If you've gone Outlander crazy like the rest of the world, you may be interested in upholstering your sofa in plaid upholstery fabric. Plaid fabric is also known as tartan, and the geometric surface is woven of several colors to create a unique plaid pattern. The different patterns of plaid fabric were originally designed to reflect the colors of the many Scottish clans. Each family had its own design, colors, and weave, which created the multi-strand woven fabric. Plaid is still associated with royalty and family loyalty, so choosing a plaid or tartan that matches your own Scottish heritage is ideal. However, the non-Scottish also enjoy the structured look of plaid and the wide colors used.

Plaid Characteristics

Plaid fabric is traditionally woven from wool yarn in various earthy colors and brilliant blues, greens, and reds. Wool is a durable fabric that offers a warm and tactile surface. It can be dyed any color as wool is colorfast and accepts dye well. To achieve a smoother finish, polyester and cotton blends can also be used to weave plaid pattern fabrics, though these will not be the traditional plaid or tweed that we associate with traditional Scottish fabrics.

Different Types of Plaid Fabric

Plaid is usually categorized according to color unless you are looking for a specific Scottish family's plaid or tweed colorings. There are shops that weave colors and patterns according to the client's needs. Plaid is usually classified according to color, with blue, green, red, and gray being popular choices. Each pattern is also changed according to the plaid lines, spacing, and repetition of design elements.

When to Use Plaid

Use plaid when you want to achieve a structured look, where plain colors, tweeds, and plaids are woven into a new color scheme guide. With a great plaid pillow, you can easily coordinate the rest of your room to match. A larger scale plaid upholstery may be accompanied by other plaids, different size plaids, and large areas with plain or low-contrast tweed patterns.

Ways to Incorporate Plaid in Your Decor

Plaid can create an earthy vibe in your home as the different earthen colors are combined to make the base plaid pattern that your decor scheme will follow. Use large plaids for drapery, pillow covers, and as a contrast pattern on large bucket chairs.

Combine with a smaller plaid or tweed patterned fabric, using the design of each fabric to introduce a new color and matching plaid pattern. Plaid is surprisingly easy to decorate with, whether you are reupholstering your whole settee with plaid or simply want to add a Scottish flavor with a plaid lap blanket draped over your sofa.

Cleaning and Care Recommendation

How you clean and care for your plaid upholstery will depend on the fabric type your plaid is manufactured from, as you can't wash a cotton plaid the same way as an authentic wool plaid. Knowing which plaid fibers have been used can help you correctly identify your plaid car upholstery. Here are a few plaid types and how to care for each:

Cotton Blend Plaids

Use cold water and a mild detergent to wash out stains, but air dry in the shade to prevent the damp fabric from shrinking. Avoid using bleaches (even for lighter or white plaid patterns) as it lightens the area where the spill or stain is, changing the uniformity of the fabric.

Linen Blend Plaids

Avoid overusing water, and try to remove most of a spill with a dry paper towel or a lint-free cloth. Linen blend plaids absorb loads of water when washed, so try to limit water exposure, as it can lead to fiber twisting and waterlogged linen that takes a long time to dry correctly. Steam cleaning isn't advisable as the heat may shrink the natural fibers. Dry the linen blend plaid upholstery fabrics in a shady spot to help prevent UV bleaching and damage to the fibers.

Polyester and Polyester Blends Plaid Upholstery Fabric

When choosing a plaid upholstery fabric that needs to be long-wearing and easy to care for, polyester and polyester blends are ideal plaid upholstery fabrics to consider. Polyester is easy to care for and can withstand a warm-water wash. It is a resilient fabric that can handle a good scrub to remove stains.

Pure Wool Plaid

If you are fortunate and can afford quality 100% wool plaid, you should be aware that wool requires special care. Wool is a natural fiber, so it can become damaged and shrink when exposed to high heat. This fiber retains dyes well, but it also stains easily. Plaid is a useful fabric to select for home upholstery. Choose the textile that suits your lifestyle, and enjoy that Scottish Highland feel with a great plaid pattern.

Most Popular Plaid Upholstery Fabric

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