Tartan have been around since 400 BC or so.

Today they are not just warp and weft textiles created through the loom. But also printed onto the fabric – for example printed flannel which was to replace the more expensive woven tartans.

The gingham plaid below is printed not woven. A tromp-l’oeil effect.

| Alexander McQueen printed gingham pattern and Burberry woven tartan |

Anni Albers’ called her wall hangings pictorial weaving. Anni was the queen of the warp and the weft when she landed in the USA. Not only with her woven art but in her commissioned work with industrial textiles.

| Anni Albers, Bedspread for Harvard Graduate Centre, detail, 1950 |

Around 1949 Walter Gropius designed the Harvard Graduate Centre. He asked Anni to produce the bedspreads. They were practical, durable heavy linen and cotton. Anni Albers says Gropius had requested something in an English ‘manly’ style’.  He got it.

You can make your own ye olde tartan here – tartan maker.

Julia Ritson

2 responses to “Tartan”

  1. As a teenager I wore tartan everything. Hats, shoes,ribbons,bags, dresses etc. all at once. My old school friends still tease me about it. I would be happy if the world was all stripes and checks.

  2. There’s a BIG McQueen show on in NYC right now: http://blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen/suit-highland-rape/

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