Houndstooth, hounds tooth check or hound's tooth (and similar spellings), also known as dogstooth, dogtooth, dog's tooth, (French: pied-de-poule, lit. 'hen's foot'), (Chinese: 千鸟格; pinyin: qiānniǎo gé; lit. 'thousand-bird pattern'), is a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, traditionally in black and white or such contrasting dark and light pattern, although other colour combinations are also often applied.
The classic houndstooth pattern is an example of a tessellation.
A smaller-scale version of the pattern can be referred to as puppytooth.
The oldest Bronze Age houndstooth textiles found so far are from the Hallstatt Celtic Salt Mine, Austria, 1500-1200 BC. One of the best known early occurrence of houndstooth is the Gerum Cloak, a garment uncovered in a Swedish peat bog, dated to between 360 and 100 BC. Contemporary houndstooth checks may have originated as a pattern in woven tweed cloth from the Scottish Lowlands, but are now used in many other woven fabric aside from wool. The traditional houndstooth check is made with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads in both warp and weft/filling woven in a simple 2:2 twill, two over/two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. In an early reference to houndstooth, De Pinna, a New York City–based men's and women's high-end clothier founded in 1885, included houndstooth checks along with gun club checks and Scotch plaids as part of its 1933 spring men's suits collection. The actual term houndstooth for the pattern is not recorded before 1936.
Oversized houndstooth patterns were also employed prominently at Alexander McQueen's Fall 2009 Collection, entitled Horn of Plenty. The patterns were a reference to Christian Dior's signature tweed suits.
Houndstooth patterns, especially black-and-white houndstooth, have long been associated regionally with the University of Alabama (UA). This is because the longtime UA football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant often (though not exclusively) wore black-and-white houndstooth fedoras. The university has attempted to assert a trademark for houndstooth, especially when used in conjunction with other symbols of the school and its football team, a legal strategy that has been largely unsuccessful.
The Australian department store David Jones's branding—a black-on-white houndstooth pattern—is one of the most recognised corporate identities in Australia. A government-sponsored panel judged it in 2006 as one of Australia's top-10 favourite trademarks. The iconic design was the result of a 1967 rebranding exercise by chairman Charles Lloyd Jones, Jr., who wished that the store would be so well known by the design so as to not require the use of the name on the packing. It was allegedly inspired by the houndstooth design on a Miss Dior perfume bottle of his mother's, Hannah Jones. On 25 July 2016, David Jones' introduced a new logo, with a revised font style and removed references to the houndstooth online.
The clothes were, for the most part, high-drama satires of twentieth-century landmark fashion: parodies of Christian Dior houndstooth New Look and Chanel tweed suits [...]