If you think of Scotland, then chances are that one of the first things that you think of is Tartan. More than just a fabric, Tartan is used to identify, to unite and of course to make a rather flattering kilt for the menfolk of the country.
As 6th April is Tartan Day (and the April blog will go out after that date), we have decided to dedicate this particular blog to Tartan. Helping those who are not Scottish to understand why this material is so important to us North of the border.
The basics of Tartan
The fabric of Tartan is made up of stripes, both horizontal and vertical, these are in different colours and are on a coloured background. The material originated in the Highlands, and it is thought to date back to as far back as 1538. The best quality kilts are made from wool.
The different colours used in the Tartan used to be reflective of the clan that would not only wear it but would make it too. The reason for this is simple. Back then, the dyes that were used to colour the fabric would be made from local plants, mosses and berries.
Kilts are a piece of clothing made from Tartan. They are a piece of fabric that is worn wrapped around the waist and held together with a kilt pin which keeps it all together and avoids any embarrassing flashing incidents.
Kilts are combined with a sporran, which is a small bag worn over the kilt, long socks and a maybe a Sgian Dubh (a small dagger) hidden away in the sock if it is a traditional kilt!
The modern world of Tartan
Gone are the days when Tartan was simply a way to identify clans. Now it is a popular addition to the fashion world. Whilst real tartan can be seen in Scotland, there are plenty of high street stores who are replicating its look and feel for a range of clothes, not only for men but women too.
Would you like the chance to see some real-life Tartan up close and personal? If you would, then perhaps it is time to get yourself to Mackays. Based in the heart of the Highlands, our hotel is everything that you could want from Scotland. Not only do we have delicious local food, a warm welcome and plenty of amazing scenery around us, but we also have a bit of tartan or two here. Ideal for tourists and those who are looking for a beautiful UK break too!