Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed vertical and horizontal bands in multiple colors. Tartans originated from woven cloth, but are now used in multiple other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with the country of Scotland. Scottish kilts usually have tartan patterns. (Tartan is also known as plaid in America, but this word means a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder or a blanket.)
A Tartan is made with alternating horizontal and vertical bands of coloured (pre-dyed) threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill, two over - two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where different colours cross, which give the appearance of new colours blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett.
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the highland tartans were associated with regions or districts, rather than by any specific clan. This was due to the fact that tartan designs were produced by local weavers for local tastes and would tend to make use of the natural dyes available in that area. The patterns were simply different regional checked-cloth patterns, whereof one chose the tartans most to one's liking - in the same way as people nowadays choose what colours and patterns they prefer in their clothing. Thus, it was not until the mid 1800s that specific tartans became associated with Scottish clans or Scottish families, or simply institutions who are (or wish to be seen as) associated in some way with a Scottish heritage.
Welcome to our Tartan Gift Store. Below you will find the best selection of tartan gifts on the web.