About Tartan Fabric
Designers at Paris Fashion Week 2019 turned to the Scottish tartan fabric for Winter/Fall collections and as expected created the right buzz. Tartan clothing has never gone out of fashion and has captured the imagination of millions of people across the world for ages. We often come across information about this unique and truly Scottish fabric that transformed into plaid fabric after transcending the boundaries of European highlands.
Let us immerse ourselves into the truly incredible journey of Tartan clothing and unravel the mysteries associated with it.
History of Tartan Fabric
Tartans and checks are the flavor of the season for fashionistas as we all welcome winter because they simply fit into the season’s landscape. The first word that comes to mind with tartan fabric is Tartan Upholstery or Tartan Skirts. The image of a Scottish highlander wearing the traditional kilt oozes of coziness, warmth and tradition. This is a big reason why we wanted to dig further to find out how this fabric managed to win the hearts of commoners, travelers and even the military folks. Why is this fabric often associated with rebellious attitude or autumnal feelings?
How did it all start?
How did this fabric get its unique name?
Well, tartan means Criss-Cross! This woolen fabric has its roots in Scotland, where every unique pattern represents a clan. The cross-banded fabric with a variety of colored stripes creates a variety of designs. However, this fabric came into fashion when in the late 1840s when Queen Victoria used the fabric in some of her clothes.
Our quest for Tartan Clothing and its history can never be complete without the plaid and kilt that are deeply entrenched into the Scottish history.19th century romanticism might have been a reason behind thepopularity of Scottish highlanders wearing a kilt but it has always been a hallmark of Celtic weavers. The distinctive woolen checked pattern has been in vogue since the mid 19th century and has been adopted by the fashion designers in America, Australia and South Asian countries. Every family in Scotland has a Clan Tartans or Family Tartans that distinctly showcase their clan’s or family’s rich history.
Clan Tartans have a huge significance because the moment you think of that, we instantly think about the fabrics that appeared in the 20th century. Vivienne Westwood created the rebellious culture by designing her dresses for the Queen and Punks that left an indelible imprint on the modern fashion scene.
What are the different patterns of tartan fabric?
Tartan –this pattern comprises of vertical and horizontal stripes of a variety of colors that cross each other at 90 degrees. All the stripes are same in terms of color, size and width. The material used for classic tartans include worsted wool, coating and suiting fabrics.
Plaid –this is actually a version of the tartan fabric in the American market but it differs from the tartan as the vertical stripes don’t match with the horizontal stripes and are often of different size and color. The material used for plaids include wool, poplin, flannel, twill, coating fabrics, jacquard, and boucle.
Checks –Usually comprises of symmetrical squares with two different and alternating colors. The squares are of different colors but of the same size. The material used for checks include poplin and linen.
Some famous brands that produce Tartan Clothing or Tartan Accessories including Tartan Ties, Tartan Scarf include:
Tartan –Royal Stewart, Burberry, Black Watch
Plaid -Glen Plaid, Tattersall, and Madras
Checks –Gingham, Hounds tooth, Buffalo
Popular uses of the tartan fabric includes kilts, skirts and dresses for women, suits for men, dresses, shirts, trousers, dresses, coats, and jackets.
Ways to Tartan clothing
Popular tartan patterns rule from the streets to the runways. Here’s a list of clothing ideas to add a touch of trendiness to your Tartan fashion:
- Skirt –Go for the pencil or pleated tartan skirts and try to emphasize on the bright patterns by pairing the skirt with a white or casual grey sweater. During the summer or spring, it’s also good to choose a plain blouse or top and pair those with high-heel boots or shoes. Make things a bit sexier by pairing a crop top with your tartan skirt and you can even add a leather jacket. Don’t forget to take your clutch while going out with your friends. Now tartan skirts can also be worn to the office by using a combination of pencil skirt with a blazer and turtleneck. You can make a bold statement by combining a tartan midi skirt with a floral print blouse.
- Trousers -How about putting on a pair of oxford shoes and oversized sweater with a tartan trouser? Well, you can try that or choose another combination wherein your pair the plaid pants with a white shirt and plaid pants. You can even opt for a plain top, solid vest and a good old tartan trouser. Printed shirts with plaid pants are obviously a great combination – try it!
- Dress –Choose a classic country look by wearing a long sleeves maxi shirtdress with suede boots and denim jackets. Go for a street style by pairing a midi shirtdress along with slip-on shoes, tote bag and leather belt. You might also like to go for the classic red tartan dress by pairing it with black tights and biker boots.
- Blazer –Blazers and jackets made from Scottish wool tartan creates the perfect look that you have been longing for.Get a tartan jacket with a sweater or turtleneck. Alternatively, you can also pair your skinny jeans with an oversized blazer along with a clutch and high heels. If you wish to settle for a subtle look then choose a combination of plaid jacket with a white shirt and black leather skirt.
- Tartan Accessories –If you think that the tartan clothes are just not your cup of tea then you can try a tartan scarf, a tartan tie, or simply a tartan bag.
Tartan fabric has survived through the ages and it will certainly impress future generations as well, so get ready to see more of this classic stuff in future. Till then get a kilt and go for a full-fledged tartan clothing photo shoot.