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CHOOSING A CLAN TARTAN THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU – YOUR GUIDE 101 (3 min read)

Posted on 22 August 2018

Highlander Great Scot 2

Name five iconic things about Scotland, and chances are one of them will be tartan or a kilt!

We're well known for men in kilts, but it's so much more than just something to wear - it's a historic piece of clothing which has stood the test of time. That’s why we take immense pride in helping you choose this timeless piece, made specifically for you.   

Let us help you to find the tartan(s) related to you;

To begin, we start by assessing which tartan you are entitled to wear. Traditionally you start with your surname and check this against a recognised list of tartans which should include:

(a)   Clans and family tartans

(b)   Links of your name to other names (septs) associated with it.

(c)   District or regions with which your name is associated.

Remember: there are no hard or fast rules. You may wish to choose a tartan that suits you, your favourite colours or a design you just love!

At this point you may have further questions:

Can I wear tartan if I cannot find my name associated with any of those on the recognised list?

Yes! Tartan is a gift that we have given to the world. The idea that a man can only wear a kilt in his own family tartan or one associated with it has given way to a more broad-minded approach and most ladies are quite happy to choose tartan with the colours they like best.

My name doesn’t have its own tartan. What do I do now?

Fortunately, you have many interesting options but first please widen your search as much as possible to other members of both your family and those of your partner’s family etc and go as far back in family history as you like.

 Tartan Facts:

  • Other than tartans acquiring clan names, there are also tartans for regional, districts, towns and regiments. 
  • Some Christian names have a tartan associated with them e.g. Douglas, Scott, Fraser etc.
  • There are four recognised universal tartans: Black Watch, Stewart Hunting, Caledonia and Jacobite.
  • There are several non-generic tartans for example, Scotland’s National, Flower of Scotland etc.

 

At Great Scot we work closely with Scotland’s finest mills to offer you over 1,000 tartans – we also work with the smallest mills to be able to offer you rare, ancient and ‘impossible to find’ tartans. So, if you don’t see your tartan on our Tartan Finder, simply reach out to our Heritage Specialist here, who will be delighted to help you!   

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