PLAID (Gael, plaide, Ir. ploid, usually taken to be derived from Gael, peall, sheepskin, Lat. pellis, skin), an outer garment, consisting of an oblong piece of woollen cloth, which has formed the principal outer part of the costume of the Highlanders of Scotland. The wearer wrapped himself in the plaid, the lower portion, reaching to the knees and belted, forming the kilt. Later the lower portion was separated, being called the philibeg, the plaid being used as a covering for the shoulders and upper part of the body. The plaids were usually of a checked or tartan pattern. The word is thus used of any cloth made with such a pattern. " Shepherd's plaid " is a cloth with a chequer of black on a white ground.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)