Who Invented It: Scottish Tribesmen
Year Introduced: 16th Century
While plaid-like patterns have existed as early at 400 BC, tartan's modern form is believed to have come from Scotland in the 16th Century. Originally, tartan was a way for Scottish inhabitants to set themselves apart, and a variety of laws and acts later established different tartans to distinct clans and army regiments. In 1822, King George IV's visit to Edinburgh boosted the fabric's popularity, and helped cement the tartan kilt to its current status as a Scottish national treasure.