A Fresh Look at Tartan Plaid

A Fresh Look at Tartan Plaid

Julia Brenner
Feb 5, 2014

Maybe it was all those years of having to wear a school uniform, but I was off plaid for a long time. After years spent avoiding anything remotely tartan, I've started noticing fresh new interpretations that range from bold and dramatic to soft and pretty.

Fun fact that I learned in Edinburgh years ago from a kindly shopkeeper: "Plaid" is actually just a term for gathered material, like "blanket"; tartan is the pattern of interlocking stripes that we often refer to as plaid.

Fun fact that I learned years ago (but forgot) from Vivienne Westwood's designs: tartan doesn't have to mean ultra-traditional. It can be toyed with in all kinds of exciting ways.

Fun fact that I learned more recently while perusing Chicago-based shop Brimfield (a local haven of tartans): a little tartan can make any room look smart and feel warm.

  1. Plaid Mauve Purple Throw Pillow from Etsy seller Pillow Throw Decor
  2. Molly Indoor/Outdoor Rug from Dash & Albert Rug Company
  3. Multi-Blues Plaid Duvet Cover available from District 17
  4. Vivienne Westwood "Tartan" Wallpaper for Cole & Son
  5. Bent Maple Wool O' The West Armchair, available from Washington-based, sustainable home store, NuBe Green.
  6. Lenox Bench in Windowpane Plaid from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
  7. Pendleton Americana Plaid Merino Throw
  8. Yellow Anderson Pouf from Etsy seller Aleta Fae
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