Lumberjacks wore plaid. Punks wore plaid mini skirts. The Beach Boys used to be called the Pendletones, and they wore plaid with their surfboards. Lots of different groups have adopted the pattern over the course of the 20th century, but if we want to explore how this pattern proliferated, we’ve got to go to Scotland.
Articles of Interest is a show about what we wear: a six-part series looking at clothing within 99% Invisible created by Avery Trufelman. Episodes will be released on Tuesdays and Fridays from September 25th through October 12th.
Plaid: Articles of Interest #2
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I couldn't figure it out. I was hitting artistry people. This is an appalling.
She's, a writer and when she moved from Chicago to San Francisco hidden
oh who to hit on anymore
western career, culture is extremely different than barrier queer culture and one of them
things that was most noticeable to me- was fashion. Some of the queer said
else from the MID West didn't quite hold like plaid flannel shirts. I wear fun, I feel
care in the MID West way more. So I think, if you are part of a group,
are things you can wear or ways. You can style your hair signs,
that show that you are part of that group flowers, one my eye to signify like
I exist, but you can't really stop other people from wearing these signals, and so very the power of that signal gets deluded, so easy, someway applied now doesn't mean anything to you. While I might first thing are you a bike? Must
you're and then the next thing, you know you can't even tell what clothing is signalling, what anymore yeah when nay I was rebuffed by this straight lady and I
upset about it and also had been talking about hipsters law because they parade Alot of working class, culture, motifs and flat. All is one of them, so it doesn't seem like lesbians are appropriating working,
I swear yeah. So that's an interesting. I don't know who actually owns inner. If
No one can own a fabric.
Articles of interest a show about what we were. So maybe the ideas about cannot touch our ideas about class and I do hope to a piece of cloth. Ok, I met me any foreign wear clothes, but if you ain't got the attitude and started carried off man you're just a closed walls, lumberjacks war, plaid punks war, plaid many skirts, the beach boys. I kid you not used to be called the Pendel tones and they work.
Plaid with their surfboards, so many different groups have adopted plaid soda
doesn't mean anything anymore, I'm really
Why are we all wearing this? This particular pattern which, once upon a time, was mostly concentrated in the upper corner of this one island off the coast of Europe. Shut me for Scotland is trash precious, the thing that identifies people in Scotland Address because they both parts world. This is Peter Mcdonald historian at the Scottish, too
this authority. They call this pattern, tartan, not plaid. We don't use that word for patents in this country, parties a garment,
the Scotsman, who lived in the highlands, then
learn hilly part of the country used to rap
themselves in a cloth almost
like a blanket kind of
an indian. Sorry, sir, if you like, it's a talking, sorry booby, the nearest equivalent that both of cloth was called a plaid and it had a tartan pattern on it, but
The term got into the U S and that where they become synonymous with the patent, it's not like
back then there were tartan, shirts and tartan scars. No tart
was on these traditional plans and overcoats and on the traditional pants, which
called truce. Trees are taught and travels troop about trousers possessed. The text includes the feet, so they're, more light, Ladys tight, so TAT
what kind of this parochial little pattern that Scotsmen in the country used to where it was pretty much all
used on these obscure traditional highland garments that I had never heard of before, and then something happened, something that way
and up turning tartan loose on the world. These obscure
traditional highland clothes were banned. The act band kilts play
hats and other elements of highland dress and outdoor coats in talking you can't, whereas will the ACT Peter Mcdonald is talking about, is the dress act of seventeen. Forty six Scotland was being taken over
by the hand of Hanoverian Empire and many of the Scots who fought back were from behind
funds, and so they wore tartan coats and kilts implants. Put it
potheads they would be seen as terrorists or freedom fighters
besides, you rob, but that's the reason for that. It was a way to suppress the resist,
hence by limiting what they wore
Men were not allowed to wear highland clothes for thirty five years in Scotland, but here's the thing just like band
ex, become the cool thing to read when scottish clothes or banned baby
came the cool thing to wear, as always, when you're not allowed to where something that mean somebody else immediately. Will this is Jonathan Fares, author of the book tartan, and he says what the band did
that it made highland closed trendy outside of Scotland, suddenly
was also being worn in England moment. My talking a fashionable
break. It was no longer a sigh,
no indigenous highlanders. She became
something that perhaps lowlanders or english people with Scotty SIMPLE,
started aware, but
scottish men had an option
if they wanted to keep wearing their traditional closed during the ban, there was a loophole they could go.
For the british empire. The ban didn't applied. A Scotsman who joined the army overtime, encourage people if they wanted to continue to other names. You ve got to join the military this month.
Men wearing tartans, were deployed around the world which influence the style and popularity of similar looking patterns across the colonies. Like mad
in India. I presume address and chequered bandanas in Jamaica and the shook a cloth of the Messiah warriors colonialism of the British Empire spread these influences around an increased global demand for tartan and tartan like fabrics. The presence of Harland, regiment and soldiers,
wearing Tom in some form or another would have influence people directly on a purely I studied, and meanwhile people in England, with scottish sympathies,
all got together in seventeen. Seventy eight and made a kind of booster group to advocate for scottish culture, something
the highly cited London, was formed in order to
and preserve the customs of manners. What was called the
I didn't revival to break hymen revival. They they were responsible for the repeal of the dress act in seventeen. Eighty two,
at the time the just ban was finally lifted, it was just
Pardon mainly at the great Highland revival, was in full swing. Scottish sold,
we're coming home, and now they could wear their tartan. An Englishman were wearing tartan and people all over the colonies were wearing Tartan and North Americans were really wearing. Tartan
obviously the kind of work shows that you would ticklish.
And fire with American ISIS. I kind of plaid working sure if you
back some of the earliest costs that were used for tomatoes, worshippers were exported from Scotland, tightened
became a massive export to the United States. Talk was a huge export to America
in the seventeen hundreds alleviating hundreds and the United States. Tartan was all
a symbol of heritage and belonging. If you were a Scotsman who was
made to flee or homeland, or
if you literally belonged to a Scotsman,
there are lots of a very powerful scottish family is very active in this. I've tried these kinds of records are hard to find, but it said that enslaved people across the colony
also wore tartan, patterned cloth because Tartan is bright and noticeable.
Slaves would be made to wear a cloth with a particular tartan which
they belong to. You will be more
She would be branded by your bio owners. Bio represses, which spray chilling bodies.
For those people was very much a cloth of oppression. Tartan
has been in many ways a cloth of oppression, whether the Scots were being oppressed themselves or acting as the hand of the british Empire or perpetuating the global slave trade, and it functions efficiently as a cloth
pressure, because it is so loud and highly visible, but do thank you.
Has this idea of almost negating the body
becoming literally just the patent say. You are literally kind of becoming the brand and tartan
be a brand of so many different conflicting things in the United States. Tart
can be a nod to a rugged highlander the orderly incredibly match our heart disease who's running around, maybe looking after a sheet money wearing a kill or I'm anarchic, colonizers quintessentially american designer, such as raffle, ran, for example, frequently used Tom. I think it is probably
associated with ideas. Colonialism, an empire and that's aside from its associations with queerness or lumberjacks or cowboys, are bite messengers, quite literally, there's a tartan for everything these. If it toxins fortunes
De Williams works at the National Records of Scotland in these books is here,
and she is showing me the scottish register of tartans
which is very much not open to the public carved into someone come to make the point you are the first well, she said I was there
a journalist who had been in their generally. We don't we don't offer this, we dont say to people coming and look at what this watches
a body can look on line by the way they can look up. If we tartan online, there is in that register. They just need to put in a search. They just need to put in a name, and they will come back. Tartans traditionally have been associated with,
scottish names. So if your last name
is Maclean or Mcallen or Hani. You can look up the traditional tartans associated with your clan. I had the the clan chief, don't doktor David,
he came in today and he was looking up his honey titans, but its knowledge,
everyone who lives in Scotland. Has this long family history with the traditional
asked name in a family tartan and in Scotland People where Tom
who killed two weddings and funerals and parties
what are you supposed to wear if you're, not from a clam? That's where you get other people they got personal tartans says not hurt
sir for themselves. They ve designed to tighten. They really want to
This would then you ve also go organization, corporate ones, lotta,
military ones being registered lately, no matter
who you are or how not scottish you are
it will bet money that if you peruse the register of tartans
You will eventually find a tartan for something that you like, or can identify with the zoo panda one
The panda at the Edinburgh Zoo have tartan.
As Panasonic. It still just a tartan, but its black and white.
These as I'm heritage. There's a San Francisco tartan that won the San Francisco tartan is sandy and scarlet like the colours of the forty nine years
judges, Tartan is as sand and blue and little slender bits of red most states in the EU.
Have an official tartan and a lot of countries have one
five way news him.
Kenya was the Africa Folder, Volkswagen American Express and Coca COLA have tartans. Nike has a couple
there is a time for the scottish register of tartans there's a Scottish where deserve turned? Yes, you
two could have your very own official tartan, the certificate costs, seventy pounds and its
your bounds. If you want it in a wooden frame, but you'll get the talk to name, you get the registration number, you can design your own tartan in literally ten minutes, because
Mitchell tartans don't have to be cloth anymore, mine Turton, you can
Oh do you any number of online tartan generators heard unique business, club or personal plaid, and
put the colors, you want, whose power and the thread county can adjust the thickness and tat you ve Tartan announced just saving my tartan.
You'll get tan people designing a full for their dog.
Dead relative thinking. Why our historian friend Peter Mcdonald, is part of the committee that assesses the incoming tartans,
They get around. Eight proposals are quite a lot of what I become vanity tartans. They never going to be woven, then everyone and its because they can.
Which doesn't make them good or tasteful or meaningful. Frankly, Emily do somebody's threatens get tonight.
And of the new incoming tartans. The majority of them are not from Scotland will talk more. Seventy
don't come from North America, probably
from the? U S, but a sizeable proportion from Canada is well quite a few from Japan
Many schools seems like talking to uniforms any data from Scotland, but because the majority of income from America
America is really into tartan.
Mean just go to New York City on April. Sixth, that's national.
Tartan Day and they put on this huge parade with bagpipe.
In scottish carriers and scottish associations from all over the. U S, tar,
is one way that white people can claim some sort of cultural heritage, because your young comes
You all want to claim your heritage and actually a lot of people play me. The Scots, our irish ancestry, because it has the cultural icons, identity which help you belong,
and everyone wants to belong to something somewhere. Somehow there was about a thirty percent increase last year. Tartans registered so is is Daphne on the increase
some ways. If you don't get your tartan actually woven. The register of tartans might seem like
cheesy thrill like one of those online services, or you can pay too
register a star or by a
lot of land on the moon, but those authentic clan tartans, the ones that represent last night.
Those were also kind of made up. When you look actually early examples of
surviving talons it would not really have been associated with particular families, and there is no way that six hundred twelve hundred people,
clansmen could all be wearing the same tartan. This idea of
they show. Clan tartans was part of the
great highland revival, gosh plant organs,
doubt around eighteen, ten, ok, yes, two hundred years is old, but that's nothing
you compare it to the ages of the clans themselves, the Macduff stomach doodles them again
Are you the Mcgowan's? Those are closer to
a thousand years old, but basically in eighteen, hundreds.
Many of the clan leaders just went and picked out tartans they liked.
Rename them after themselves, this is kind of like
They were absolutely they Campbell chief used black horse talkin.
The cheese Kenzie use these seventy three c4 fatten them at first and sealed as his true Clanton tartan, that
Ten years area have been being soldiers, Caledonia Tartan PLAID
whatever you want to call it. The pattern has
on so many different meanings and associations.
Has been used symbolically tonight, so many different groups of people on the surface. The pattern seem simple right: it's just a series of overlapping threads of work and a weft
Really. If you look at it and get your nose ride up close and noticed,
we're of colours the striped with
variation in the ways the threads overlap. You can see it's quite complex and it can be particular enough to be specific and general enough to be, for everyone
just Yannick cultural Recognition, just visibility being able to walk down the street and be like. Oh that's, another person who, like me, I feel less alone like that, can be something that plaid does or just kind of amazing. If you think a fabric having power culturally.
The piece of paper
Articles of interest is made by myself every Chauvelin edited by Jo Rosenberg bag piping by David lots in other music by re royal. An intern outer themes by society, Ashworth fat check by Ground Asia makes by
corn and roman Mars is the motto Highlander of this whole series of very special thanks to Crystal Benes Isabel slowly reach away our government Christina Stokes and information as well. Katy, mingle, Fitzgerald Sharif, Youssef, Vivian, Laney Hall, Kirkwall Stead,
ninety, ninety eighteen,
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Kilts are not skirts, but there is one important way that kilts are very similar to women's, where what are you wearing right now? So I'm ring my killed, which Macpherson ancient Tartan, my kilt shoes, killed, rogues and then to topple I've. Gotta
drastic partition. Mrs David Macpherson, who I met outside a barn Edinburgh and when he wears has killed. He also has to where something called a sporran. So what's this
Lauren sporran is a big furry purse. It's a fur!
And leather purse that sets right over the crotch if Kennedy
on a chain round, your hips that attaches to hear about it attaches to Airbus because killed don't have any pockets so.
You need to keep your stuff somewhere. So right now I've got my phone and I've got my keys Gama wallet, other people. I do know that. Might
Re far on dvd, I wouldn't fair pockets. I mean it's, not gonna, get very much in it. You next, article of interest, is pockets,
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.