Different Shades of Tartan
Tartan is a historically and culturally significant pattern that is made of up crossing horizontal and vertical bands or threads of colours. Tartan Pattern were historically made with woven wool; however, today they can consist of most other materials. The pattern is most heavily associated with Scotland due to its many uses in times of war, and Scottish kilts almost always will feature tartan patterns. Most of the tartan patterning is due to simple choice, much like people will choose colours and clothes they enjoy to wear in modern times.
It was this way from the 17th century until the mid-19th century when many patterns were created to be associated with Scottish clans and families. Today, it is estimated that there are nearly 7,000 different tartans that exist, with around 150 new ones created each year. This begs the question: why are there so many different kinds of tartans?
The Scottish Tartan Pattern can be broken down by colour into three categories: modern, muted, and ancient. These categories simply reflect the type of dye or colouring agent that was used to create the tartan. The colours themselves can range all across the rainbow and have meanings such as blue, symbolising bodies of water, green for forests and prairies or yellow for crops, depending on the regional backgrounds.
The registration and naming of official tartan plaids began in April of 1815. Many of the people during that time had no idea what their tartan might be or what it meant but were ready to comply with the registration. Today, the tartan and “clan tartan” is a crucial part of a Scottish clan. Most Scottish clans will have many different tartans correlated with their name, and several clans even have official tartan patterns. More tartans can be created and added to the list of clan tartans, but they must be approved by the clan chief, and the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and then finally the Advisory Committee on Tartan. Other tartans are available that have no correlation to Scottish clans.
There are clan tartans for families, individuals, districts, corporations, institutions, ethnic groups and commemorative tartans for various events throughout history. fabric Tartans has a long history with the military, especially with the Commonwealth, thereby affording many military units tartan dress uniforms.
There are even regional tartans that are officially recognized by governmental entities. In Canada, for instance, most territories and provinces have an official tartan, and the country itself boasts an official fabric Tartans as well. Many Canadian municipalities and counties also hold official tartans, as well as some of the states of the United States of America. Scotland has two local government councils with official tartans, too.
While the origins of the tartan remain unclear–some say, Asia, some say Europe–have become heavily recognized all throughout the world as testaments to Scotland and its rich culture. Even then, there has been a generation of tartans all over the world for different regions, peoples, institutions, or simply for use as a fashion trend.fabric Tartans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and are being updated constantly so that this stylish garment can continue to be worn for centuries to come.