I DIDN’T REALIZE THIS!
For many people – even Scottish-Americans, the distinction between plaid and tartan is confusing. This guide should help take the mystery out of the difference between the two.
The word plaid, derived from the Scottish Gaelic plaide, meaning “blanket,” was first used of any rectangular garment.
When referring to Highland dress, a plaid is simply an article of clothing, not a pattern, as is often misunderstood. The word “plaid” is derived from the Gaelic word for blanket. That’s why the feileadh-mhor (Gaelic for “large wrap”) is sometimes also called the belted plaid since it is a blanket that has been gathered and belted around the waist.
Historically, Scots also wore unbelted plaids – often in the form of a long shawl. Plaid in the context of Highland dress, can refer to any of the tailored or untailored garments worn about the shoulders — be…
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