This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Clan Tartans. [It. tartantanna, linsey-woolsey, or cloth of different materials and colors] A term descriptive of the parti-colored plaids long worn by the different clans of Scotland. They were of various combinations of colors. The exact date of the introduction of clan tartans into this country which at different times have assumed so many wonderful and picturesque varieties, is assigned to 1822. The fashion of wearing these gaily colored plaids has been revived from time to time during recent years, and have been variously styled Scotch Plaids, Clan Tartans, Tartan Plaids, etc. The numerous clans into which the Highland population was divided had each a special tartan plaid by which it was distinguished. Many new and imaginary " sets" have been invented by manufacturers in the United States, with the result of introducing confusion in the heraldry of tartans, and of throwing doubt on the reality of the distinctive "sets" which in the olden time were undoubtedly recognized as badges of particular clans. [See Plaids.]