A Brief History of Tartan

Thursday 18th January 2018

Top 10 Tartan Fabric Swatches

For a textile, tartan has played a remarkable role in shaping pop culture & fashion. To this day, it is still the most widespread and recognisable designs in the world, coming in every colour, shade and pattern type you can imagine. But as the modern take on tartan takes it's position under the fashion spotlight, it's history and meaning to an array of people hasn't changed. The word 'tartan' was first used to describe the individual colours and patterns used to dress different Scottish clans. Not to be confused with 'plaids', tartan is the fabric steeped in symbolic history for each Scottish clan, and was only used in the manufacture of the clans kilts. Plaid is more commonly associated with external garments such as cloaks, and clan accessories.

By the Victorian and Edwardian eras, tartan had started to shift from being mainly a component of men's clothing to becoming an important part of women's fashion. Since then tartan has made several appearances in the world of fashion; in the late 1970s, the unorthodox use of tartan by the British punk movement was seen as an expression of discontent against modern society.

Tartan 2

Today tartan is still widely prominent in the world of fashion, but has also taken a side step into the school wear picture. Following the popularity of tartan as casual wear during the punk movement of the 70s and 80s, school kids made the subtle transition into their school wear including tartan skirts and accessories. Fast forward to today, and tartan is a staple part of school uniforms has become overwhelming popular.

At Price & Buckland we pride ourselves on durability and quality, as well as our extensive range of garments. To view our range of skirts and tartans click here. Can't find a tartan you like? Get in touch and we'll see what we can do!