It’s one of the most widespread and recognizable designs in the world. It’s designs come in almost every color and shade under the sun. Plaid isn’t the pattern’s proper name, that honor goes to the word ‘Tartan’.

Tartan is a patter consisting of cross-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Same old patterns in different materials changing name from “Tartans to Plaids”.

Tartan woven wool

While they often came in the same colors, “plaids” were actually heavy traveling cloaks worn to ward off the bitter cold. Plaid however, replaced tartan when the patterns became popular with British and American textile manufacturers who would recreate fabrics that looks like tartans.

During the 18th century, tartan was co-opted from Scottish family symbol to military uniform under James Francis Edward Stuart’s 1714 rebellion against the English monarchy. At the time, a pattern now known as “Black Watch Plaid” became associated with the Royal Highland Regiment, a Scottish military force that remained the pride of the United Kingdom’s army until it was disbanded in 2003. Later in 1746, the multicolored tartans were banned for almost a century.

PlaidsLady in plaids shirtRed plaids
However, in recent years, plaid has had such a strong comeback that in some places you would be hard-pressed to look around and not see at least one person wearing checked plaid. Whatever the color and context, it seems like plaid is one pattern that may never go out of style.

All plaids PlaidsPlaidsTartansGreen plaids

2 thoughts on “TARTANS TO PLAIDS

  1. This list is missing a few, but more importantly, WHY ARE THERE 2 LISTS?!? I didn’t even realize til I just decided to check on the side instead of the top of the page like I usually do. Come on guys, you’re a rocking site and do a great job, but please get a little more organized.
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  2. Thanks for the comment and the positive feedback. However I’m not sure I noticed the second list you made mention of. Kindly point it out please. Thank you.

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