What is Tartan Fabric?

What is Tartan Fabric? | Kilt Sale

Tartan Fabric

Tartan textiles are plaid patterns with names and backgrounds that are connected to a specific Scottish family. Most of these unique designs are located in archives of the past or online databases as tartans from clans.

However, first, we need to make a note regarding the terminology. In America, the words “plaid” or “tartan” are employed in various ways. Both terms could be used to describe any pattern made of made up of horizontal and vertical lines that intersect. There are a variety of different kinds of kilts like Tactical kilts

In Scotland, the word “plaid” initially refers to a piece of cloth. “Tartan” was the term used to describe it “tartan” refers to the pattern of woven.

The famed Scotland great Kilt may have come about with the help of tartan blankets. The blankets were draped over the shoulders. Scottish people would refer to the blankets as “plaids.”

It is impossible to find out what transpired to the blankets after they turned into garments that required elaborate pleating and belts for the waist. This sensible option allows Scottish men remain comfortable and hands-free all simultaneously!

Today, the word “tartan” is a reference to distinctive Scottish designs which are linked to particular clans or families. The patterns are comprised of more than 2 different colors. Also, there are irregular patterns of crisscrosses that give an appearance of a complex pattern.

In addition, certain tartan designs include what’s referred to as”setts. “sett.” For plaid designs, it’s the square that serves as a reference point to the rest part of the pattern. It’s repeated several times. The square can also have intricate cross-stitching that is in various shades.


In the Scottish highlands, most towns or clans were outfitted with a weaver that could weave cloth for their local community. As time passed, weavers developed distinct plaid patterns for the town’s residents to wear in order to make it easier to identify them. In a sense, the Tartan served as an official uniform for teams.

Weavers often employ natural dyes for the production of their dyes. This enabled them to make intricate sets. It was the repeated patterns of crisscrossing that separated the tartan designs from each other.

The word “tartan” probably was derived from “tartan,” which is the French”tartaine” word “tartaine,” which means checked cloth.

If you’ve read all the books and watched every episode of Outlander, you are aware of Scotland’s fight to become an independent nation. Scotland was determined to fight to be an independent nation throughout the course of history. Scotsmen often wore tartans from their clans as symbols of identification during these battles.

It was the year 16th-century. Culloden is the official name used to describe the game. Culloden was the last fight of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion. England banned the wear of tartans by clans as part of the “Disarming Act.” This gruesome period in history was the equivalent of a period of genocide against Highland families. The past century and culture were destroyed.

Despite the tragic events, it is interesting to think about how the oppressive authorities perceived the tartan motif as an attack. Clan designs were so powerfully an emblem of the highland tradition that the fabric actually posed a threat! The ban was in effect for more than 30 years until it was lifted in 1782.

The past was a time when a lot of Scottish families were emigrating to America in search of the promise of liberty that they were refused in their homeland.

Is Tartan Plaid Irish or Scottish?

While tartan plaid is a distinctively Scottish invention, in the 19th century, we saw the appearance of distinct Irish plaids as well.

Scottish tartan designs belong to a specific family or clan, and there are more than 255,000 distinct tartan plaid designs that are currently in the registry! Irish plaid designs were created over time to symbolize all counties in Ireland to symbolize the nation’s pride.

If, for instance, you reside in Galway, you could wear the Galway colors on the kilt as you participate in an event.

Does everyone in Scottish family members wear Tartan?

There are some variations. There are exceptions. Scottish surnames come with a historical tartan design that is legally registered to them. The people of Scottish heritage usually prefer the Tartan that is associated with the mother’s maiden name.

Today, Scottish districts, sports teams, and even businesses typically feature a tartan-themed logo in addition. Wearing the Tartan to show your dedication to the team of your choice!

There are more than 25,000 officially acknowledged tartans in the database, so there’s an excellent chance of finding one that is significant to your family’s heritage in the event you are of a Scottish lineage.