What’s in a Name?

Since the design blogging world appears to be populated with primarily smart, stylish, young and mostly female designers/writers, it has occurred to me that some of what I am writing about may be irrelevant or puzzling to this generation of bloggers. Whether I am referencing Petula Clark, or quoting Shakespeare,  I am thinking that my readers “get it”. But apparently that isn’t always case.

I had recently started drafting my latest blog about Buffalo Plaid. You know-big, giant check fabric- very popular and used on everything from Wellies to shams. Then I received a blogger’s email entitled “Gingham”- with pics of buffalo plaid- which is SO not gingham. Does it matter? To me, it does. I figure if I am going to put “pen to paper’, I should have my facts straight. So I polled my co-workers- smart, well-educated young women-and was greeted with blank stares when I asked them if they could identify Buffalo Plaid. Hmmm. So my first thought was perhaps I need to change the way I write and the content to appeal to this young generation of bloggers. But then I recalled a comment made by my marketing instructor, Interior Designer Rachel Hazelton, who had recently returned from the Design Bloggers Conference in LA with this thought: “Be who you are and write about what you know. You cannot be everything to everyone. Just find your niche and write about that.” I guess if it worked for Dr. Seuss, it can work for me too! So without further ado, introducing BUFFALO PLAID!!

I have loved it since I was a kid. It is big, bold and graphic, whether in pastels or primary colors. The identifiable characteristics are the squares that are large and equal in size, so you can turn the pattern horizontally or vertically and it will look the same.Trending today in every rainbow hue, it marries just as well with toile and florals as it does standing alone. It can be rusticor elegant simple or simply charming

Legend has it that Buffalo Plaid made its 1914 American debut with a logging company’s ad campaign featuring Lumberjack Paul Bunyan, but it actually dates back to Scottishman Rob Roy Macgregor, who was stylin’ in his tartan kilt. Buffalo plaid has everything to do with MacGregor’s ancestors in the buffalo trade (hence the name), and nothing to do with cowboys and farmers. For the full unabridged story, click here:

So there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about Buffalo Plaid. And the next time someone asks you the difference between checks and plaids, because I know that comes up often in conversation, please refer them to this blog. In the meantime, enjoy the pics on my Pinterest Buffalo Plaid Page. “Checking” out for today…Susan 


  1. Vickie Rumble says:

    I am looking for large scale buffalo check in red and black to reproduce a 1780 dress I plan to wear for my themed wedding. Do you offer fabric for sale? Can you direct me to a source that would have this in the large check? Thank you.


  2. plaid never gets old;-)


  3. I knew what it was and I knew it was rustic. I had no idea it could be elegant or used with toile. 🙂 Keep the posts coming.



  1. […] from Buffalo Plaid, my other favorite style icon is stripes! Big and bold or soft and dreamy, stripes make a […]


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