What Is A Tartan Plaid

What Is A Tartan Plaid

What Is A Tartan

A tartan is a fabric consisting of one and more thread colors. This is the most important and common fabric in Scotland and Ireland. The traditional style kilts in which there is no pocket and other utility features are also made with this tartan fabric. Every Scottish family or military has its own tartan which is commonly known as the clan. These families always wear their own tartan in everyday life and in other important places. The most common tartans are Blackwatch, Royal Stewart, granite grey, etc.  All these common tartans are also called universal tartans and are widely used in many countries.

Tartan and plaid, both are criss-cross patterns of two or more colors, tartan has a family history and is mostly worn in Scotland and Ireland. However, the plaid is wider use, it is made of cotton and does not have a history.

The tartans are a combination of threads, normally forming a checked pattern. These thread patterns form a single tartan color. So far there are more than 4000 tartans discovered by more than 4000 Royal families. The other things made with the tartan fabric include Scottish tartan Sporrans, tartan trews, tartan skirts, shawls, fly plaid, etc. Furthermore, the tartan is not the cheapest fabric like plaid that is why in Scotland and Ireland, there is more importance of this fabric.

What Is A Tartan Plaid

What Is A Tartan Plaid

Do many people want to know What Is A Tartan Plaid? Although the word tartan and plaid both are different meanings. In the USA, both are used with the same meaning. Any criss-cross pattern in America can be treated as a plaid or tartan.  For better knowledge about these terms, we will explain them in detail in the next paragraph.

Plaid Vs. Tartan

Not only does tartan have a criss-cross pattern, but the plaid also has. Both terminologies stood side by side in the USA, Canada, and other developed countries. These people don’t know about the differentiation between these two terms that is why these people treated both words with the same meaning. Because of lack of knowledge, these people wear both fabric garments in their daily routine life. They also don’t know about the clan or royal families. The main differences between these two fabrics will explain in the next paragraph

  • History
  • Record
  • Popularity
  • Specific Name
  • Material


The Scottish or Irish tartans have a history behind them. A tartan never is produced by accident. By royal decree, a new tartan comes into being. Although there are common tartans that are not only designed for a specific clan. the non -Scottish and people of other clans can also wear kilts and other accessories of that tartan. Black watch, Ramsay blue, MacKenzie tartan, and Royal Stewart are the best universal tartans for everyone.

On the other hand, the plaid does not have a history because these are the criss-cross patterns designed and produced by makers. There is no need for a Royal order or any order from the government. The plaid fabric is for everyone, so if you are not Scottish and don’t know about Scottish terminology then you can also wear plaid pants, shirts, and other garments.


Every tartan has a record in the Scottish registrar, you can also find every tartan’s details by exploring browsers. Detailed information about every tartan is easily available but the plaid has no record at all. The plaid makers never maintained the record of every plaid because there are no rules or orders by the government regarding plaid.

What Is A Tartan Plaid


The Scottish tartans are popular in Scotland, Ireland, and some states of the USA but the plaid is popular throughout the world. The people of Asian and Middle East counties don’t know the word “plaid” but still widely used in their daily routine life. The common use of the plaid as a piece of check fabric for cleaning the household items. Moreover, the kids in these countries wear various plaid garments such as pants, shirts, t-shirts, etc.

Specific Name

Every tartan has a name i.e, Black watch, Weathered, etc. No tartan in the world is present without a name. The plaid is just a criss-cross pattern, so there is no specific name for that pattern.


Tartan is a fabric that is made with wool, polyviscose, or acrylic wool, there is no concept of cotton. On the other hand, the plaid may be made with wool and other fabrics but commonly it is made with cotton.

Plaid As A Garment

We all know that the tartan is a popular fabric in Scotland and Ireland but plaid also has its importance. People make different things with plaids but in Scottish attire, there are some kinds of stuff that are made with plaid. There are

  • Drummer Plaid
  • Shepherd’s Plaid
  • Fly Plaid
  • Piper’s plaid

Final Words

In this informative article, we not only cover the important question What Is A Tartan Plaid? but also throw light on the key differences between these two terms. If you like this interesting tartan plaid article then share it with your online friends.