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Tartan Tales

Tartan is once again in the height of fashion and seems to be the top trend of Winter! It is available in just about every store. Whether it be a dress, a jacket, a jumper or a traditional tartan kilt you rarely step out in Scotland without seeing someone wearing the traditional plaid! Tartan is globally recognisable, yet many don’t know the history of its origin. So its a good thing Houstons are here to tell this tartan tale!

Tartan is unique to Scotland. As part of its national dress it has developed from the roughly woven plaid, coloured from local pigment dyes, in which early Highlanders wrapped themselves for battle to some of the highest quality and intricate designs that can be bought today. Many of the traditions now associated with the kilt can be traced back to the formation of Highland Regiments, yet for nearly 30 years after the battle of Culloden and the ending of the Jacobite uprising of 1745, the wearing of tartan and playing the pipes was forbidden by the British Government. Any Scotsman who dared to wear the kilt was imprisoned or even deported to faraway lands. Highland wear was returned to fashion by King George IV when he visited Scotland. He adopted the wearing of tartan and this Royal patronage rekindled the life of tartan and Highland wear throughout the world. Each clan or family name has its own tartan and clan crest and every tartan has variations of ancient, hunting, modern, dress and withered colourings. In the past official clan tartans were governed by the clan chief with final approval being made in the Court of the Lord Lyon of Arms which governed Scottish heraldry. Further valuable information is available on the Scottish Tartans Authority website

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