The pretty and pleasing fabric known as plaid never goes out of style. As early as the 1830s, plaid was a popular fabric pattern in the world of fashion. Plaid is a recognizable pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands of multiple colors. Plaid originated in woven wool, but today plaid fabrics are available in many other materials.

Plaid is made with alternating bands of colored threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill, two over – two under the warp, advancing one thread at each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where different colors cross, which gives the appearance of new colors blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of color repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinct pattern of squares and lines known as a ‘sett’.

Ready, set, go…look fabulous from head to toe when you are dressed in the cool, chic, rad fabric that is plaid!

Plaid Color Shades and Meanings:

  1. Modern: A plaid that is colored using chemical dyes as opposed to natural dyes.
  2. Ancient: A lighter shade of plaid that represent the colors that would result from the fabric aging over time.
  3. Muted: Plaid which is shade between modern and ancient. This type of plaid is very modern, dating only from the 1970s. This shade is said to be the closest match to the shades attained by natural dyes used before the mid-19th century.

For those of you that prefer a splash of plaid as opposed to being wrapped in plaid, why not carry a plaid handbag or doll yourself up in plaid accessories? A touch of plaid looks exceptionally graceful and elegant on anyone, yes, even men!

Plaid Fun Fact: Plaid is recorded by counting the threads of each color that appear in the sett. The thread count not only describes the width of the stripes on a sett, but also the colors used. For example, the thread count “K4 R24 K24 Y4” breaks down as 4 black threads, 24 red threads, 24 black threads and 4 yellow threads. The first and last thread of the thread count are the pivot points.

The word ‘plaid’, derived from the Scottish Gaelic ‘plaide’, meaning blanket, was first used to describe any rectangular garment. Over time, the term ‘plaid’ was used to describe blankets themselves.

Today plaid is a pretty, pleasing pattern that looks both elegant and fun and is adored and recognized by everyone!

The fashion pandemonium plaid is never a fad!

Although plaid prints can be found in all colors, plaid fabrics consisting of black, red and yellow are the most popular. For a striking, stunning sight, dress in plaid garments of black and white.

“I feel that I can play checkers on your checkered dress.”

“This pattern is plaid. Checkered is cute but plaid is the best.”

“Can you explain the difference between checkered and plaid to me?”

“Checkered patterns make only squares; plaid is squares and lines that are easy to see.”

“The different blocks of color in the material seem to run up and down.”

“Horizontal and vertical. Plaid is one of the most beautiful patterns around.”

Plaid: A fashionable and stylish pattern that looks fantastic on skirts, dresses, jackets and shoes, or any other garments you choose!

Nancy Mangano is an American beauty/fashion/style influencer, fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series. Visit Nancy on her global online fashion/style/beauty magazine Strutting in Style! at, her Facebook page Nancy Mangano at  Twitter @ and her author website




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