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Plaids, Checks and Tartans

Posted by Fabrics Galore on

Plaids, Checks and Tartans have long be associated with Autumn and Winter, especially in homewares but this year the fashion world went slightly mad for them. Although some designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs have long been associated with the traditional checks, it has become such a big trend that even designers like Versace and Micheal Kors created looks featuring a varied selection of the pattern.

Lets start with the 90's...

As the Spice Girls have got back together it feels like we have gone back to 1998 in areas other than fashion and checks are part of that. Marc Jacobs has long been associated with checked flannel shirts due to his now iconic Perry Ellis collection in 1993 which actually got him fired. The collection was inspired by the Seattle Grunge music scene and the flannel check shirt was a key part of the whole collection. Although he used silk, the look could easily be done with one of our cosy brushed cotton checks.

We have named our Viscose checks after characters from another culturally significant event of the 90’s, Clueless which saw plaids being used in ways that had never been seen before. Especially Cher’s yellow check skirt suit, which is why we just had to have this fabric.


If bright yellow isn't quite your thing we have many more traditional colour ways which are perfect as the weather starts getting a lot cooler and days become shorter. Our new brushed cotton checks come from the original Viyella library; giving a lovely heritage look to them. Viyella has long been associated with these patterns since its inception back in 1893. A fun fact about the Viyella which might come in handy for a pub quiz, it was the first branded cloth in the whole world.

All of these brushed cottons could also be used to make great quilts too, as they are lovely and soft but also 100% cotton. Also great for boys who are sometimes slightly more difficult to find suitable fabrics for. As they are nearly 150cm wide they would be good for backings too, maybe even for a Christmas Quilt as the Houndstooth in red goes well with all Christmas fabrics.

Just imagine how great it would be to curl up on the sofa watching TV under a brushed cotton quilt.


Historically tartan has always been made of wool and is therefore closely linked to Scotland (hence why we have named ours after Scottish cities). Another fun fact is that many tartans have names, for example the “Black Watch” which was named after the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment the premier Highland Regiment, which patrolled and kept the peace in the Highlands from 1729. This is usually a tartan made up of dark greens and blue.

We are also super excited about the wool tartans which have just arrived at FG Headquarters, not only do they feel super soft, but the colours are amazing. One of the great things about wool tartan, is that it can be used for many different things across most genres of sewing. For dress making it could make incredible jazzy trousers. But can also be used for curtains or cosy blankets if you wanted to create a classic cottage look especially if teamed with our stag prints


 So really there is a check, plaid or tartan fabric for all occasions!

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