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In heraldry, diapering (from an old term for damask) is a technique in which those who emblazon, draw, paint, or otherwise depict achievements of arms decorate large areas of flat colour by drawing crosshatches or arabesques. There is no standard, and each artist is allowed individual idiosyncrasies.

Diapering is not usually specified in the blazon, so a shield with diapering is considered the same as a shield of the same design but without diapering. For this reason, however, diapering must not be so obtrusive or so heavily drawn that it could be mistaken for a charge or for a variation of the field.

However there are at least three Scots coats whose blazon requires the use of diapering: Fulton of Lochliboside, Az. diapered or semy of fleurs de lys of the last - on a fess arg. two boars' heads erased of the field (Public Register vol 1, p 551, 1789); Fulton of Park of Inchinnan, Az. diapered or semy of fleurs de lys of the last - on a fess arg. a boar's head erased of the field (Public Register vol 1. pp 550-1: and a 20th century one, Royal Burgh of Cullen, Per fess Sable and Argent; in chief on a sedilla or cushioned Gules diapered Or the Blessed Virgin enthroned proper habited Gules mantled Azure crowned Or and holding in her dexter hand a sceptre surmounted of a fleur de lis Or and in her sinister arm the Holy Child enhaloed also proper - in base a talbot passant of the first (Public Register, vol 41, p 37, 1956)

Other uses

In architecture and other decorative arts, diapering or diaper decoration is a decorative treatment of a surface with a repeat pattern of squares, rectangles, or lozenges. A stone wall may be decorated with such a pattern carved in relief; in brickwork the effect may be achieved by using bricks of two different colours, or by allowing certain bricks to protrude from the wall's surface to create a regular diamond-shaped pattern. In English flushwork limestone and dark knapped flint are used. Windows may be set in a diamond shaped lattice.[1]


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