Monday, 23 September 2013

Is it Plaid or is it Tartan!?! This is the question!

Hello my sweethearts. I hope your weekend was bliss. I had a gorgeous weekend chilling out on Saturday & then spending the day at Drummond Castle on Sunday. I'll have a post sharing that soon, but today we are talking tartan.

Time after time, I get asked what's the difference between tartan & plaid & are they not the same thing!?! I can definitely say - no they are not! In North America it has been thought that the word plaid is interchangeable with tartan. One of the first things I learned when I came to live in Scotland, was that tartan is tartan and never to call it plaid. This lost in translation mistake has lead to a lot of confusion for some people. You'll never be far from a Scot to kindly set you straight ;-) Actually no one in the UK as a whole would call it plaid.

So what is plaid you ask!?! Well, 'plaide' comes from the Gaelic word for 'large wrap or blanket, also known as 'The Belted Plaid' (Gaelic: feilidh-mhoror). Because it is a blanket that has been gathered and belted around your waist. In other words, 'tartan and 'plaid' are not two different types of design, 'plaid' is a certain kind of garment - the blanket or large wrap & 'Tartan' is the actual pattern of cloth the garment is made from.  No matter what it's seen on, it always remains tartan. Below you can see the plaid as it's traditionally worn:

{Known as Long Plaid or Pipers' Plaid - worn exclusively by Pipers in pipe bands, either civilian or ceremonial. It's history is that it was used to cover the head and shoulders in the rain. (images via)}


{Known as Small Plaid or Fly Plaid. Drummers will wear this plaid because it is shorter & gives more room to move their arms. (images via)}

Tartans originated in woven wool, though now, you can find them made from many other materials. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the highland tartans were associated with regions over districts, rather than specific clans like it is today. This was due to the fact that the tartan designs were produced by local weavers for local tastes and would tend to make use of the natural dyes available in that particular area. Not until later, did a specific tartan become associated with Scottish clans, Scottish families or even Institutions who are or wished to be seen as associated with Scottish Heritage. Below you can see a small selection of some of the different patterns of tartan.



Originally a tartan didn't have to be made with a pattern at all. As late as the 1830's, tartan was sometimes described as 'plained coloured - without pattern'. Patterned cloth from the Gaelic speaking Scottish Highlands was called 'breacan', meaning many colours. Over time, the meanings of 'tartan' and 'breacon' were combined to describe these patterns on certain types of cloth. The pattern of a tartan is called a 'sett'. The sett is made up of a series of woven threads which cross at right angles. 

So, there you have it! Now you know what the difference is between 'Tartan' - the Pattern and 'Plaid' - a blanket & not a design! I hope you'll be able to know it as Tartan now. There is much more you can learn about then, including the complete dressing of the Highland Kilt, but I'll leave that for later. I guess the only thing left for me to answer is, what does a true Scotsman wear underneath his Kilt? Absolutely nothing! Haha!

Have a great Monday my darling dolls!!
xoxoxoxox

{via}


P.S. there is so much more I could have added in here, but we would have been here for a very long time. I hope this will motivate you to want to learn more & seek out more too :)


~ Tartan in Fashion ~













{Information sources herehere & here. Picture Sources from Pinterest Search}



87 comments:

  1. I love Tartan, since I was a little girl! It's so beautiful, I think it never goes out of style! I remember touching on this topic earlier and there are many who still cannot tell the difference between certain plaids, checks and Tartan! That bodice image is gorgeous! Happy Monday! xx/Madison

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    1. Thank you doll :) I hope you have a great Monday too xx

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  2. I love tartan - so quintessentially British - but never knew of the tartan/plaid debate - glad you put it straight. Happy Monday lovely doll,
    Axx

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    1. Thank you doll :)) Tartan is beautiful and has a lot of meaning :)) Have a lovely Monday xx

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  3. This is a great post dear, thank you so much! btw, love that tartan trench!!
    Fabiola

    wildflower girl
    Facebook page

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    1. You're welcome, am glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, a tartan trench is stunning!! xx

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  4. Love this post except for one glaring problem - you're missing the Henderson tartan ;)

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    1. Hahahahaha...not here, but not forgotten ;)

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  5. Thank you for finally making this clear to me! Haha! I have actually wondered about that, and I really like that so many Scots still wear their tartan with pride! :) In Swedish a "pläd" is a sort of blanket, so now I get where the plaid comes from! :) xoxoxoxo

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    1. You're welcome!! Am glad it helped :)) xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  6. Brilliant post, thanks!
    I find it so fascinating that all the clans used to have their own tartan until tartans were banned. and then quite a few clans just adopted the black watch and other military tartans because they weren't banned. The whole thing is so interesting to me. Have a lovely week :) xx

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    1. You're welcome :)) Yes, there is much more to all of it, it's just hard to pack it all into one post. But, I may do more in the future :) Have a lovely week too doll xx

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  7. Replies
    1. Hahahaha...you are so funny!! I love it!! xx

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  8. Haha, okay :D My english got a lil bit better and got some knowledge on this topic (I have been calling everything "plaid"), I thot that tartan was a specific word for the kilt pattern :D
    Have a happy week Doll :) xxx

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    1. Great!! Am glad you got something from it my dear!! Have a gorgeous week :) xxx

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  9. Thanks for explaining the differences Kizzy! Now I know to call a tartan a tartan!


    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  10. I think I'll have to get a nice tartan bag for Autumn!!

    www.makeupmonster.ie

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    1. Sounds wonderful, I hope you get one doll :)

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  11. This topic is new to me, you have helped me a lot, I really did not know the difference between them both. Here in Spain, the word Tartan there and that creates confusion when I try to use it. Thank you for this wonderful post, dear Kizzy! Millions of kisses.

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    1. Am glad it helped you my sweetheart!! You're most welcome :))) Millions of kisses to you too!! xx

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  12. Awesome! I would love a tartan bag.

    http://www.somethingmonumental.com/

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  13. ha! i was right...there is a difference and i must direct those who thought they were the same to your post! enjoy your day:)

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    1. Haha...well done you :) Ahh..so kind :)) Have a gorgeous day too doll xx

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  14. i say tartan =) it sounds unique =) say would you like to follow each other? =) http://anotsosecretlife2011.blogspot.com/

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    1. That's super!! It does make it sound unique!! Sure, we can follow each other, shall pop over :) Have a gorgeous day xx

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  15. This is an interesting post and for clearing any confusion on this topic! Have a great day!

    xx Easy Outfits, by Pip

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    1. Thank you & you're most welcome too :) Have a gorgeous day doll xx

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  16. I would wear undies under mine! :)

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    1. Hahahaha...well, that would be ok, since we are girls ;)

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  17. Love Tartan! I want a red/green tartan coat this winter! Love the way you write a post!! And LOL at the 'cheeky' pic:-) Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    Style-Delights Blog

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    1. Me too :) That sounds like a lovely tartan. Will keep you warm for sure :)) Thank you doll, haha :) I hope you have a gorgeous day too xx

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  18. I loved the whole story Kizzy!!! Thank you so much for your sweet words over at mine, you're an angel!
    Love
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
    Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook

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    1. Am glad & you're welcome doll, my pleasure. Love loves xx

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  19. Awesome post, I have a tartan winter coat.
    effortlesslady.blogspot.ca

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    1. Thank yu :)) Oooh that will be very lovely in the winter :)) x

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  20. What a fun and informative post! I'd been wondering about this, so now I know:)
    Do you remember the MAC Tartan collection? It had such pretty posters!

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    1. Thank you, am glad it cleared it all up for you :)) Oh yes, I enjoyed that collection :))) x

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  21. As an anglophile, I love tartan and plaid ANYTHING ;) I love this post!

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    1. ;-) Good to hear! Though anglophile is more to describe someone who loves all things English...tartan is Scottish ;-)

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  22. Replies
    1. Thank you doll, am glad it was understood clearly :)) xx

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  23. Thanks for a great post! I have two tartan pencil skirts that I love to bits. I wish you a fabulous start to the new week!

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    1. Thank you doll, I hope you have a fabulous start to the week too Xxx

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  24. Really interesting, dear!!!
    Kisses
    Francy&Stef
    Chic With The Least
    Also on Facebook and on Bloglovin’

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  25. I love so much tartan this season!! great pics

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  26. I love Tartan!!! nice post!!!
    Have a good week, dear Kizzy!!! my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  27. Kizzy, you explained it BEAUTIFULLY! You tell em girl! HAHAHA Great job my friend!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  28. I always thought they were the same thing. Thanks for the clarification and the beautiful visuals Kizzy!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  29. Kate looks so pretty! Great post and I must say I was not aware of the history behind Tartan.. Thanks for setting us straight Doll;) gorgeous images.. Love the colors. xxL

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  30. Thanks so much for spuming up the tartan and plaid differences! Love to hear the history!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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  31. I'm absolutely positive that I've been misusing the two terms. Everything that was tartan, I was totally calling plaid. Thanks for the lesson.

    Oh to Be a Muse

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  32. I like both designs Doll, though I never knew that the materials were different, what a great post!

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  33. omg!!! Very nice post!!
    Thanks a lot for you sweet comm in my blog. love it!!

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  34. Great post! I love Tartan, and to be honest I always thought they were the same thing, glad to learn they are different!

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  35. This is such a great post and I love Tartan and it's everywhere. I actually get confused with this all the time too so I'm so glad you cleared it up. this is a really informative style post and well written. I'm so glad you showed the different pics too because it can be confusing!!

    xoDale
    www.savvyspice.com

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    1. Thank you doll, am glad it cleared it up for you. It has been a very confusing topic!! Hope you have a great day xo

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  36. How interesting! I have always referred to it as Tartan simply because I like the sound of the word much more than PLAID which to me sounds terribly dreary :) Your comment made me smile! I love those spools too. My father used to use them in is version of landscape gardening....strange fellow!

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    1. I do think that tartan sounds better in the first place. Plaid sounds so cheap really. I guess that's why it was just the name for the blanket.I' m glad I made you smile :) That would have been cool to see the spools used in landscape gardening, I like it!!

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  37. Love the red coat with bow in back!

    Interesting info!!!
    ~ Violet

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  38. I've literally always loved tartan ...and thank you for clearing that confusion with tartan and plaid...interesting information. I did actually research the history of tartan pattern a while back but I've missed out on that plaid and tartan distinction.

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  39. Brilliant! Fantastic! I am so impressed with this post! Thank you so much. You got all the facts together and i loved the closing out. I just shared it on my Facebook page and Twitter for everyone to read.

    http://www.thefashionstirfry.com

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    1. Thank you doll!! I worked really hard on it, so I'm happy that you appreciate it and that it helped :)) So kind of you to share, I appreciate it!! Thank you XX

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  40. I love both tartan and plaid
    now that I know the difference
    thanks to you.

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    1. Just be sure to remember that tartan is the design/pattern and plaid is a blanket ;) You're welcome!

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  41. Oh wow! Thanks for the fashion history lasing Kizzy. I never knew this. Thankfully now I do. :) oh....I did however know what Scottish men wear under their kilts. Lol! My hubby wants a kilt. :) xoxo

    Debra@stylewisebydebra.com

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    1. You're welcome my doll :) I hope your husband gets a kilt soon, they are so nice :) xoxoxoxo

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  42. I love plaid so much that I ended up adding it to my line this year--I can't even tell you how much I adore this post Kizzy! {I also collect plaid Pendleton blankets--the best for reading in the hammock or curling up during the winter with a book}.
    xo Mary Jo

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  43. What an interesting article darling!! Glad you wrote it!
    Happy Tuesday!
    xoxo
    Patricia

    http://misstoptenimage.blogspot.com

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  44. I love Kate style... she always look good...

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  45. Now I know the difference betweem tartan and plaid! Informative post hon! Thank you so much for always stopping by and commenting on my blog!

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  46. Thanks for clearing that up Kizzy. Some great history there but Tartan is so timeless it really lives on. I actually thought plaid was a kind of tiny squares pattern in two alternating colours, usually on a man's suit jacket. Turns out I was way off hehe. Great info :D sparkle2day.com

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  47. Hi honey! Just came across here and I'm totally impresses by your blog! This post is really amazing! I love Kate's checked coat <3 Kisses <3

    http://rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.blogspot.in/

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  48. I'm following you now! Hope you'll do the same if you like <3

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  49. this post is very informative! Now I know the difference and what should really call it :)

    WWW.STYLEVANITY.COM

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