Pendleton "started weaving traditional Scottish plaids but then they also started making up their own," George said, using "more American" colors like browns, golds and greens. Pendleton plaids went on to became associated with genteel country lifestyles -- say, a weekend in Vermont or a gentlemanly ranch in Montana.
The very idea of a tartan has also left footprint on North America. Many U.S. states, branches of the military, universities and institutions have their own tartan. National Tartan Day, a holiday dedicated to Scottish-Americans, is celebrated on April 6. You can make your own tartan on the Web and it will be internationally recognized as such.
There's even a museum dedicated entirely to tartan in Franklin, North Carolina.
Jim Akins, who proudly claims Scottish heritage on both sides of his family, spends his retirement volunteering at the museum. He enjoys pointing out examples of his family tartans to visitors.
"People see me in a kilt and they automatically think, 'OK, he's Scottish,' but when this voice came out," he said, of his thick Southern accent, "you could see the surprise on people's faces."
He regularly wears a kilt to church or even shopping with his wife.
"I think it's great that people would wear tartan, regardless of whether it's a shirt or a kilt," he said. "It's the most comfortable garment that you'll ever wear."