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View Full Version : The difference between a "plaid" and a "check"

Merl Minnozza
03-13-2005, 11:10 PM
I ASSUME that the difference between a plaid and a check is symmetry: in a check, like the famous Burberry Nova pattern, every line is intersected by the same kind of line - a series of three lines is intersected by a series of three lines, a single red line is intersected by a single red line, and so forth, all at EQUAL intervals, so there are only squares and no irregular rectangular shapes. In a plaid, I guess, the spacing might be more uneven.

Is this correct?

Merl Minnozza
03-13-2005, 11:14 PM
Also that a plaid might contain solid bars of color, whereas a check would contain only series of lines. Right also?

lynxie
03-14-2005, 04:41 AM
Main Entry: plaid
Function: noun
Etymology: Scottish Gaelic plaide
1 : a rectangular length of tartan worn over the left shoulder as part of the Scottish national costume
2 a : a twilled woolen fabric with a tartan pattern b : a fabric with a pattern of tartan or an imitation of tartan
3 a : TARTAN 1 b : a pattern of unevenly spaced repeated stripes crossing at right angles

lynxie
03-14-2005, 04:43 AM
oops, that was from Merriam-Webster.

Starving Artist
03-14-2005, 04:59 AM
As a slight aside, I saw a comedian on television once (maybe Steven Wright) talking about stuff he did as a child, like buying chameleons at the fair, putting them on plaid fabric and watching them explode.

Broomstick
03-14-2005, 06:10 AM
You know, that definition might work, except the Rob Roy tartan is a red and black series of squares or checks...

But, aside from that, I'd say a check is composed of same size squares and a plaid or tartan is different sized squares and rectangles in two or more colors.

Richard Pearse
03-14-2005, 07:46 AM
Easy, a "plaid" doesn't bounce.

B'boom tish!

Scott Plaid
03-14-2005, 09:06 AM
Did someone call ME?

But really, I am a type of material, not a pettern.

GOOG'LED

[53] Plaid

Plaid (pronounced "plad") is the name of the material which is used for
making kilts. It isn't the name of the pattern on the material, this is
called "tartan". In the US, plaid is sometimes pronounced "plaid" and
usually refers to the material - plaid and tartan are interchangeable
terms there, they aren't in Scotland.

Also see: ftp://members.aol.com/sdullman/programs/tartan20.zip

LifeOnWry
03-14-2005, 09:43 AM
True, that "plaid" refers to the fabric, not the pattern --- but in the US, plaid as a pattern is common usage.

In that usage, the difference between a plaid and a check is that a check pattern is generally two colors and all the little squares are evenly woven on the loom. For example, the loom would be strung with three white threads, three red threads and so on. The weaving threads would be an exact repeat of that pattern - three white, three red. Gingham check is slightly different - it would be more like six white, six red, and the cross threads would be three red, three white, three red, three white - giving that classic "picnic tablecloth" pattern where the intersecting squares are a combination of both colors, rather than solid.

A plaid has a more varied pattern, but the weaving is done the same way, with the warp and weft threads - in the case of a plaid, the layout would be more like three red, two white, five yellow, three green, etc. The weaving threads would again folow that pattern, but the result is varied rectangles and squares of color.

I'm probably not explaining this well, but does it make sense anyway?

spingears
03-14-2005, 03:11 PM
I ASSUME that the difference between a plaid and a check is symmetry: in a check, like the famous Burberry Nova pattern, every line is intersected by the same kind of line - a series of three lines is intersected by a series of three lines, a single red line is intersected by a single red line, and so forth, all at EQUAL intervals, so there are only squares and no irregular rectangular shapes. In a plaid, I guess, the spacing might be more uneven.

Is this correct?
The online dictionaryfor "check": A fabric patterned with squares: a dress of pale green check.
Or like a checker board with at least two or more colors. I would suppose that lines could be added for esthetic purposes.