The Storied History of The Prince of Wales Check

Like many patterns and fabrics, The Prince of Wales Check comes with a long, storied history. This unique and beautiful pattern dates back to the 19th Century, an era of rapidly accelerating scientific discovery and invention. It spawned from the Glen Urquhart Check, which overlays a windowpane check that can be a variety of colors. The pattern also features checks formed at each angle of micro houndstooth weaves. The checks are then finished with vertical and horizontal stripes. It’s a complex pattern that is best understood when viewed up close. 

The pattern and fabric originated in the Scottish Highlands, a majestically, mountainous land storied for its sartorial contributions and was created by the Countess of Seafield in the valley of Glenurquhart in Invernesshire, Scotland to act as the estate’s signature tweed. The Prince of Wales (Edward VII) often enjoyed shooting at the estate, and it was there that he discovered the check. Upon return, he made it his own by personally altering it and wearing it religiously—so much so—that it was nicknamed after him. Also known as the “Glen Check” or “Glen Plaid” here in the United States, it’s a classic, yet contemporary look that is quintessentially European. 

While its founding was among royalty, its become a cultural icon outside of the royal palace and across famed hunting grounds. The fabric has been used to dress James Bond and American Presidents and is continuously draped in a variety of fits and stylings by famed fashion designers worldwide. 

Man wearing a glen plaid, prince of wales check sport coat

Our Prince of Wales Check versions are woven and produced in Italy by clouted weaver Tessuti di Sondrio and come in two fabric styles: 100% linen and 51% virgin wool | 49% linen blend. Our Italian Linen Blazers are tailored by our workshop with half-canvas construction using traditional horsehair and hand sewing of the interior, hand-stitched finish in collar and closure of armhole, with genuine Tagua Nut (Corozo) buttons and a fully matched pattern throughout. 

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