I've been in love (and I don't use this phrase lightly) with Tartan and plaid and check since I can remember... but from a knowledgeable point of view, didn't quite understand the difference between this classic patters. A few weeks ago, due to a sudden obsession with a Burberry bag that I will never own, (keep tuned for that post) I went online to review and learn more about it.
While on Google I came across this useful and inspiring website Green House Fabrics if fabrics are your thing, you can spend a good chunk of the day reviewing the samples here.
I digress, going back to the core of this post. Do you know the difference between these patters? Across many blogs and specialized articles it seems these are used interchangeably, so let's shed a bit of light on the matter.
Tartan: pattern consisting of multiple colored criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands. The pattern of the stripes running vertically is duplicated EXACTLY on the horizontal axis. Where the different colors overlap, new colors are created.
"The Celts have been weaving plaid (tartan) twills for three thousand years at least"
All you can learn about it it can be found at the Tartan Authority (yes, this is a real thing).
I have a thing for cross-dressing, so when it comes to Kilts... I just would have one of each and wear them everywere... Yellow being my favorite one (more to come on that in an upcoming post).
Plaid: originally was actually a type of garment. In Gaelic word Plaide, means blanket, usually made of thick wool, that helped on harsh winters and the pattern for it was TARTAN.
Nowadays plaid refers to patterns inspired by traditional tartan designs, and the term tartan now refers to a type of plaid.
Plaid" replaced "tartan" once patterns became popular with British and American textile manufacturers. The main difference between traditional tartans and other types of plaids has to do with the pattern's repeat.
Check: patterns are simpler than plaids. They generally consist of two alternating colors, but not always. Checkered patterns are symmetrical, consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical lines that form equal sized squares. Each line is intersected by the same kind of line in equal intervals and widths.
Check has an extensive use on shirts, think cowboy, and dresses, think 60s Black and White Gingham Check Darling dress as well as rockabilly style from the 50s.