A Checkered History

Let’s talk about Plaid

Hello In Stitches Family!

As it gets cooler, we’re seeing more and more plaid shirts, blankets, and jackets all around. And it got us thinking. Where does plaid even come from and why is it STILL so popular?

You may be of a certain age when you remember a movie called The Breakfast Club. In it, Judd Nelson, the actor who played “the criminal” wore a plaid shirt around his waist. Classic! 80’s!

Plaid has been around for a long time! According to some, the first example ever found is from the 8th Century BC in Central Asia (Stitch). But what we think of as plaid is from Scotland. Everyone remembers Braveheart (I feel like I may be aging myself with these references) and the kilt-clad men atop their bonny steeds fighting for their “Freedom!” Unfortunately, the Scots lost that battle and plaid (or tartan as it’s called when it is associated with a Clan) was banned for about a year. Now it is used in all UK and English commonwealths as their military dress gear. 

In the 80’s, you would often see Punks in England (and America, hence Judd Nelson) wearing a very particular tartan – the Queen’s tartan. It was their way of showing that they didn’t care about rules or those in power.

Now I can hear you asking, when did plaid come to America? Well, as with most things, we don’t know for sure but we do know it’s been here since the 18th century. One story is that a Scotsman named Jock McCluskey, a descendant of the McGregor clan, or so he says, brought over the bright red and black pattern that we now know as buffalo plaid, but is actually the McGregor tartan, to trade with the Sioux Indians in what is now the Dakotas.

Or did it come in through the lumberjacks in Pennsylvania? 

The answer is lost to time, but what we do know is: from lumberjacks to loungewear, everyone LOVES plaid.

And because we watch for those trends, we are seeing that plaid is still hot for this winter! We carry Quilted Flannel Plaid Shackets (or Shirt Jackets), plaid boxers, plaid shirts, plaid sherpa blankets, plaid flannel pants, buffalo plaid hoodies, and plaid blankets. All of which can be personalized with your initials, logo, favorite animal, quite nearly anything you can think of! (As long as that thing you think of is not copyrighted. Check out this blog to find out why.)

Take a look:



How long will plaid be popular? We have no idea, but we do know that we’re always going to love it.

What about you?

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