A Brief History of Plaid

From Highlanders to Hipsters: (From Smithsonian.com)

For a pattern, plaid has been remarkably successful. It’s one of the most widespread, recognizable and ubiquitous designs in the world, coming in almost every color and shade under the sun. But while it may be a major part of the hipster dress code, plaid has meant a lot of different things to many different people during the thousands of years that people have been wearing that iconic fabric.

“If you lived in a remote land, you would buy your woven cloth from the same weaver,” the Scottish Tartans Authority’s Brian Wilton tells Rick Paulas for Pacific Standard. “And the weaver would not be reproducing a choice of patterns, but a standard pattern using the colors available to him, many of which were vegetable dyes.”

Over time, these local patterns became synonymous with the regional clans scattered throughout Scotland, kind of like how people today wear baseball caps from their hometown teams, Paulas writes. But while baseball may be only a few centuries old, tartan goes back at least 3,000 years, with the oldest example of the fabric found buried with the remains of “the Cherchen Man,” a mummy of Caucasian descent found buried in the sands of the western Chinese desert, according to the Tartans Authority.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/brief-history-plaid-180957342/#izACkbk0okhiPmM5.99
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