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:-[] 3 Celts & Company • "THE SCOTTISH TARTANS"

Julius Caesar and other early observers were much struck by, among other things, the Celts' love of Colour. To describe their cloth patterns rather baffled the soberly clad Romans (stripes, chequers or what?) but we may shrewdly guess one type conspicuous among those textiles. Except in one or two isolated villages of Europe, the Tartan design was preserved only in Scotland, and the word has now been credibly explained as a Pictish description. Here the 'weft-as-warp' stripings were applied not always to the same form of garment. The kilt began developing about 1600 from a large swathing plaid with a belt ['The Great Kilt'], into the shortened pleated form we now know. In Scotland a Plaid is a shawl or wrapping, with or without any distinctive pattern such as the once-famous 'Paisley Plaids.' Some exported Tartan plaids have by now caused variuos parts of the world to forget all others and employ the word Plaid to mean the Tartan colour-pattern or a coloured checking of similar style.
The Scottish Tartans as a system of popular Heraldry only developed fully after Culloden had crushed the Clan System itself from active politics. Like the flow of Jacobite songs, the Tartan provided an outlet for national sentiment, after the period 1748 to 1782 when the kilt and tartan alike were severely prohibited. Thereafter ensued a steady growth of tartans distinguishing the main Scottish clans and families, with a few of the earliest type which had attached rather to districts than to a particular clan. A list is added of the longer established tartans, out of about 500 currently registered with the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
Apart from its value as an emblem of clan, country or regiment, the Tartan has two main functions: as an inspiration expressed in colour, and also for camouflage on the heather moors. When the general Clan Tartan has been felt insufficienly effective for one of these objectives, a second one has appeared termed 'Dress' or 'Hunting' respectively.
A Scot by descent should wear the tartan of his father's clan or family, or sept associated with one: alternatively that of his mother, his wife, or of the district he derives from. Many names indisputably Scottish have not been associated with any recognised clan. For uncertain cases, as for our many friends of non-Scottish descent desiring to express some measure of compliment or guestly feeling, there are the Stewart and Jacobite tartans, and otherwise such clans as MacDonald or Gordon who have seemed generally to welcome such tribute.

Scottish National Tartans: PRIDE of SCOTLAND, SPIRIT of SCOTLAND

"THE SCOTTISH TARTANS." Scots Kith and Kin and Illustrated Map Revised Second Edition. Edinburgh, SCOT: Clan House, c.1970. p.84. Print.

keywords[x] tartan, wool, kilts, Scottish, Scotland, clan
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# 4 - Scottish National Tartans - - - - - Scotland

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