Made up of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines with coloured checks, tartan (or plaid) designs are a widely recognised, timeless classic. Traditionally associated with particular Scottish clans, they also conjure up images of remote Scottish houses and lodges.
Today, tartan is still extensively used in textiles, for both clothing and upholstery and we are also seeing an increase in the use of tartan in both contemporary residences as well as traditional ones all over the UK. Tartan fabrics have become a trend in the world of fashion and interior design. Adding even just a hint of a tartan to your home can instantly provide cosiness.
The Positives of Tartan
Traditional tartans are made from wool, and this still remains the ideal fabric for tartan upholsteries and accessories due to its wealth of qualities. Due to the structure of the wool fibre, dirt sits on the surface making it easy to clean with simple vacuuming. The same applies for spills, the structure prevents them from being quickly absorbed, therefore allowing you time to quickly blot them up before they sink in. An excellent all round interior upholstery.
The Different Colours of Tartan
Bold tartan designs in colours such as bright reds, greens and blues can definitely add character to a room, but can in some interiors, be dominating and over powering. When introducing tartan to your home, we suggest working with your existing furnishings and colours schemes as this often involves using a softer palette when choosing any tartan upholsteries. Pastel colours, cream and beige tartans will successfully bring that Scottish look to your interior without overwhelming your current look.
Bringing Tartan into Your Home
Dining Room Chairs
A set of tartan upholstered dining chairs in traditional wool fabric, is a fantastic way to bring that Highland feel to your home. Wool upholstery will retain its colour and form, despite constant use. Depending on the design of the actual chair, you can successfully merge a contemporary design with more traditional upholstery or simply go for the all round traditional look.
Occasional furniture is a great way to introduce tartan into your living room. Most of us don’t have the time or the money to redecorate our entire living room from scratch using a tartan theme. So a pair of occasional chairs with tartan upholstery is a great way of coordinating tartan weaves with the look you have already established.
Sometimes you may not want to buy new furniture, in this case the use of accessories is an ideal way to introduce new themes. This could range from a couple of feature cushions or a throw, to a table runner or even tartan-bordered wall prints or paintings. During the festive season, we see even more tartan in traditional Christmas colours. There are numerous accessories to be bought in the Christmas season.
It may sound like overkill, but tartan wall prints in subtle colour schemes can really add character and depth. You can always opt for a feature wall, if you don’t want to go for the full room.
Tartan Carpet or Rugs
A woollen tartan carpet or rug is not only warm and extremely hard wearing, but also attractive, giving any room a more cosy feel. Once again as with the chair upholstery, due to the nature of wool fibres, dirt and dust will sit on top of the fibres making it easy to remove with a vacuum cleaner. Also, stains are difficult to spot amidst the criss-crossing patterns and colours.
Available in a range of different colours and designs, this is another simple way of creating a tartan feature in your home. Many outlets sell different styles of curtains or blinds in different tartan prints.
Footstools or Pouffes
Finally, footstools or pouffes can compliment living rooms and are often fabric-upholstered. They are available in many styles and could even double as storage.