This is the story of how the pattern we know as plaid became a fashion and home decor hit. (Did we not mention it’s the accessory of the year? Now you know.)
Plaid was born in the country we now know as Scotland, around the thirteenth century. It’s some kind of mix of Celtic, Norse and French.
In Scotland, plaid is called “tartan,” but either way it means a pattern of criss-crossed squares and stripes in various colors. For most of its life, plaid was made out of wool, but nowadays there’s everything (you’ll see).
The color combinations are key, my friends, for a plaid’s design usually refers to a Scottish clan.
These clans come from the Highlands — the most stunning part of Scotland, with dramatic mountains and isles. There are now thousands of plaids listed in the Scottish Register of Tartans (see for yourself). So many, in fact, that countless groups and organizations now have their own — from Amnesty International to Scotland’s Sikh and Jewish communities to each Canadian province.
The word “tartan” probably came from French, by the way — from the word tartaine, which means “checked cloth.” (Not to be confused with tartine, which is delicious.)
You’re probably thinking, what about the kilt? Why is that a thing, and isn’t it freezing?
Actually, the wool is super warm, we’re told, and extremely water-resistant. So there. It has military roots, and used to be longer, and also comes from the Highlands.
It’s now the Scottish national dress (for men), and comes in plaid, which refers to a clan.
As for you, how can you have more plaid in your life? Lucky for you, we have oodles of ideas.
The Tartan Plaid Monogrammed Wristlet will adorn your wrist with purple, green and gold, and your initials of choice. It’s two for two:
For your precious eyes, the Bias Plaid Table Lamp in blue and brown is illuminating and calming, and as distinguished as any clan:
And the Tartan Plaid Throw Pillow will calm your weary back, wow your every guest, and let you sit back and admire the wonder of plaid:
We’re off to design our own. Later!