Sunday, 15 April 2012

Shepherd's Plaid.....

The Shepherd's Plaid or Maud was a long length ( 3 to 4 yds ) of  tweed check ...also known as Northumbrian Tartan, Border Tartan, Border Check or Border Drab.
Created on a loom with alternate weave of small dark and light checks, traditionally the light check would be undyed sheep's wool...the dark check either black sheep wool or dyed with simple vegetable dyes.
Historically these vegetables dyes could produce colours varying from blue, green, brown or grey,  but today's modern Northumbrian Tartan is black and white.

This long thin "blanket" kept the shepherd warm in the wilds of the Northumbrian hills and Scottish Borders...

And provided a useful way to carry small lambs...

Recently I was fortunate to find one in pretty good condition...10ft long by 48ins wide, in a lovely soft grey/blue check.

Embroidered initials W B in red wool on the edge.

 Playing about, draping this way and that....

Although I have been told the correct way to wear it is to tie it at the waist, then drape diagonally across the chest and allow the remaining length to fall down the back of the shoulder.

I even created a lamb pocket...

The other evening sitting in the last rays of the sun in the garden with a glass of wine... it started to get quite chilly. So, to test its "warmth-ablity" I pulled the plaid around me and the acres of wool were cold spots, just lovely and cosy but without the feel of a bulky blanket.

Maybe this could be the new fashion accessory for chilly English gardens?

All I need now is a lamb to complete the look....

 Julie x


  1. Interesting post and a fantastic find.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. all very well having a Lamb pocket" but where would you put your teapot?

  3. Wow! I'm impressed, it's gorgeous. I didn't even know they existed Julie.
    Rose H

  4. What a lovely post and so interesting, yes I think we need the plaid right now, as it is getting very chilly here in Devon.

  5. It's gorgeous Julie, much lovelier than a pashmina, and very stylish. I love the old picture of the shepherd carrying the lamb wrapped in the plaid.
    Jo xx

  6. Just my style, Julie! And I love the interesting history of the Maud.
    Nilly x

  7. Great post Julie, and what a lovely piece of social history. I wonder who it belonged to? Love Linda x

  8. So . . . . . . do you still want a labrador?
    Or do you want a lamb instead now?
    Do you supose you could have both?
    Love Helen xx

  9. Lovely post, thank you for your blog comment. from another ex-nurse! xx

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