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The argyle (occasionally argyll) pattern is made of diamonds or lozenges. The word is sometimes used to refer to an individual diamond in the design but more commonly refers to the overall pattern. Most argyle layouts contain layers of overlapping motifs, adding a sense of three-dimensionality, movement, and texture. Typically, there is an overlay of intercrossing diagonal lines on solid diamonds.
The argyle pattern is derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell, of Argyll in western Scotland, used for kilts and plaids, and from the patterned socks worn by Scottish Highlanders since at least the 17th century. (See illustrations in History of the kilt) These were generally known as "tartan hose".
Argyle knitwear became fashionable in England and then the USA after the first world war. Pringle of Scotland popularised the design, helped by its identification with the Duke of Windsor. Pringle's website says that "the iconic Pringle argyle design was developed" in the 1920s. The duke, like others, used this pattern for golf clothing: both for jerseys and for the long socks needed for the plus-fours trouser fashion of the day.
Some sports teams use bright, contemporary interpretations of the argyle pattern: for example, the Garmin-Slipstream professional cycling team, nicknamed the "Argyle Armada", and the Norwegian men's curling team at the 2010 Winter Olympics. On April 27, 2013 the professional soccer team Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States announced their third kit of the 2013 season featuring an argyle pattern.
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