The Best Plaid Fabric
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When you’re feeling crafty, the right materials are essential. You can head to the fabric shop and feel your way through what’s available, but this can limit your selection. Buying fabrics online actually gives you a much bigger variety to choose from than if you just visited one or two local fabric stores.
If you’re looking for plaid fabric, you probably already have a project in mind. Just remember, what you’d buy for a tablecloth or curtain isn’t the same as what you’d buy for a scarf or dress. It’s important to know the best type of fabric for whatever project you’re planning; this will ensure it holds up over time.
Polyester is one of the most versatile and durable types of fabric, particularly if you’re making something that will need to be washed regularly. Depending on the dyes used in the fabric, you should be able to wash and tumble-dry the fabric as needed, although you’ll still need to stick with cold temperatures.
Plaid fabrics are especially popular during the cold-weather seasons. Tartans that incorporate reds, greens and golds and buffalo plaid in red and black are both Christmastime staples. If you’re preparing for the holidays, these fabrics can be great for dressing up your house or dining room table.
If you’re going for a more elegant feel for your home décor, cotton or linen make better fabric choices. Polyester will look great, but it won’t quite have the fine texture you’ll get with those two material types. Both cotton and linen are durable, holding up over many washes and uses, but they’re also absorbent: If you spill something, you might have a tougher time getting the stain out.
In a fabric store, you’ll often choose your fabric and ask for it to be cut to a specified length. With online fabric, on the other hand, you’ll generally purchase a precut swath of fabric and may have a selection of sizes to choose from. You can cut to length from there. Pay close attention to the size you’re buying if you’re purchasing online to make sure you’re getting enough.
Before you buy, you may wish to know about the different types of plaid available. Here are some of the most popular:
- Tartan: This is often what people think of when they hear the word “plaid.” Tartan is Scottish in origin and features thin lines going both horizontally and vertically. Burberry is known for this type of plaid, having used this pattern for years in the lining of their popular raincoats.
- Gingham: This plaid is distinctive for having darker- and lighter-colored squares, which result from the way the stripes overlap on an often white background. This gives it a more muted design than other types of plaid and makes it ideal for some very specific types of fashion and home décor.
- Buffalo plaid: Featuring very distinct squares, this bold type of plaid is often found in either red and black or white and black to make a bigger statement.
- Houndstooth: The sharp, pointed edges that typify this abstractly-patterned fabric are said to resemble a dog’s tooth, giving this fabric its name. It generally appears to have a smaller checked weave than other types.
Our Picks For The Top Plaid Fabrics
- 1. Catalin Holiday Tartan Plaid Fabric, 8-Piece
- 2. Ambesonne Waterproof Buffalo Plaid Fabric, 1-Yard
- 3. New Star Fabrics Gingham Buffalo Plaid Fabric, 5-Yards
- 4. ZAIONE Cotton Buffalo Plaid Fabric Fat Bundles, 5-Pack
- 5. Ambesonne Waterproof Tartan Plaid Fabric, 1-Yard
- 6. Lunarable Tartan Plaid Fabric, 1-Yard
Holiday Tartan Plaid Fabric, 8-Piece
With this plaid fabric set, you'll receive a total of eight precut craft fabric pieces made from a soft cotton. They are extremely versatile and can be used to make everything from holiday face masks to patchwork quilts. The squares measure 21.3 by 17.7 inches, which is large enough to wrap a gift.
Best for HolidaysThis plaid fabric set is shipped in environmentally-friendly packaging.
Waterproof Buffalo Plaid Fabric, 1-Yard
Bold colors and safe dyes will bring a unique look to all your projects. Choose from several sizes (up to 10 yards) of 58-inch-wide medium-weight polyester plaid fabric. The material is no-fade and waterproof, making it great for either indoor or outdoor use.
Versatile PickThe 100% polyester material in this plaid fabric is waterproof, so it will work for either indoor or outdoor use.
New Star Fabrics
Gingham Buffalo Plaid Fabric, 5-Yards
Although it's designed for use as a tablecloth, this durable plaid fabric will work for a variety of projects, including curtains and runners. Buy the 100% polyester fabric that's 60 inches wide by the yard. The material is machine-washable, too.
Many Different ApplicationsBlack-and-white buffalo print will make your project stand out, whether it's a tablecloth, scarf or other item.
Cotton Plaid Fabric Fat Bundles, 5-Pack
This set includes five 17.7" x 17.7" cuts of printed fabric, each with a different plaid pattern in black, white, and/or red. The 100% cotton fabric is natural, eco-friendly and soft to the touch. It also absorbs moisture well and offers plenty of warmth.
For Big ProjectsYou'll get five different pieces of precut plaid fabric in this set, which includes the company's most popular patterns.
What to Look For
- Within the different styles of plaid, you have multiple color options. You can shop around to find the exact fabric you need for your decor scheme.
- If you aren’t sure what your future projects will need, you can buy sets of fabric that offer a variety of patterns to help inspire you.
- Your fabric will include dyes. If you have sensitivities or concerns, check to make sure the fabric was made using safer dyes before you buy.
- Polyester has waterproof features that make it a better option for outdoor projects than other types of material. If you’re making pillows for your patio furniture, for instance, you might want to look for polyester material.
- Check not only the size of your fabric but the weight. Your project might call for a lighter-weight fabric, or you might find that a medium or heavier weight is better. For items like curtains and pillowcases, medium-weight fabric or heavier might be a better option.
- In many cases, you can find fabric that works as a tablecloth or table runner without much cutting or stitching. Simply pay attention to the dimensions.
- You may wish to look for machine-washable fabrics, as hand-washing can be an inconvenience. Even if your fabric is rated as machine-washable, though, keep it to the cold setting and tumble dry on low heat.
- Some material is designed to resist fading even after many washes. If you’ll be washing frequently, it’s worth the investment to choose one that holds up over time.
- Turkish fabrics are often tightly woven for better quality, but the patterns are what make them truly unique. Turkey has become known for its textile craftsmanship over the years, so this label gives it a level of distinction.
- The quality of the print itself can vary from one material type to another. You’ll want to make sure the manufacturer uses top-quality printing so that the images are clear and vivid. In a fabric store, you can take a look at the print quality and search for flaws in the pattern. Online, though, it’s a bit tougher to tell. However, a manufacturer that says it takes printing seriously can be an indication that you’ll be pleased with the results.
Plaid Fabric Rankings
More to Explore
The houndstooth plaid pattern got its start in clothing worn by Scottish shepherds in the 1800s. Initially, the pattern was referred to by the names “shepherd’s check” and “dogtooth,” with a smaller-checked version sometimes being called “puppytooth.” The name came from the sharp edges of the pattern, which were thought to resemble canine teeth.
This plaid truly came into vogue in the 1930s, though, when Christian Dior adopted it for a shoe he created. A few decades later, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant would wear a houndstooth hat on the sidelines of his University of Alabama football games, making the pattern popular with a new generation. To this day, Alabama fans still wear houndstooth on game days to honor the coaching legend.