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Gillies Tartan

The legacy of the Gillies Tartan weaves through the rich tapestry of Scottish history, prominently featuring in the narratives of both Clan Macpherson and Clan Chattan. The name Gillies, or Mac Gille Iosa, translates poetically to "Son of the servant of Jesus," an echo of its early roots tied to ecclesiastical figures. This deep religious connection suggests an origin amongst the clergy, particularly within the historical bounds of Badenoch and, later, extending to the Hebrides. The surname was first documented in the 12th century, evolving in Anglicised form to Elias, widely adopted among the MacPhersons. The Gillies Tartan, under various spellings such as Gillies, MacLeish, and MacLellan, mirrors the lineage’s complexity and diversity. It closely resembles the MacLaren tartan yet distinguishes itself through a broad black band across alternating blue squares—a pattern only recorded in collections from the 1940s. Despite the obscurity of its full origins and exact historical significance, the tartan remains a symbol of the enduring Scottish spirit and the intricate interplay of clan allegiances and identities over centuries.
The Gillies Tartan features a distinctive backdrop of subtle purplish blue, accented boldly with thick green and black stripes. This base is intricately crossed by thin, vibrant lines of yellow and red, creating a visually compelling and rich textile pattern. Each color and line is crafted to represent the tartan’s historic roots and the unity of the clans it symbolizes, ensuring that every swatch tells a part of the grander Scottish narrative.
At Scottish Kilt, we take pride in preserving and celebrating Scottish heritage through our extensive range of authentic Scottish attire. From kilts and skirts to tartan fabrics and bespoke accessories like sporrans and kilt flashes, each product is a testament to quality craftsmanship and cultural tradition. Explore our collection and experience the spirit of Scotland.