Tartan Fabric Guide

Tartan is a pattern, woven with colored threads, crossing at right angles. Tartan fabrics are usually made of wool. It is a great choice for stylish suits, dresses and skirts.

The pattern is traditional for Scotland. However, it has grown firmly into fashion and is quite popular nowadays.

Why Is Such Pattern Called Tartan?

In Gaelic, the word “tartan” means “criss-cross.” In Scotland tartan fabrics are used for sewing a kilt – the national dress of Scotland. The pattern differs in color, combination of stripes, their width, and shows the membership of its owner in a clan.

What Is the Difference Between Tartan, Plaid and Check Patterns?

The tartan pattern consists of horizontal and vertical stripes of different colors, crossing at a 90-degree angle. The main thing is that vertical and horizontal stripes are the same in both directions in color, width, size.

The word “plaid” means tartan in the American market. In the UK, plaid (‘blanket’ in Gaelic) is a part of Highland dress "great kilt," worn over the left shoulder and around the waist. The main difference between tartan and plaid patterns is that vertical stripes do not perfectly match horizontal stripes; they differ in color or size.

Check pattern is symmetrical and usually consists of squares in two alternating colors. Think a Formula One race flag. It is a classic example of a check pattern.

Table 1. Tartan Check Types





Structure of the pattern

Vertical stripes crossing at a 90-degree angle with horizontal stripes, the stripes are the same in color and size.

Vertical stripes may not duplicate horizontal stripes, they could differ in color and size

Consists of squares in two different colors

Types of fabrics

Worsted wool, suiting and coating fabrics

Wool, flannel, poplin, twill, jacquard, boucle, coating fabrics

Poplin, linen

Famous patterns

Royal Stewart Black Watch


Glen Plaid







Kilts, suits for men, dresses and skirts for women

Skirts, shirts, dresses, trousers, coats, jackets

Shirts, dresses, skirts

“In the hands of Burberry, Brock Collection, and Monse, plaid has lost its schoolgirl edge and assumed a new, cooler stance. Plaids, tartans, and checks of all strokes are experiencing a renaissance”.

How to Wear

Tartan is one of the most popular patterns. It is everywhere from runways to the streets. Here are a few cool ideas on how to wear tartan or plaid fabrics to look trendy:

1.Skirt. Try A-line, pleated or pencil tartan skirts. If the skirt pattern is bright, it is better to emphasize it. Pair your tartan skirt with a casual grey or white sweater, in spring or summer choose a plain top or blouse. Add high-heel shoes or boots and a spacious bag.

To keep it sexy, team a tartan skirt with a crop top, add a leather jacket and small clutch. To make a stylish office look, pair a grey plaid pencil skirt with a turtleneck and blazer in pastel colors. Be bold as a true fashionista by mixing a floral print blouse and tartan midi skirt.

2. Trousers. It’s a good idea to pair tartan trousers with an oversized sweater and oxford shoes. For a super cool look, team your plaid pants with a leather jacket, add a white shirt. Another good idea is to mix a solid vest, plain top and tartan trousers. Why not team your plaid pants with a printed shirt?

3. Dress. Tartan dress is great for a country style look. Choose a maxi shirtdress with long sleeves, pair it with a denim jacket and suede boots. As for the street style, take a midi shirtdress and team it with a solid leather belt, tote bag and slip-on shoes. A classic red tartan dress looks great with biker boots and black tights.

4. Blazer. Scottish wool tartan fabric is a perfect choice for jackets or blazers. Wear a trendy tartan jacket over a turtleneck or sweater. Pair an oversized plaid blazer with skinny jeans, add high heels and a clutch. Let’s add some casual note by pairing a black leather skirt with a white shirt and Glen plaid jacket.

Why not mix tartan with other patterns? A striped top, skinny jeans and plaid blazer are a perfect match for an outfit with a Parisian chic. The only rule is to stick to the same color palette. Another cool and simple idea is to team a plaid blazer with your little black dress.

5. A coat with this trendy pattern is all about feeling comfy in winter. Pair a plaid coat in vivid colors with black leather trousers, solid bag and black pumps. Team your coat with boyfriend jeans, white turtleneck, boots and an oversized bag.

6. Accessories. If you don’t want to wear this pattern from head to toe, try a tartan scarf, shoes and even a bag.

Tartan Fashion Trends 2019

The fashion shows provide lots of ideas on how to create something stylish yet casual.

Here are top-10 plaid and tartan designs straight from new collections Pre-Fall 2019-2020:

  1. A beige-brown maxi dress, pleated skirt and two-piece suit from Paco Rabanne;
  2. An oversized vest, a leather bomber with plaid sleeves, asymmetrical skirt from Louis Vuitton;
  3. A trouser suit in light blue and red from Giorgio Armani;
  4. A longline plaid coat from Redemption;
  5. A fluffy tartan cape from Isabel Marant Etoile;
  6. An oversized brown jacket from Antonio Berardi;
  7. An A-line sleeveless tartan dress and a suit in pink-green from Delpozo;
  8. A plaid suit with wide trousers, oversized coat, boat neck dress in grey hues from Martin Grant;
  9. A tartan dress, sleeveless top with wide pants, a blazer in grey hues from Monse;
  10. A slim waist jacket from Veronica Beard.


The collection of TISSURA Online Shop includes suiting fabrics, flannel, coating fabrics, stretch wool with tartan and plaid patterns. All the fabrics are designed and manufactured in Europe:

  • Holland & Sherry (UK)
  • Vitale Barberis Canonico (Italy)
  • Ermenegildo Zegna (Italy)
  • (Italy)
  • Scabal (Belgium)
  • Dormeuil (France)
  • Loro Piana (Italy)
  • Lochcarron (UK)

Choose classical grey hues or an original combination of vivid colors. Buy online Tartan and plaid fabrics are for a variety of clothes: from two-piece suits to dresses, skirts and even coats.

red tartan fabric

Wool twill fabric, 65 € per one running metre;

tartan fabric

Worsted wool fabric, 115 € per one running metre;

tartan fabric

Worsted wool fabric, 65 € per one running metre;

Worsted wool fabric

Worsted wool fabric, 100 € per one running metre.

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