Chapter 14. Tiling
Tiling or tessellation is the covering of a surface with the repeated use of the same shape tile. A typical example is the tiling in a bathroom. In Inkscape, this concept is expanded to include a multitude of options including progressively changing the tile size, spacing, and orientation.
While random use of the Tile Clones dialog can produce exquisite patterns, it is useful to understand the fundamentals of tessellation in order to have more control over the final design.