You can find it in private schools. You can find it in Scotland. Some people at Hogwarts have been seen in it. Avril Lavigne wears it. So did Katherine Hepburn. Sometimes oven mitts are made of it, and ties are too. Golfers, Scottie dogs, and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain wear/wore it, as do picnic blankets. What is this versatile fabric? PLAID!! It is the pattern that we all know and love, and its real name is tartan. This many-colored textile was used by the Celts for thousands of years before it became popular in Hollywood. The variety and quantity of the colors varied according to the rank of the wearer. The ancient kings’ tartans had seven colors, the druids’ tartans had six colors, and the noble’s tartans consisted of four colors. For many centuries, the different patterns of plaid were loosely associated with the weavers of a particular area, or to a certain clan, and it was common for sheepherders and highlanders to wear a number of different tartans at the same time. When asked if she liked plaid, senior Alicia Wengert, a self-proclaimed plaid enthusiast said, “I’m so PLAID you asked me about it! I live, love, eat, and wear plaid. Black Watch plaid is my fave!” Although most students are not as enthused about plaid as Wengert is, plaid has been growing in popularity ever since celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Adam Brody, Jessica Simpson, John Mayer, Heath Ledger, and Lindsay Lohan revived the textile after their “Grunge” phase ended by sporting the fabric on their hats, pants, skirts, and shirts. Senior Dan Stafford even wears plaid. “I have a kilt,” he said. “I wore it on St. Patty’s Day, to After Prom, and I will be wearing it to the Senior Picnic with my sombrero.” Are you still jonesing for more information about plaid? Here is some trivia for you. 1. The world’s first color photograph, made by the Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell in 1861, was of a tartan ribbon. 2. The Burberry “check” pattern is trademarked, unlike most plaids. 3. Junior staff reporter Sam Bird wore a tartan print pair of shorts from American Eagle on Tuesday. 4. Forever Plaid is a musical comedy about a 1950’s boy-band with a “clean-cut” image. As you can see, plaid, or tartan, has become trendy and stylish; one could even say a staple in American culture. If you don’t already own something plaid leftover from the early nineties, you best be gettin’ some!