It’s been a while since I did an Haute History column, so today, I thought I’d chat with you about the history of tartan and plaid. It’s always been a winter staple, but with the advent of the blanket scarf, it seems especially popular these days!
First things first — what’s the difference? Well, as interior designer Scot Meacham Wood told House Beautiful, all tartans are plaids but not all plaids are tartans. He explains the difference from a pattern standpoint:
“All plaids and tartans are comprised of stripes (in varying sizes and colors) that meet at a 90-degree angle. We start heading into ‘tartan’ territory by looking at the geometry on the pattern. With most every tartan, the pattern on the stripes running vertically is exactly duplicated on the horizontal axis too. Basically, this matching pattern in both directions will create a grid. The warp and weft threads are then woven in a two-over-two “twill” pattern. When looking at a simple plaid, you’ll notice that the stripes — either in color, size, or pattern — are not the same in both directions.”
So that’s the difference design wise, but what about the history of each? Read the full post +