5 Top Tips For Decorating With Tartan


Tartan is one of the most recognisable fabrics in the entire world - and certainly one of the most enduringly popular for both fashion and home interiors. If it’s a stylish home decor aesthetic that you’re looking for, one that will stand the test of time, then tartan could be the answer to all your decorating dreams.

The pattern itself is characterised by a series of interlocking stripes that run in the warp and the weft of the cloth (that’s the horizontal and vertical weaves of the fabric) - and it has its origins deeply rooted in history, stretching back hundreds and hundreds of years.

In actual fact, Scotland’s earliest known tartan can be dated back to the third or fourth century AD and, elsewhere in the world, the cloth has been found dating to around 3000 BC. 

Although tartan designs have been found all over the world, it has particular cultural significance in Scotland and by the 17th and 18th centuries, tartan clothing was hugely characteristic of Highland dress, with commercial weavers taking up production of the cloth on a large scale.

Interestingly, tartan was so synonymous with the Highland gael that in 1746, after the Battle of Culloden and the climax of the Jacobite Rising, the British government prohibited the wearing of the cloth throughout the Highlands to help suppress the Scottish rebellion!

Since then, of course, tartan has gone on to become a staple of both our daily wardrobes and our home interiors, and it’s a particularly smart option for both fashionistas and interior stylists, a look that will never go out of style.

When it comes to decorating, if you’re keen to have a show stopping look in your living room or drawing room, then floor to ceiling made to measure curtains in a tartan fabric will certainly have the wow factor you’re looking for.

Tartan curtains will always be a dramatic addition to any room, but they can also help create a really cosy and welcoming feel, especially if you bring in other upholstery in a coordinating pattern, so don’t forget to source stunning cushions, throws and footstools, as well.

Don’t be afraid to go bold with your tartan decorating, either - more is most certainly more in this particular case. But make sure you hold the look together by choosing a colour palette and running with that, so that the effect isn’t lost if you have too much other stuff going on.

You can also create a beautiful design aesthetic if you mix tartan in with other patterns and, again, the key here is to be as brave as you can. Play around with combining tartans with florals and other geometrics and textures to create layers of interest.

Do you need any more help or advice relating to curtains and home interiors? Get in touch with the team at McAlister Textiles today to see what we can do together.


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