Design featured above is Tigerland by artist lorchard.

If you noticed our Natural Instincts collection earlier this week, you know we’re feeling a little wild at WeaveUp HQ. From leopard spots to snake skin and crocodile hide – the natural world represents an incredible source of pattern design inspiration. Today, we delve into some of the key moments in the story behind the animal print!

While the Ancient Egyptians did wear actual animal skins, we have reason to believe that this early civilization also represents one of the first examples of printed animal apparel. The team at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has inferred that the Egyptians stenciled decorative leopard markings on their sheaths. Fast forward to 18th century France and we see the faddish rise of head-to-toe zebra patterned menswear, termed by popular writer L.S. Mercier as the “aristocratic stripe.”

In the 1930s, Hollywood’s Tarzan the Apeman is released and the animal print trend rockets into pop culture. Christian Dior and his iconic muse Mitzah Bricard cemented fashion’s love of animal style with their 1947 New Look collection, featuring two leopard print dresses “Jungle” and “Afrique.” The bohemian 60s and the advent of punk rock in the 70s later serves to bring this look mainstream.

Animal print has come to signify anything from chic sophistication to grunge rebellion, from power dressing to scandalous undressing. And yet, animal print is a trend that designers keep coming back to over the years. Recent runways have witnessed fierce red snakeskin at H&M, neutral leopard texture at Christopher Kane, ultra modern zebra stripes at Christian Siriano, and eclectic animal print medleys at Givenchy.    

So how can we incorporate this timeless trend into everyday home décor? The best part about animal print is that it is such a flexible style that can be reinterpreted for any room. Below, we’ve identified a few potential looks.

Classic Safari

A celebration of natural animal prints. These patterns are earthy yet exotic, daring yet classy.

Custom Leopard Pattern Fabric at WeaveUp

Leopard Pattern

Custom Jungle Brush Fabric at WeaveUp

Jungle Brush

Custom Exotic Zebra Fabric at WeaveUp

Exotic Zebra

Subtle Texture

Domestic camouflage, not quite eye-catching but certainly intriguing. Experiment with small-scale prints and low contrast colorways.

Custom Exotic Zebra Fabric on WeaveUp

Exotic Zebra

Custom Cheetah Stripes Fabric at WeaveUp

Cheetah Stripes

Custom Ikat Argyle Fabric at WeaveUp

Ikat Argyle 1

Alternative Animalia

Look beyond the regular contenders for fun, new prints. What about cow patches, Dalmatian spots, or owl feathers?

Custom Spotty Thoughts Fabric at WeaveUp

Spotty Thoughts

Custom Pebble Dots Fabric At WeaveUp

Pebble Dots

Custom Infinite Strokes Fabric at WeaveUp

Infinite Strokes

Futuristic Fauna

Take this style in a very contemporary direction. These designs adopt abnormal color schemes to create wild transformations.

Custom Zebra Print Purple Watercolor Fabric at WeaveUp

Zebra Print Purple Watercolor

Custom Cobra Fabric at WeaveUp


Custom Leopard Animal Print Fabric at WeaveUp

Leopard Animal Print

How do you feel about animal prints at home? Tell us in the comments!