Art, Decor, Framing

Tartan vs. Plaid: Yes, They Are Different!

It’s no secret that plaid is the hottest fashion trend this season. All colours and combinations of plaid are making an appearance this fall – but not just in fashion! You’ll see plaids in all areas of home décor, barware and accessories too. From notable designers like Coach and Michael Kors to home essentials found at Target, you’ll see plaid everywhere this year.

But wait, what about tartan? Is that plaid? Are they interchangeable?

Scot Meacham Wood, formerly of Ralph Lauren and now owner of his own design firm offers a clear, yet detailed explanation: “All tartans are plaid, but, not all plaids are tartan,” he says. “All plaids and tartans are comprised of stripes (in varying sizes and colors) that meet at a 90-degree angle. We start heading into ‘tartan’ territory by looking at the geometry on the pattern.  …With most every tartan, the pattern on the stripes running vertically is exactly duplicated on the horizontal axis too. [In a true tartan pattern] you’ll notice no matter the gauge of the pattern, the stripes meet to form a perfect grid.”

But no matter what you use in form, fashion or function, you can expect to see a lot of plaids (and tartans!) this fall for sure. Do you have a favourite plaid….or tartan?

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