Textile Spotlight: Tartan
November 19, 2013
I thought I’d start a periodic series spotlighting textile patterns since fabric design is so much on my mind right now. Let’s begin with tartan since it’s trending again. It’s a cloth that has been around for centuries, but these iconic patterns are showing up everywhere from home decor to fashion.
Classic tartan is made with alternating bands of dyed thread woven together to form diagonal lines where the colors cross over and resulting in blocks of color in distinctive squares. Originating in Scotland, the woven patterns were at first regional and then later representative of clans, and by the 17th and 18th century, tartan was characteristic of Scottish Highland dress.
Recent press releases from American design houses declare new lines of tartan are being released since the woven pattern is returning to popularity, but classic tastemakers like Ralph Lauren have always carried it here in the States. The word “plaid” is used interchangeably with “tartan” so in retail so you’ll often find the tartan weave labeled as plaid.
I love tartan on upholstered accent chairs or as accent pillows, the rich colorful prints bring a masculine touch and the traditional pattern adds a sense of comfort.
Tartans and plaids will always be classic, they’re impactful when allowed to take the spotlight, from bedding to window treatments.
Tartan feels right at home in mountain or country style homes and cabin spaces.
The pattern adds a preppy feel and traditional touch to contemporary spaces.
james thomas / andrea may interiors
As winter approaches, wool tartan accents cozy up the home, don’t you think?
Pretty Kate has stepped out in a few tartan coats – she was given several titles when she wed William, one of them the Scottish title Countess of Strathearn.
Wear tartan this winter ladies with these style picks!
Make tartan prints part of your holiday decor to embrace the classic Christmas color.
With red such a hot color in fashion this season, bold red tartan fits right in to your home and wardrobe. Did you know to be the real deal, a tartan must be officially registered in this database? And for all of you interested in textile history I found this article on Scottish tartan fascinating.
Are you a fan of these iconic patterns?