Surface decoration composed of repeated, small, geometric motifs, such as diamonds or squares, connecting with one another. Diaper patterns are used in a variety of media, such as textiles, stained glass, and illuminated manuscripts, and are also used to decorate stone or brick surfaces in architecture. The term is believed to be a contraction of French linge d’Ypres, because the use of such patterns on cloth may have originated in the Flemish town of Ypres in modern Belgium.

Diaper pattern on brickwork, Fulham Palace, London. Tudor period. Ca. 1495.  Photo: David Hawgood.