Was it Paul Bunyan? Woolrich? The lumberjacks of Maine? Where exactly did the buffalo plaid phenomenon come from? When it comes to the classic red and black buffalo plaid, it seems this pattern has prevailed for a very long time.
Buffalo plaid originated from none other than Woolrich Woolen Mills. The company began producing the Buffalo Check shirt around 1850, which means we’ve been rocking this plaid for over 150 years. At its inception, the shirt was an instant hit with workers and outdoorsmen braving the elements and has been in the Woolrich line ever since. Legend has it that Woolrich’s designer of the distinctive style owned a herd of buffalo and that’s how it got its name. The Buffalo Check design has since become synonymous with the Woolrich brand.
Woolrich has a Buffalo Check shirt in its archives that is dated to around 1856. The wool found in that shirt is still being produced in the very same factory, which happens to be the oldest woolen mill in the country. Go USA-made! And if you’re interested in owning the classic Mill Run Shirt Jac, you can buy it here.
Big thanks to Michael from Pale Morning Media for the historical facts!