Tuesday, December 11, 2012

style spotlight: buffalo check

"Buffalo Check" is a Hudson Bay wool plaid of red and black (not a tartan), that was used in the 18th century. It was developed as a lighter alternative to striped "point" blankets, and was commonly used to make jackets and shirts in the Northern States because they were thinner than the point-blanket wool, and still very warm. When the logging industry swept the Great Lakes region, they became a very popular logging shirt.  Paul Bunyan was apparently a fan.

In 1850, Woolrich unveiled the two-tone plaid Buffalo Check shirt, which is still available today. According to the Pennsylvania-born company’s history books, the pattern designer owned a herd of buffalo.

Borrowed from the boys, buffalo check fabric can be worn or it can be used as an upholstery fabric.  The pattern is versatile, so it can be a layering piece (in bedding, for example) or stand-alone.




A sister to Gingham, buffalo check comes in any color and can thus match any design scheme.  Beautiful, and often inexpensive..

images from marthastewart.com, elledecor.com, countryliving.com and ICDC files.

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Was just thinking of recovering some chairs in a fun but classic pattern and this would be perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!