Today is National Tartan Day. Now that I'm back on Twitter I am able to find out these tidbits from places like Town & Country's twitter feed. I'm a HUGE fan of tartan. Until college I was under the impression that tartan, madras, and plaid are not necessarily the same thing. Tartan is a type of plaid, but tartan actually represents clans, or families, originating in Scotland. Check out this article from Town & Country to learn the differences in plaids (http://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/fashion-trends/news/a2538/what-your-favorite-plaid-says-about-you/) I remember seeing that L.L. Bean's plaid shirts have specific names but it wasn't until college that I found out that the names come from the name of tartan such as Campbell and Black Watch (my favorite). http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/42272?feat=flannel%20shirt-SR0&page=scotch-plaid-flannel-shirt-traditional-fit
Here is a few tidbits of it's origin:
Most popular types of tartan: Black Watch and Royal Stewart
Tartan fans: Kate Middleton. London Punks. Street Style Stars.
If you wear Tartan you are: classic, a traditionalist.
Tartan is used on Scottish kilts, and other clothing, but also in furnishings. Those curtains above are so rich. Also notice the pillow in another tartan. I've also seen lampshades and tableware in various tartans, especially at Christmas. Williams-Sonoma has used Royal Stewart tartan on their chargers.
A few more articles on Tartan: