tHe tArtaN

a Scottish Heritage


As we can read on Wikipedia, a plaid may refer to:
- a cloth made with a tartan pattern. The literal Gaelic meaning is "blanket".
- the belted plaid or "great kilt", earlier form of the kilt
- used as a synonym for tartan in Canada and the US.

All true, but what exactly is that plaid, tartan, blanket or piece of cloth we use to keep us warm & cosy while watching TV at night?

So it were the Americans and Canadians that brought us our household name: plaid. That lovely patterned woollen or fleece blanket resting on our couch during the day and being actively used during the colder months towards the end of the year. The real story in fact sounds much cooler.

Different colors everywhere

We have all seen Christopher Lambert playing his best role as Connor MacLeod in Highlander back in the 80's. As you might recall, all the different clans had their own, let's call it, team colors. Lambert played a highlander from the Clan MacLeod and his colors were with the symmetrical treadcount and with a color pallet of black, freedom red, golden poppy, green, and denim blue. Now registered under #1583 with the Scottish Tartans Authority and the Scottish Tartans World Register. The distinct pattern and woollen textile is called tartan, derived from the French tiretain. And all clans in the Scottish Highlands had their own and just like us they kept them warm..which probably explains why they didn't need to wear anything underneath!

In America and Canada the term plaid is commonly used to describe tartan. The word plaid, derived from the Scottish Gaelic plaide, meaning blanket, was first used of any rectangular garment, sometimes made up of tartan, particularly that which preceded the modern kilt or belted plaid. In time, plaid was used to describe blankets themselves.

So let's recap. The blanket we nicely drape on our couch and use to keep us warm and cosy in the evening can be called a plaid or a blanket and depending on its pattern and textile a tartan. As long as we do not forget that the Highlanders gave us this great romantic gift.

We managed to get some authentic ones, made out of Shetland Wool from the Jacob, Welsh Black and Shetland Moorit sheep and produced in the Cotswolds. Unique in their coloring and with all the heritage in place. Get prepared for those cold yet cosy winter evenings. And to make it even more difficult, we just call them throws.

Check our Ekstur-throws under NEW products!