2008 Weave of the week #12: Trendy tartans

Macinnes Red tartan

Macinnes Red tartan

When I worked in the textile industry, tartan plaid reference books were important design tools because Scottish tartan plaid fabrics were perennials, especially for children’s wear. We re-colored, simplified, enlarged, reduced, and brushed them to make them look “new.”

And now the Clan tartan patterns — which were developed in the Scottish Highlands centuries ago, when weavers kept track of the numbers and colors of the threads on pieces of wood — are a “trend”!

The New York Times’ Men’s Fashion Fall 2008 magazine shows a collection of classic tartan neckties, including skinny ones by Dolce and Gabbana and fringed ones by Hermès. Trend forecasting magazine Textile View calls tartan plaids “an essential colour vehicle for the (2009) season,” and super-cool German design company e15 is marketing a stunning collection of colorful tartan plaid pillows.

This chain of tartan free-associations started because I am looking forward to seeing “Black Watch,” an acclaimed play presented by the National Theater of Scotland about the Black Watch regiment in Iraq, next month.

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