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Quick Guide To Plaid Patterns

Sharing a quick guide to plaid patterns seemed timely given that our Special of the Week is the STORMTECH Logan plaid shirt.

Plaid is defined as, “Any fabric woven of differently colored yarns in a crossbarred pattern.”  Here is a quick guide breakdown to plaid patterns for your reference:


Most often when we think of plaid, our mind turns to a Scottish tartan pattern.  Did you know that the Scottish Register of Tartans estimates that there are between 3500 – 7000 different tartans with approximately 150 new designs being added each year? Chances are though that when we think of tartan it is one of the four most popular patterns;  Royal Stewart, Burberry Check, Clan Wallace or the Black Watch.

Four Top Tartan Patterns


Perhaps the most iconic image of gingham is Dorothy’s dress in Wizard of Oz.  Many times we confuse gingham for check patterns of plaid but there is a noticeable difference.  While both have uniform squares, the gingham has some light colored squares as well.Gingham Pattern


Most commonly used for casual clothing, the check pattern of plaid has many variations, but what distinguishes it from gingham is that it usually appears in white and another color, with no light color between. However, there are variations to the checkered plaid;  Shepherds, Buffalo, Graph and Gun Club.

Check Patterns


Originating in India in the 1800’s this plaid is most often associated with summer.  Most often found in bright, vibrant colors.  A popular pattern for short sleeved shirts, shorts and outdoor textiles.

Madras Pattern


Very popular in men’s clothing, the windowpane is the big brother of the graph check. As the name implies it resembles a series of windowpanes.  Depending on how intense the lines are, it can look formal when they are less dense or casual when pronounced.

Windowpane Plaid


One most often thinks of Sherlock Holmes when thinking of the houndstooth pattern of plaid. It is characterized by its sharp and pointy edges. Many notable designers have made this plaid their own including Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen.  Because of its duo-tone appearance it has become a fashion staple for women’s corporate apparel.

Houndstooth Plaid

Glen or Prince of Wales Check

This is very popular nowadays in both men’s and women’s fashion. The origin of the name is Glenurquhart in Inverness-shire in Scotland.

Glen or Prince of Wales Plaid


The last of the eight main patterns is the Tattersall. It is another check variation but it originated in London. It was first used as blankets for the horses of Tattersall market. Wearing this plaid gives off a relaxed vibe and someone who might be fond of horses.  Popular with the Royal Family.

Tattersall Plaid

We hope this quick guide to plaid patterns helps you better understand this staple of the fashion and textile industry.

For all your corporate branded plaid apparel, please just reach out to us here at mobo.

  • Team mobo