Plaid Fabrics, Houndstooth Fabrics- we have them!

Just listed are over fifty houndstooth plaid fabrics and traditional plaid fabrics. This has been a long time coming!

Blue and black plaid fabric
A Traditional Plaid Fabric in Blue and Black

First, a little bit about plaids. For our purpose, we are calling all the fabrics with warp and weft threads, the threads that run up and down versus the threads that run across the fabric, that are interwoven to form blocks of colors, plaids. Most are not.

Let us start with traditional plaid fabrics. While all tartans are plaids, not all plaids are tartons. In true plaids the colors that run across the fabric are exactly the same as run up it… both in color and number of threads. Plaids have a twill weave of two over, two under the warp threads.  The twill weave gives the diagonal effect of the colors. At the intersections of the colors, blocks are formed. The pattern of the block formed by the weaving of the different colors is called a sett.

In tartans, unlike plaids, the setts are specific to the clan they belong to. The tartan has to follow the sett as recorded by the clan to which it belongs. A tartan has very specific rules about the treadling of the loom, as well as where the warp and weft colors are changed. It is a fascinating study for those that are interested in weaving.

In the following black plaid fabric one sees the arrangement of colors and threads is the same both horizontally and vertically, thus making it a true plaid. To be a true tartan, the plaid would have to have the arrangement of threads and colors as laid down by the clan it is registered to.

A traditional black and beige plaid fabric
A Traditional Black and Beige Plaid Fabric

The following is also a true plaid.

Seaglass blue plaid fabric
Seaglass Blue Plaid Fabric

The brown and red woven fabric below is a true plaid, but probably not a true tartan.

A traditional brown and red plaid fabric
A Traditional Brown and Red Plaid Fabric

The following is a houndstooth plaid fabric.. being based on a small check, it could be called a puppy plaid!

Small brown houndstooth plaid
Small Houndstooth Plaid- Desert

This also has a twill weave of  two warp threads and then under two, creating a broken check. In the houndstooth plaid, the colors that run across the fabric meet similar colors that run up it… forming grids. One can see it clearly in the small blue houndstooth plaid.

Blue houndstooth plaid fabric
Blue Houndstooth Plaid Fabric

The next size up of the plaids we have has a widely spaced grid made up of one color running horizontally, and another running vertically- making what is in essence a houndstooth window pane plaid, even though the two different colors of the grid means it is not a traditional plaid.

A window pane plaid fabric
A Window Pane Plaid Fabric-
based on a houndstooth

This is very visible as one moves away from it.

Seaglass blue houndstooth plaid fabric- a window pan plaid
Seaglass Blue Houndstooth Plaid Fabric- a window pane plaid

In the red version, the colors are so close in tone, it is hard to see that there is a grid!

Red houndstooth window pane plaid fabric
Red Houndstooth Window Pane Plaid

The next group of houndstooth plaid fabrics uses several colors to make the different rows that intersect, and adds an accent line as well. Though the colors are the same in the warp and weft, this is not a true plaid.

The number of warp and weft threads of the same color are not the same. Squares are not formed by the interweaving of the same colors, rectangles do. For a fabric to be a true plaid, the number of warp threads and weft threads of the same color have to match. And the size of the threads also has to be the same.

Red houndstooth plaid fabric
Red Houndstooth Plaid Fabric

The more complex the interweavings become, the less one is aware of the houndstooth element. It is visible in the blue colorway of the next group of fabrics. But, again, this is not a true plaid, as squares are not formed at the intersections, the number of threads of a color vary between the warp and weft.

Blue houndstooth plaid
Blue Houndstooth Plaid

In the blue version above one can see the houndstooth element. It is not as visible in the neutral version below, as the colors used are quite close in tone.

Neutral houndstooth plaid fabric
Neutral Houndstooth Plaid Fabric

The two plaids shown above are the same pattern. But, the placement of dark and light, and the tonal values of each gives a very different look. The world of plaids can be as intricate or as simple as one wishes!

While many of the patterns we are calling plaids are not true plaid fabrics, they still are a wonderful way to add color to a room. Whether they are used as a main fabric, or as an occasional accent, they deliver a specific look. Most of the ones we have listed to date are traditional in tone. But, some are coming that are anything but.

See all of the plaids in the

Plaid Fabric category.

And check back to see the new ones that aren’t listed yet!





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