shirts and scarves—in the interior design world it’s a timeless look that you can use all year. The print’s boldness lends itself well to accent walls, individual pieces of furniture, and even bedding.
In the more modern trend toward clean lines and light (or white) walls, a pop of intensity from a buffalo check accent can add sophistication and interest to your space. The possibilities are endless; we will focus on a few key areas to get your creative juices flowing.
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Main Living Areas
Buffalo check fabric works great for accent pillows in a family room, or as a patterned rug over hardwood flooring in a dining area. If you want to go bolder, consider upholstering high back chairs in this pattern to balance out a softer look to sofas. Alternately, if you have a bar countertop, buffalo check makes a great option for upholstered bar stools in an otherwise-monochromatic kitchen.
The master bedroom should be a relaxing space. What’s more relaxing than curling up with a warm blanket? Buffalo check print blankets are always popular; the color options often range from the traditional red and black to ivory and taupe or white and grey. And since many people swap out bedding with the changing seasons, fall and winter can be a great time to integrate buffalo check in the form of cozy flannel sheets or a fun duvet cover without a long-term commitment.
Another great way to integrate buffalo check is to opt for those softer color pairings in a nursery. Or perhaps integrate a bolder black and white option in an older child’s room. The trick is to not overdo it. If you are considering this pattern for wallpaper, for example, you may find that limiting it to one wall will be a better option than using it everywhere. Or if you choose to keep the walls plain, you can integrate buffalo check fabrics in the bedding, pillows, or a comfortable chair. If you know how to sew, you can even purchase buffalo check fabric by the yard and make your own pillows. You can also use buffalo checkered fabric for curtains.
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For those who are not quite ready to jump into buffalo check with both feet, smaller spaces can be a better place to test the waters. If you have been wanting to update a half bathroom, you can think about using buffalo check wallpaper. Mudrooms, laundry rooms, and even guest bedrooms are also great places to experiment with buffalo plaid.
Make Buffalo Check Your Own
Like any design decision, ultimately it is a personal one. Start with what you know you like, such as the overall color palate or the type of materials. Then look at different ideas that incorporate buffalo check fabric. You are just a Google or Pinterest search away from countless ideas. No matter how or where you choose to start integrating this iconic pattern into your home, if you make it your own, you’re sure to love it for years to come. Need help deciding the best use for this fabric in your home? Feel free to contact us at Bob's Upholstery and Decorating Center, we'll help you bring your vision to reality. 770-421-1278