What’s the difference between plaid, checks, gingham, flannel and tartan?
If you’ve always wondered why there are so many names for fabrics with criss-cross patterns (or what the heck to call that design on the Jack’s Place table cloth) read on to find out.
1) Checkered or Checkerboard
A checkered pattern consists of squares in two different colours positioned in alternating positions. As its name suggests, think of a checkerboard or the finishing line flag at a Formula One race.
In actual fact, gingham is the name of the fabric made from cotton blend yarn. Because of the weaving process, the single-coloured yarn create a striped or checkered pattern against the white yarn. There can also be different levels of transparency in the colour tones. That’s what you see being used for the tablecloths when you’re at a Jack’s Place restaurant.
Plaid is a pattern formed from criss-crossing lines of varying widths in one, two or three colours. Plaid is more commonly used on shirts as it can also come in sheer fabrics. The most famous plaid pattern is probably seen on Burberry trenchcoats and scarves.
Similar to a plaid pattern, tartan designs are formed with lines of varying widths but tartans usually feature three or more colours in addition to the base colour. The most common and historic use of tartan pattern is on Scottish kilts.
A variation of the traditional checkered pattern, houndstooth patterns are formed from checks with notched corners. Because of the complexity of the design, it’s more commonly used for coats and cushions.