Great Scot! It’s Tartans and Plaids!

“I’ll take Category 1 for $400,” and answers in the the form of a question were things you would have heard during Mary Stichter’s interactive Jeopardy-style program on tartans and plaids. The friendly competition resulted in chocolates for correct answers and a wealth of information for those attending the April meeting.

Did you know:

All tartans are plaids, but not all plaids are tartans.

Tartans are always woven in twill with the same stripes repeated in the warp and the weft. Traditional tartans were made of wool. The stripes in plaids may vary in pattern, color and size.

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Iowa has an official state tartan.

A recent Guild project was weaving the Iowa Tartan on a guild loom, so some Guild members have woven their own Iowa Tartans!


The official Iowa Tartan was approved by the House and Senate on Tartan Day (April 6) 2004.

You can design your own tartan.

Here are links to sites that will help you:

Maybe you’d prefer to design a plaid.

Here is a link for for a tool to help you:

Some fun facts:

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Thanks, Mary, for the entertaining and informative program. Thanks also to Karla Stille for sharing how she designs plaids using algebra and transparent overlays.

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