Especially during the holidays, the green swags and trims of Christmas find their perfect complement in red plaid. And it's not just the reds.
A Black Watch tartan blanket over a rustic table makes a beautiful table cloth for Christmas place settings. A stack of mixed, plaid plates or tartan mugs for hot chocolate will make you smile.
Whether you choose taffeta for the city or wool for the country, tartan has been used since it was first produced by sixthteenth-century Scottish highlanders, who wore particular plaid patterns to identify their clan.
In the late nineteenth century, Queen Victoria established a residence in Balmoral, Scotland. The new house at Balmoral was decorated and furnished using tartan. Two royal tartans, 'Victoria” for the queen and “Balmoral' for her new house, were commissioned about 1850.
Tartan soon became the number one decoration for Souvenirs of Scotland. The box makers of Mauchline quickly replicated tartan designs on paper, which were, in turn, applied to Mauchlineware and covered with layers of shellac — a process similar to decoupage. The tartan-inspired souvenirs became known as tartanware and remain sought after by collectors.
Now entrenched among the sophisticated, the 1950's Ivy League set, Rocky Mountain ski bums and Hollywood starlets donned the pattern and helped to weave plaid into more markets.
By the '70s, English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood was deliberately ripping the fabric and adding zippers, safety pins and chains.
Plaid's rebellious statement continued into the 90s grunge scene then worked its way onto the runway in the work of designer Alexander McQueen.
Used small and fine or bold and brassy, plaid prevails. It's here to stay — because it's a classic like the little black dress.