World of Fabric: Scottish Tartans

It’s a plaid, plaid world at Stitch–we have a terrific feature on plaid projects in the upcoming issue, available in September, and we’ve noticed plaid all over the fashion runways for fall, often in menswear-inspired styles. In Scotland, plaid is known as tartan; in the last few centuries, it’s become a tradition for clans and other entities to create exclusive plaid patterns, and several thousand are now registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority, a nonprofit dedicated to history, research, education, and preservation of tartans. The history of tartan is richly intertwined with the history of Scotland itself, and perhaps even beyond–the Tartan Authority describes the earliest known woven plaid textile as a fragment found with the Central Asian mummies of Urumchi.

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