LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2009) - After semesters of research, designing, planning and developing products, UK's official plaid is here!

The Kentucky Plaid Project is a unique experiential education project engaging students in the UK College of Agriculture School of Human Environmental Science's Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles (MAT) in product development from creative inception to finished product. The project is led by Rita Smart, advisory board chairperson and coordinator, and Dr. Scarlett Wesley, assistant professor. University of Kentucky First Lady Patsy Todd serves as honorary chairperson.

The project began during the spring 2008 semester in two courses in the MAT department. Students in "Problem Solving in Merchandising" designed 35 plaid patterns from which 4 finalists were selected for consideration to be the official University of Kentucky plaid. Through online voting, the official plaid was selected in May 2008. Approximately 12,000 votes were cast during the two-week process.

The official plaid was designed by Christina Criollo and Jena Everhard. The seven stripes in the plaid represent the seven NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships won by UK and the blue background is the pride the Commonwealth has for its flagship University and its far-reaching impact across Kentucky.

Students in MAT classes researched product ideas and created an assortment of official UK plaid products that would appeal to alumni, students and UK fans. The official plaid is being produced by Lexington’s own Pomegranate Inc.

The line of official plaid products in gathered into three unique collections: the Cooper Collection, the Erikson Collection and the Wildcat Collection.

The Cooper Collection

The Cooper Collection comprises the finest wearable accessories in the UK Plaid family. The Cooper Collection is named in tribute of the UK College of Agriculture's first dean, Thomas Poe Cooper. The first products being launched as part of the Cooper Collection are a 100-percent silk, handmade tie and a beautiful silk scarf.

Thomas Poe Cooper was the dean of the College of Agriculture from 1918 until 1951. Under his leadership, enrollment in the college grew from 125 students to over 1,000 students. Overall, facilities and staff saw great improvement. The campus Experiment Station Farm grew to twice its original size under his administration, and two substations came into being. Indirectly then he encouraged development of new and better crop strains. He had 33 years of service to agriculture (as dean of the college) and to farmers in all, and became the college of agriculture's Dean Emeritus. Dean Cooper also served as acting president of the University in 1940 and 1941.

This silk, handmade tie is named in honor of Dean Cooper and his lasting contribution to the advancement of agriculture in Kentucky.

The Erickson Collection

The Erickson Collection is full of UK Plaid pride to take on the road with you! These travel accessories include a roomy duffle bag, a campus carrier bag perfect for your laptop and plastic lined cosmetic bags in two sizes! Other items include an ID case and four inches by six inches picture frame.

The Erickson Collection honors Statie Erikson, the first woman to earn a doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1929, Erikson was named head of the Department of Home Economics at UK and served in this capacity until 1956. Among her many achievements was the establishment of a home economics research program, construction of the Home Economics Building using Public Works Administration funds in 1940 and designation of school status in 1953. The Home Economics building was renamed Erikson Hall in her honor in 1956 and today is the home to the School of Human Environmental Sciences.

The Wildcat Tailgating Collection

Your Big Blue spirit doesn't just have to be on your clothes. UK Plaid products take you from the parking lot to the stadium with the Wildcat Tailgating Collection.

These 100-percent cotton tablecloths and napkins bear the official plaid of the University of Kentucky with a bold black border around the edge. Each tablecloth is embroidered with the interlocking UK logo on all four corners. Two tablecloth sizes are available; 55 inches by 55 inches is perfect for a card table, small round table or your vehicle's tailgate while the 68 inches by 108 inches tablecloth fits a standard banquet or buffet table. Napkins are sold as a set of four with the interlocking UK logo embroidered on each piece.

All of these products are available for purchase now at www.ukplaid.com and at these retailers: the University of Kentucky Bookstore, Logan’s of Lexington, Joseph Beth Bookseller, Howard Miller, Fan Outfitters, Peggy’s on Clay Avenue, Kennedy Bookstore, Two Chicks, The Keeneland Shop, For Friends and Kentucky Korner.

Original Article: http://uknow.uky.edu/content/mad-about-plaid 

Author: Katy Bennett
Terms: RTM; HES