Types Of Fingerprint Patterns

Everyone’s fingerprints are unique. However, specific patterns can be seen in fingerprints. The three main types of fingerprints are separated into multiple categories within each category.

Also Read: What is Fingerprint?

Three Types of Fingerprint Patterns Are:

  1. Arch
  2. Loop
  3. Whorl

Henry’s system is based on four distinct groups of patterns:

  1. Arch
  2. Loop
  3. Whorl
  4. Composite

Types Of Fingerprint Patterns

  1. Arches
    1. Plain Arch
    2. Tented Arch
  2. Loops
    1. Ulnar Loop
    2. Radial Loop
  3. Whorls
    1. Plain Whorl
    2. Central Pocket Whorl
    3. Accidental Whorl
    4. Double Loop
  4. Composite Pattern
    1. Central Pocket Loop
    2. Twinned Loops
    3. Lateral Pocket Loop
    4. Accidental Loops


✔ Arches are the simplest type of fingerprints formed by ridges that enter on one side of the print and exit on the other. No deltas are present.

✔ About 5 % of the world’s population have arch patterns.


Types of Arch Pattern:

Plain Arch

This pattern is characterised by raised ridges that flow continuously from one side of the finger to the other.

Tented Arch

The tented arch features elevated ridges with sharper edges that flow in a similar pattern to the plain arch.

Arch Pattern


✔ Loops must have one delta and one or more ridges that enter and leave on the same side. These patterns are named for their positions related to the radius and ulna bones.

✔ About 60-65 % of the world’s population have loop patterns.


Types of Loop Patterns

Ulnar Loop

These are named after the ulna, a bone located in the forearm. This bone is located on the same side of the hand as the little finger, and this pattern flows from the thumb to the little finger.

Radial Loop

These loops get their name from the radius bone, which connects the forearm to the hand on the same side as the thumb. These loops flow in the direction of the radius bone, meaning that they slope downward from the little finger of the hand to the thumb.

Loop Pattern types


✔ Whorls have at least one ridge that makes (or tends to make) a complete circuit. They also have at least two deltas.

✔ About 30-35 % of the world’s population have whorls patterns.

Loop Pattern

Types of Whorl Pattern

Plain Whorl

A plain whorl will create a ring-shaped design that resembles a swirl or spiral. This pattern is round and continuous, and the rotation at the center is the consequence of at least one ridge.

Central Pocket Whorl

In this pattern, the central ridges will curve multiple times to create a smaller inner whorl.

Double Loop

Two different and distinct loop formations make up this pattern. It has one or more ridges that form a full circuit, two deltas, two distinct and separate shoulders for each core. A hypothetical line formed between the two loop forms touches or cuts at least one re-curving ridge in the inner pattern area.

Accidental Whorl

With the exception of the plain arch, an accidental whorl is a design that combines two different types of patterns and has two or more deltas, or a pattern that meets some of the criteria for two or more different types, or a pattern that doesn’t fit any of the descriptions.

Whorl Pattern

Composite Pattern

There are patterns in fingerprints known as composite fingerprints that comprise the arch, loop, and whorl. In Other words, ‘The term “composite pattern” refers to a print that combines two or more patterns, either of the same type or of different sorts.’

Types of Composite Pattern

Central Pocket Loop

These loops make a pocket inside themselves by recurving twice.

Twinned Loops

Also known as Double Loops—are loop structures that have two distinct loops.

Lateral Pocket Loop

In contrast to the Twinned Loop, the Lateral Pockets Loop’s ridges abruptly bend down on one side before recurving, creating a pocket. The F.B.I. labels each of these loop types as double loops since it is too difficult to locate these two loops.

Accidental Loops

With the exception of the plain arch, which essentially lacks any pattern, these loops are combinations of any two patterns.

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