Tag Archives: tartan

Featured Product: Tartan Rugs

Whether you’re using it for throw on a sofa or a comforter on a bed, our tartan rugs are extremely useful and versatile at this time of year.

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Nothing beats coming in from the wet and cold and snuggling up in something warm. Our tartan blankets are useful to have lying around as not only are they stylish accessories around they home, they provide the ultimate warmth on a dreich Autumn day.

Our new wool tartan blanket rugs are extremely hard wearing whilst remaining soft for comfort. It’s a purchase that will not only be practical but a great way to add a little tartan to your world.

How to wear tartan Autumn 2013

High Streets across the country have really taken on the tartan trend this Autumn. After we saw tartan gracing many catwalks over the summer the big fashion retailers were sure to follow suit.

Here are our top picks, hints and tips for wearing tartan this season.

For Ladies:

  • A kilt is a staple for your wardrobe, not just for October but for years to come. Classic tartans such as Royal Stewart are always in fashion.
  • For the key autumn look, wear your kilt with a blouse and a biker jacket. Come winter you can then pair with a chunky knit for a cosy but trendy look.
  • A tartan stole adds elegance to any outfit. The stole will keep you warm on cold crisp days.
  • An easy way to add tartan to any outfit is with a tartan scarf. Our cashmere scarves are a firm favourite.

 

 

 

For Men:

  • We’ve spotted many celebrities sporting tartan ties and bow ties. When you shop at buyakilt.com you have the option of getting over 500 different tartans.
  • It’s time to put your vest to good use. Don’t just wait for kilt wearing opportunities, pair with a pair of formal trews or even your denims for a smart/casual look.
  • The tartan flat cap is seeing a fashion revival and are now seen as a fashion item. This is a top fashionable, but functional item.

 

 

 

As always, we’re on hand to offer advice on style and selection.

Let us know how you’ll be wearing tartan this year, by posting on Facebook and Twitter.

What Does Tartan Mean To You?

Ask anyone around the globe what being Scottish means to them and you’ll get any number of stereotypical responses. Bagpipes are a popular choice, naturally enough. Sports fans might tell you about golf and rugby, film buffs might shout ‘FREEDOM!’ in your face, but almost everyone will tell you that tartan is a big part of Scottish identity, on a national and international level.

Young's Tartan

Knowing that tartan is Scottish, however, is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this extremely important aspect of Scottish history and contemporary identity. There exist today just under 7, 000 registered clan tartans, and each of them is made using pre-dyed coloured strands of thread. These are then woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other, giving the chequered effect so widely recognised.  But what do the different patterns and colours really mean?

Several Scottish clans have what is known as clan tartan, meaning that the type and colour of tartan is specific to a Scottish clan. In 1725 the Independent Highland Companies wore a uniform tartan, marking them different from their foes in a very obvious way, and after this time clan tartan became a recognised and official way of standing out from other clans, and uniting your own.

Clan tartan is special and exclusive because the only person who can make a clan’s tartan official is the clan chief. In some clans, the wearing of the clan tartan is allowed only with permission from the chief. The special quality of tartan means that through the years, dating back to Victorian times, it is acceptable (in keeping with tartan etiquette) only to own and wear tartan with which you are in some way associated. You may be the descendant of a clansman, or bear the last name of one of the great clan families, for instance, or you may hail from a country that has its own. Canada, for example, is one of the Commonwealth countries with a national tartan. Some tartans are particularly exclusive. The Balmoral tartan is only to be worn by members of the Royal family, for instance. Similarly, there exist tartans that were designed to be universal. Black Watch tartan, also known as Government, Universal, or Campbell tartan, can be worn by anyone. So too can Hunting, Stewart, Caledonian and Jacobite tartan.

Take an interest in your choice of tartan by doing some genealogical digging, and find the tartan that means something to you.

The Easy Way to Buy a Kilt

Finding your perfect kilt can be a tricky process and can daunt even the most seasoned shopper!

Thankfully, we know lots about kilts, so we can help you along that path. However, it’s important that we try to do that without confusing you with the plethora of options available!

One such confusing option is tartan cloth width. The width of a cloth is literally how wide the fabric comes off the loom. If the mill has very wide loom, you get a very wide cloth, if it has a narrow loom, you get a narrow cloth. The wider the cloth, the bigger you can make garments, without having to stitch two or more pieces together.

In reality there are very few products we sell that need a wide cloth. The most common item which needs a wide cloth is a plaid.

Traditionally, most mills used a wide loom to make cloths about 60″ wide. When making an 8 yard kilt, a kilt maker would purchase only 4 yards of this cloth and cut it down the middle to create two lengths of 4 yards, stitch them end to end and conceal the seam in one of the pleats at the rear of the kilt.

However, one of the largest mills, House of Edgar, switched to making most cloths in single width – around 30″ wide. This is fine for kilts as you just order 8 yards of fabric, but doesn’t suit anything that needs cloth wider than 30″.

We thought it was important for customers to let customers know about this when they were choosing a tartan so on our cloth selection page, we showed a swatch, the mill, the price and the width of the cloth. We also showed the actual price per metre, so single width cloths appeared to be half the price of double width cloths.

We found that this confused more customers than it helped, so have changed the layout of this page to make the width of each cloth less prominent, and have altered the price of single width cloths to display as an effective double width price.

We’ve spoken with some customers about this and we feel the new change makes the step of choosing your cloth that little bit easier. What do you think? Do you need to see the width while you’re choosing a cloth?

The change is now live on our site: check out the Macdonald Modern (my favourite… helps that I’m a Macdonald as well!) and the rest of our tartans and let us know what you think.

We’ve Finally Perfected Tartan Paint

We’re thrilled to announce a breakthrough product, available exclusively through buyakilt.com. Tartan Paint is the latest addition to our website and it has taken years of scientific and technological advances to allow us to be able to supply such a unique product to the Scottish community in a cost-effective manner.

We have employed the talents of Prof Hamish McTavish from the University of Edinburgh to create the hugely sought after Tartan Paint. This patented formula was perfected in Edinburgh and is exclusively available on buyakilt.com. It utilises micromolecular viscosity technology to keep each colour separate in the pot and during application. Similar technology has previously been used by NASA to help keep volatile rocket fuel stable during take-off, due to the heavy pressure exerted on spacecraft. You can read more about the technology behind this in the item description here.

To make it even more Scottish, the secret formula contains traces of Haggis and Irn Bru to colour the browns and oranges in various tartan patterns.

Tartan Paint is available in over 3,000 tartans and we are sure this will be a welcome addition to those in the building trade particularly young apprentices who are often tasked with the difficulty of finding this product. No longer will their search go in vain.

Thanks to all who responded to our April Fools Prank. Whilst tartan paint would be a wonderful creation unfortunately the real science hasn’t quite caught up our fictional creation.

Did we find a few Gowk’s today?

April fools day was originally the 1st Day of the new year and after it’s change to January 1st people who ignored or had forgotten the change were subject to being called fools.  In Scotland this tradition is also known as Hunt-the-Gowk Day with the gowk being the recipient of the joke.  “Gowk” is Scottish for cuckoo (an emblem for simpletons). It is celebrated over 48 hours whereby jokes are made on 2nd April are devoted to jokes involving the posterior. This is credited as being the origin of the “Kick Me” signs and is called Taily Day.

Latest Addition – Stewart Black Budget Kilt

At Macdonald Sporrans we like to offer a large selection of products. Our budget kilts prove a popular and affordable alternative to having a kilt custom made and we have now added the Stewart Black tartan to the budget kilt range.

You may recognise the similarities between the Stewart Black and the traditional Royal Stewart, not only with the name but with the colours used to create the tartan. Essentially the black and red have been swapped to create a striking alternative to this popular tartan. These tartans belong to the collection of Royal Tartans which for several centuries have been associated with the House of Stewart

The Stewart Black tartan is the permitted fabric for kilts worn by officers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The soldiers of this regiment usually wear the Royal Stewart tartan since being given this permission by King George VI.  The formal outfit of this regiment is completed with the Royal  Scots Dragoon Guards Piper Sporran. This handmade sporran is worn by members of the pipe band and can be seen at events such as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. We are pleased to offer this high quality and unique item on buyakilt.com The home headquarters of this regiment are at Edinburgh Castle and examples of the clothing worn by this regiment can be viewed at their museum located within the castle.

The budget kilts are ideal for general wear and can also be purchased as part of an outfit giving you the option to wear at both formal and informal events. They are ideal for wearing to sporting events and an essential should you be visiting Edinburgh for the tattoo this year.

 

 

Tartan Finder Gets a Facelift

Our tartan finder has been given a makeover, and we think the new look is pretty nice!

So… What’s New?

We’ve put in a search box on all pages, with the A-Z navigation right underneath it. To help you know exactly what you’re searching on, we wrapped the search box in tartan!

We’ve introduced the same navigation bar showing you how many tartans are in your current selection, allowing you to view more or less per page and the page navigation section.

Now the important bit – the actual tartan images! Firstly, we’ve made them larger and square and made them the same size as our product images.

When you select a tartan, you’ll see the cloths available in that tartan. We’ve tidied that up a bit, with a cleaner design.

We’ve also done the same on the individual cloth page.

As always, we hope you like the changes and we love to hear your feedback. Let us know what you think via Facebook, Twitter or by leaving a comment below.

This post is part of a regular series about improvements to our website. Read others here.

New Tartan Cloths Added

We are constantly reviewing and developing the extensive range of tartan cloths that we offer and as a result we look to increase our selection wherever possible. We are pleased to say that one of the mills we are partnered with, Marton Mills, have unveiled more than 50 new tartan designs which we have now incorporated into our Tartan Finder.

We have worked with Marton Mills for a number of years and have found they offer an affordable quality product which has proved popular with our customers. Marton Mills was founded in 1931 as a textile manufacturer but changed from predominately knitted production to a weaving base in 1980 in response to a changing market. Based in West Yorkshire this family-owned and managed business take pride in every order, independent of size, to ensure they meet their aim of weaving high quality, good value fabrics which are fit for purpose and delivered on time.

All of the new cloths are from Marton Mills’ Jura range, which is a 16oz 100% wool – the traditional heavy weight ideal for kilts. Using their sulzer loom they are able to produce using a tuck in selvedge ideal for the hem and as standard all tartans are finished with a Teflon coating which ensures if you have any spills you are able to wipe clean easily and quickly.

Within this new range of cloths on sale there are some completely brand new designs to be found. We are sure cloths such as Casey, Grey Highlander, Scottish National Black and Eternity will be very popular for customers looking for items such as kilts, fly plaids and trews.

We hope that these tartans will be just the beginning of an ongoing effort to increase the range of tartans we offer. Possible links with more mills across the UK are hopefully due to be made in the near future and this is just part of our determination to give our customers the best choice for the best price.

Tartan Finder Gets an Update

Our tartan finder has been given some great new features today.

The first one is the new tartan finder homepage:

You can browse tartans by letter, or search for a particular pattern. We’ve also included some links to some of our favourite tartans.

When you’ve chosen a tartan you get a list of products available in that tartan. Our second new feature is that we now show you the important details of the tartan you’ve chosen right at the top of that page.

We hope these new features will help you find your tartan and help you choose just what products you want it to be made into!

Don’t worry… our quest hasn’t stopped here… we have lots more improvements to include in the near future. We’re always looking at ways to make our tartan finder easier to use, and more useful and I’ll make sure to write a post when we roll out our next update.

Let us know what you think of the new updates, or let us know what you’d like our tartan finder to do, by contacting us via Facebook, Twitter or by leaving a comment below.