Yuhang He's Blog

Some birds are not meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright.

Fashion Pattern Walk: Plaid

Recently, I have been working on fashion pattern tagging, resulting in the necessity of familarizing common fashion patterns. Then, the first pattern emerging in my mind is “plaid” (cause I am a programmer? HAHA). Here let’s talk some basic info about it.

Plaid: Definition

Plaid, which is often called in North America, is synonymous with tartan in Scotland where tartan is often used as kilt accessory or blanket on the bed. Visually, plaid is the fabric woven of alternating bands of color in crisscross (or simply horizontal and vertical direction) manner. In general, a plaid pattern is knitted with both warp and weft at right angles. If two different colors meet, a mixture of the two colors is created. If the same color meets, a solid color would be generated.

Traditionally, plaid was once been banned by the government for the low-class to access to. Nowadays, it is adopted by the Scotland as the symbolic national dress instead.

Plaid: Construction Rule

Suppose two threads, one in the warp the other in the weft at the right angles. If they meet and carry different color, a mixture of color would be generated. Otherwise, a solid color would be generated (if they carry the same color). Thus, a base of two colors creats three different colors, including one mixture color. The total number of the colors w.r.t the base color number increase quadratically. That is, if the base color number is $n$, a total of $\frac{1}{2}n(n+1)$ colors would be created.

Plaid: Fashion

Traditionally, plaid has always been catalogued as fashion representation, especially in Vectorian and Edwardian eras. By then, the plaid shifted from being mainly for woman’s clothing to became an important part of woman’s fashion. Plaid has traditionally been used to rebel and discontent with the ruling class, especially for unorthodox usage of plaid. In this way, plaid has be treated as an anti-establishment symbol. Besides, as plaid is intimately associated with British aristocrasy and military, plaid also developed an air of dignity and exclusivity.

Much info above is based on Tartan Wikipedia.