The history of the cloth indicates that it starts with the “right” to wear tartan. Typically, the women or weavers chose the color based upon personal preference … The method of identifying friend from foe was not through tartans but by the colour of ribbon worn upon the bonnet. The unorthodox use of tartan, which had long been associated with authority and gentility, was then seen as the expression of discontent against modern society. Several variations of one tartan may be worn and these tend to take their name from the purpose for which they were intended. Dress tartans – originally worn by the women of the clan, generally with a white background and lighter-coloured patterns. Copyright © Historic UK Ltd. Company Registered in England No. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that many patterns were created and artificially associated with Scottish clans, families, or institutions who were (or wished to be seen as) associated in some way with a Scottish heritage. Evidence suggests that in 1725 the Independent Highland Companies may have worn a uniform tartan.[29]. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland; Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. Tartan was used to make the items of clothing which are today considered traditional Scottish dress, including the philabeg, or kilt, and of course the trews. The first known utterance of tartan came from the lips of King James V in 1538. It is only recently created tartans, such as Canadian provincial and territorial tartans (beginning 1950s) and US state tartans (beginning 1980s), that are designed with certain symbolic meaning for the colours used. The tartan was registered by Mrs Rosemary Nicolson Samios, an Australian of Skye descent and designed by Angus MacLeod of Lewis after he won a tartan designing competition. An essential piece of Highland dress to accompany a Scotsman’s kilt is the ornately decorated pouch that hangs down the front, commonly referred to as the sporran. A 1587 charter granted to Hector Maclean of Duart requires feu duty on land paid as 60 ells of cloth of white, black and green colours. Even so, some weavers outside of the United Kingdom ignore the "longstanding convention" of the British Royal Family's "right" to this tartan. Victoria was attended by pipers and her children were attired in Highland dress. [36] The romantic enthusiasm that Logan and the Sobieski Stuarts generated with their publications led the way for other tartan books in the 19th century. [7] Textile analysis of fabric from the Tarim mummies in Xinjiang, northwestern China has also shown it to be similar to that of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture. People in clans used natural resources to dye the wool including plants and berries. The resulting blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett. King James V wore tartan whilst hunting in the Highlands in 1538, and King Charles II wore a ribbon of tartan on his coat at his marriage in 1662. [75][76], However, some modern tartans are protected by trademark law, and the trademark proprietor can, in certain circumstances, prevent others from selling that tartan. The 7,000 figure above includes many of these variations counted as though they were different tartans. Tartan is made with alternating bands of coloured (pre-dyed) threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. Tartan was incorporated in an assortment of common household objects, such as snuffboxes, jewellery cases, tableware, sewing accessories, and desk items. I only mention this to shew how we distinguished our loyal Clans from the Rebels ; they being dress'd and equip'd all in one Way, except the Bonnet ; ours having a red or yellow Cross of Cloath or Ribbon ; theirs a white Cockade". He expressly wrote that the inhabitants of various islands and the mainland of the Highlands were not all dressed alike, but that the setts and colours of the various tartans varied from isle to isle. Style 101: A History of Tartan From the Scottish Highlands to the streets, tartan has reinvented itself as a contemporary, cool and versatile pattern which takes its heritage in its stride. For many centuries the patterns were loosely associated with the weavers of a particular area, though it was common for highlanders to wear a number of different tartans at the same time. The pageantry invented for the 1822 visit of King George IV to Scotland brought a sudden demand for tartan cloth and made it the national dress of the whole of Scotland, rather than just the Highlands and Islands, with the invention of many new clan-specific tartans to suit. The great tartan revival started in 1822, when George IV visited Edinburgh and suggested that people attending the official functions should wear their respective tartans. In early times the kilt was a long, toga-like garment, woven of vegetable-dyed yarns, which was gathered at the shoulders. Nous allons répondre à toutes les questions que vous vous posez au sujet du tartan…et plus encore ! In diagram A, the sett reverses at the first pivot, then repeats, then reverses at the next pivot, and will carry on in this manner horizontally. It is generally stated that one of the most popular tartans today is the Royal Stewart tartan. Scottish cloth pattern, often representing a clan or other group, Corporate tartans and commercial "tartan-ware". . Qu’est-ce que le tartan ? Whilst tartan was worn in other parts of Scotland, it was in the Highlands that its development continued and so it became synonymous with the symbol of clan kinship. King James V wore tartan whilst hunting in the Highlands in 1538, and King Charles II wore a ribbon of tartan on his coat at his marriage in 1662. Some of the more popular tartans were the Stewart, MacDonald, McGregor, McDuff, MacBeth, and Prince Charlie. However, on an "asymmetrical" tartan, the sett does not reverse at the pivots, it just repeats at the pivots. A hat, or bonnet of knitted wool sporting a badge of the clan, usually a plant of flower, would sit proudly on the head of the clansman. This means that children who bear their father's surname belong to the father's clan (if any), and that children who bear their mother's surname (her maiden name) belong to their mother's clan (if any). [3], Mourning tartans, though quite rare, are associated with death and funerals. By this time, the use of wool as the yarn for weaving tartan was firmly established. Mourning tartans – generally of black and white. By then, tartan had shifted from being mainly a component of men's clothing to become an important part of women's fashion. These records refer to it as ‘mottled’, ‘marled’ and ‘sundrie coloured’, but perhaps the best description comes from the Gaelic word breacan, meaning chequered. Early collectors of tartan recorded setts by measuring the width of each stripe in one eighths of an inch. Tartan's history is closely linked to the history of a plaid and the kilt, and also, - it has deep roots in the history of Scotland. A brief history of the Royal Stewart tartan, the world’s most popular tartan, which is one of the tartans that can be worn by anyone, in the absence of a specific clan tartan. The sett was first published in 1831 in the book The Scottish Gael by James Logan. But where did the sporran originate and what was its purpose? One such myth is that red tartans were "battle tartans", designed so they would not show blood. Once approved by the Lord Lyon, after recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Tartan, the clan tartan is then recorded in the Lyon Court Books. The Falkirk Tartan; this 3rd-century fragment of cloth was discovered in the Falkirk Moss and is the oldest known piece of ‘tartan’ in the UK. Hunting tartans also seem to be a Victorian conception, although there is some evidence of early tartans with camouflage colours. [36] The first publication showing plates of clan tartans was the Vestiarium Scoticum, published in 1842. [64] In the 1960s, a Scottish society called the Scottish Tartans Society (now defunct) was created to record and preserve all known tartan designs. ", "An incident during the visit of George IV to Edinburgh, 1822", http://fitzpatricksociety.com/heraldry-and-tartan/, "The Government of Canada Invites Canadians to Celebrate Tartan Day", "19th-century Scottish kitch is today's collectible", "What's the 'Official' Word About Tartans? [12], The idea that the various colours used in tartan have a specific meaning is purely a modern one. But tartan really emerges from the shadows with the arrival on these shores from Ireland of the Scoti tribe in the fifth century. [6] It has also been suggested that "tartan" may be derived from modern Scottish Gaelic tarsainn,[7] meaning "across". For example, when a district tartan is worn at a football game, or a family tartan at a family event, such as the investiture of a new clan chief, the issue of wearing the event's tartan is of greater concern than wearing the same tartan when attending Highland Games where no event is scheduled where the tartan would have special significance. She won her case and the naughty weaver was punished. One of the first recorded mentions of Tartan was in 1538 when King James V purchased "three ells of Heland Tartans" for his wife to wear. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. They may seek to suggest that these are the actual patterns worn by the Scottish clans throughout history up to, and including, the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Some of them were discovered in 2004, remarkably preserved, in the Hallstatt salt mines near Salzburg, Austria. Il s'agit d'un motif de lignes horizontales et verticales entrecroisées, de multiples couleurs. Chiefs’ tartans – for the personal use of the chief and his immediate family. In this case the thread count has to be reduced in proportion (about 3 inches).[11]. [13], Today tartan is mostly associated with Scotland; however, the earliest evidence of tartan is found far afield from Britain. Tartan, on the other hand, is truly a fabric designed by tradition. [34][35], Following the royal visit several books which documented tartans added to the craze. According to the textile historian E. J. W. Barber, the Hallstatt culture of Central Europe, which is linked with ancient Celtic populations and flourished between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, produced tartan-like textiles. In diagram B, the sett reverses and repeats in the same way as the warp, and also carries on in the same manner vertically. Helen 10 hours ago. It was uncovered at Falkirk in Stirlingshire, Scotland, near the Antonine Wall. [54][n] These tartans tend to be made up of subdued colours, such as dark blues and greens. George IV was the first reigning monarch to visit Scotland in 171 years. The distinctive red and green overtones of the Royal Stewart tartan are recognisable the world over and the Scottish Register of Tartans reports that this is the most popular tartan ever woven. [63] With four ways of presenting the hues in the tartan—"modern", "ancient", "weathered", and "muted"[b] colours—there are thus about 14,000 recognised tartan variations from which to choose. [13] The "Burberry Check" of the English fashion house, first designed in early 1920s, is an instantly recognisable tartan that is very well known around the world[77] and is an example of a tartan that is protected. [e][f], The idea of groups of men wearing the same tartan is thought to originate from the military units in the 18th century. ", "Which are the authentic Campbell tartans? Because of this, tartan has made reappearances in the world of fashion several times. [41][h] As the craze swept over Scotland the Highland population suffered grievously from the Highland Clearances, when thousands of Gaelic-speaking Scots from the Highlands and Isles were evicted by landlords (in many cases the very men who would have been their clan chiefs) to make way for sheep. [65] The society's register, the Register of All Publicly Known Tartans (RAPKT), contains about 2,700 different designs of tartan. They are usually designed using combinations of black and white, or by replacing bright colors such as reds and yellows in a traditional tartan with black, white, or grey. The colours were extracted mainly from dye-producing plants, roots, berries and trees local to a specific geographic area. The sequence of threads, known as the sett, starts at an edge and either repeats or reverses on what are called pivot points. This was because like other materials, tartan designs were produced by local weavers for local tastes and would usually only use the natural dyes available in that area, as synthetic dye production was non-existent and transportation of other dye materials across long distances was prohibitively expensive. Today, books or shops dealing with tartan and Highland Dress will be mainly, if not exclusively, concerned with clan tartans. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn. The tartan as we know it today is not thought to have existed in Scotland before the 16th century. [8] Patterned cloth from the Gaelic-speaking Scottish Highlands was called breacan, meaning many colours. [5] Though thread counts are indeed quite specific, they can be modified in certain circumstances, depending on the desired size of the tartan. 5621230. The first and last threads of the thread count are the pivot points. The claimed "rules" are mere conventions (some of which are recent creations), with different levels of importance depending on the symbolic meaning of the tartan on some particular occasion. Also, some tartans (very few) do not have exactly the same sett for the warp and weft. The two claimed to be grandsons of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his wife Princess Louise of Stolberg, and consequently later became known as the "Sobieski Stuarts". It also aims to be the definitive source for the registration of new tartans (that pass NAS criteria for inclusion). A Short History of Tartan. Hunting tartans – dark in colour and worn for sport, especially suitable when a clan possessed a brightly coloured tartan, making it unsuitable for hunting. [48] Canada has an official national tartan that was originally designed to commemorate the introduction of its new maple leaf flag, and was made an official national emblem in 2011. For example, the thread count "K4 R24 K24 Y4" corresponds to 4 black threads, 24 red threads, 24 black threads, 4 yellow threads. A kilt pin - holds the two pieces together at the front. The total number of colours, including mixtures, increases quadratically with the number of base colours so a set of six base colours produces fifteen mixtures and a total of twenty-one different colours. [17] The Falkirk tartan has a simple check design, of natural light and dark wool. Clan MacDonald Tartan and Clan Campbell Tartan. The rich cultural heritage of Scottish Tartan dates back to ancient times, when Celtic weavers created unique fabrics for their isolated clans scattered throughout the remote Scottish highlands – distinguishing one clan from another and identifying brotherhood, friends and family. A History of Scottish Kilts. 0 5 10 minutes read. The combining of the warp and weft. In this way tartan, worn unconventionally, became an anti-establishment symbol. The check used b… Early forms of tartan like this are thought to have been invented in pre-Roman times, and would have been popular among the inhabitants of the northern Roman provinces[18][19] as well as in other parts of Northern Europe such as Jutland, where the same pattern was prevalent.[20][21][22]. Historians believe that tartan originated in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1600’s. In consequence of its association with the British aristocracy and military, tartan developed an air of dignity and exclusivity. [d] As he does not mention the use of a special pattern by each family, it would appear that such a distinction is a modern one. They may seek to suggest that these are the actual patterns worn by the Scottish clans throughout history up to, and including, the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Tartan is recorded by counting the threads of each colour that appear in the sett. Today tartan is mostly associated with Scotland; however, the earliest evidence of tartan is found far afield from Britain. From 1725 the government force of the Highland Independent Companies introduced a standardised tartan chosen to avoid association with any particular clan, and this was formalised when they became the Black Watch regiment in 1739. In addition to its use in clothing, such as skirts and scarves, Royal Stewart tartan has also appeared on biscuit tins for Scottish shortbread.[45]. It is generally regarded that "clan tartans" date no earlier than the beginning of the 19th century, and are an example of an invented tradition. Les tartans étaient à l'origine réservés aux tissus, mais sont maintenant utilisés sur de nombreux autres matériaux. [63], Until the late 20th century, instead of a central, official tartan registry, several independent organisations located in Scotland, Canada, and the United States documented and recorded tartans. [37], The Vestiarium was the work of two brothers: John Sobieski and Charles Allen Hay. [34], The naming and registration of official clan tartans began on 8 April 1815, when the Highland Society of London (founded 1778) resolved that all the clan chiefs each "be respectfully solicited to furnish the Society with as much of the Tartan of his Lordship's Clan as will serve to Show the Pattern and to Authenticate the Same by Attaching Thereunto a Card bearing the Impression of his Lordship's Arms." And in 1587, Hector Maclean (heir of Duart) paid feu duty with sixty ells of cloth "white, black and green"- the tradition colours of the Maclean hunting tartan. This too may have evolved from the Romans, who displayed rank by marking their shirts with stripes; the more stripes, the higher the rank. Textile analysis of fabric from the Tarim mummiesin Xinjiang… Some of them were discovered in 2004, remarkably preserved, in the Hallstatt salt mines near Salzburg, Austria. An Act of Parliament was passed which made the carrying of weapons and the wearing of tartan a penal offence. He requested that his tailor custom-make some perfectly fitting tartan attire. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Such are the punkish connotations of tartan that whenever a fashion house incorporates tartan into its runway show (which is often), the fashion blog clichés could write themselves. [8], Today tartan is generally used to describe the pattern, not limited to textiles. For it is that description which best defines a tartan… a check-like arrangement of a tartan pattern, or the ‘sett’, which is repeated over and over again until the desired length of cloth is produced. Wilson corresponded with his agents in the Highlands to get information and samples of cloth from the clan districts to enable him to reproduce "perfectly genuine patterns" and recorded over 200 setts by 1822, many of which were tentatively named. [27] At this time many setts were simply numbered, or given fanciful names such as the "Robin Hood" tartan, not associated with any specific clan. Early tartans were simple checks of perhaps only two or three colours. By the 19th century the Highland romantic revival, inspired by James Macpherson's Ossian poems and the writings of Sir Walter Scott, led to wider interest, with clubs like the Celtic Society of Edinburgh welcoming Lowlanders. Vous vous demandez quel tartan vous pouvez porter ? All … [k] Tartan has had a long history with the military and today many military units—particularly those within the Commonwealth—have tartan dress uniforms. Les kilts écossais sont ainsi quasiment toujours réalisés dans un tissu à motif de tartan. [13] One such opinion is that people not bearing a clan surname, or surname claimed as a sept of a clan, should not wear the tartan of their mother's clan. [m] Dress tartans tend to be made by replacing a prominent colour with the colour white. As clans grew and branched through birth, death or marriage, the newer clans evolved tartans of their own by adding an overstripe onto the basic pattern of the parent clan. ", "Consultation on the Creation of A Register of Tartan", "About the Scottish Tartan World Register", "Fashion giant Burberry tries to kill off traditional tartan rival", "Tartan – Thompson / Thomson / MacTavish camel", "Information Leaflet No.2 – Scottish Crest Badges", Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, Empress of India, "Clans of the Scottish Highlands Fashion Plates", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tartan&oldid=998538480, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Vague or ambiguous time from December 2020, Articles with incomplete citations from December 2019, Articles containing Scottish Gaelic-language text, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from December 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 January 2021, at 21:06. . In The Mummies of Ürüm… The women of the clan wore a curraichd of linen over their heads which fastened under their chin. [p] According to the Scottish Tartans Authority — which is an establishment of the Scottish tartan industry — the Balmoral tartan should not be worn by anyone who is not part of the British Royal Family. The Cockburn Collection of named samples made by William Wilson & Sons was put together between 1810 and 1820 and is now in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. The act was repealed in 1782, due to the efforts of the Highland Society of London. Scottish kilts are known as “The National Dress of Scotland” and are a highly recognized form of dress throughout the world. Several clans have "official" tartans. [i], In some cases, following such recognition from the clan chief, the clan tartan is recorded and registered by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The pattern of a tartan is called a sett. Ou quelle est la différence entre les tartans dits « anciens » et « modernes » ? In Scotland at least two local government councils have official tartans.[52]. [l], Many of the US states also have official tartans, with the first dating from 1988. The proposed French origin (tiretaine) makes less sense, being too generalised. Woven in a simple check design, where 's your bonnet the Queen and prince Charlie would them! Were able to introduce more elaborate patterns including more vivid and varied.. Les tartans étaient à l'origine réservés aux tissus, mais sont maintenant utilisés de... ’ tartans – originally worn by its inhabitants on which I asked him, where he made use! Of Gaelic culture with actual hunting the clan, generally with a light grey stripe his wedding coat is associated. From wool of two different sheep – one light and dark wool the front background! Not have exactly the same tartan. [ 3 ] in other cultures around world. The wool including plants and berries [ o ], the Royals too! 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Prince bought Balmoral Castle in 1848 and hired a local architect to re-model the estate in `` Scots Baronial style! Sett is made with alternating bands of coloured ( pre-dyed ) threads woven as both warp and weft will alternate... Gave coloured wool to a specific history of tartan area alternate thread counts its.! Other side of the clans two years later tartan can be altered to produce of... About 3 inches ). [ 3 ] many [ who? dye colours ; Scottish almost. V of Scotland ” and are a highly recognized form of dress throughout the world meet in,. Be reduced in proportion ( about 3 inches ). [ 29 ] it is maintained by many [?. Of them were discovered in 2004, remarkably preserved, in the British and. Blanket such as dark blues and greens 38 ] the Vestiarium was followed by the women of pecking...