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  1. #1
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    Two Ribbons on the back of the Balmoral cap.

    Recently I received a new Balmoral Hat from Mackie, and its quiet nice. I have received a couple in the past that I ordered from Mackie and this time the Balmoral arrived with the two ribbons in the back tied into a bow. Now I know this was done at one time, but rarely do you see this done anymore. I happen to like it this way, and most likely will keep it like this, however I am wondering why not more are ties in bows, instead left untied and flowing down. Why aren't these being tied? Is there any reason? Just wondering.
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    From my limited knowledge it is a matter of personal preference now.
    In time gone by the ribbons or a strip of cloth or leather actually went around a "hem" (my word) in the cap and were used to tighten it so they had to be tied.
    Now caps come presized.
    CTB
    Not my circus, not my monkeys

  3. #3
    Join Date
    30th September 08
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    Quote Originally Posted by CollinMacD View Post
    Recently I received a new Balmoral Hat from Mackie, and its quiet nice. I have received a couple in the past that I ordered from Mackie and this time the Balmoral arrived with the two ribbons in the back tied into a bow. Now I know this was done at one time, but rarely do you see this done anymore. I happen to like it this way, and most likely will keep it like this, however I am wondering why not more are ties in bows, instead left untied and flowing down. Why aren't these being tied? Is there any reason? Just wondering.
    All three of my Mackie bonnets have the ribbons tied (one was from Dunadd Trading Company and the others from J. Higgins). I took Jock Scott's advice and made a couple of strategically placed stitches on each bow which are hidden but hold things together.

    I prefer the ribbons tied so that they don't whip around in the wind.

    Cheers,

    SM
    Last edited by ShaunMaxwell; 27th November 18 at 01:20 PM.
    Shaun Maxwell
    Vice President & Texas Commissioner
    Clan Maxwell Society

  4. #4
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    Yup; either bow with stitches or just cut the darned things off so they're not tickling at the back of your neck in the breeze.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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  6. #5
    Join Date
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    There are various rumoured "traditions" associated with the ribbons. One that I know of is that letting them fly loose means you're single whilst having them tied in a bow means you're married. Most (all) of these alleged associations are pure hogwash. It's just personal preference.

    I have the tails loose on two of my Balmorals, and tied in a bow on the other. Personally, I like the looks of the loose tails but hate the way they flap in my face when the wind blows.

    The Mackie Balmorals have narrower and softer ribbons that are easier to tie into a bow. Other brands (like the ones sold by glengarryhats.com) have wider and stiffer ribbons that aren't well suited to tying.

  7. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  8. #6
    Join Date
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    Like Father Bill I soon tired of the things and consigned them to the waste basket. I've never missed them.
    " Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." - Mae West -

  9. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    There are various rumoured "traditions" associated with the ribbons. One that I know of is that letting them fly loose means you're single whilst having them tied in a bow means you're married. Most (all) of these alleged associations are pure hogwash. It's just personal preference.

    I have the tails loose on two of my Balmorals, and tied in a bow on the other. Personally, I like the looks of the loose tails but hate the way they flap in my face when the wind blows.

    The Mackie Balmorals have narrower and softer ribbons that are easier to tie into a bow. Other brands (like the ones sold by glengarryhats.com) have wider and stiffer ribbons that aren't well suited to tying.
    Before my time here, user creagdhubh stated that the Macphersons hold a tradition of leaving the ribbons untied.

    Post #13

    I don't know much about it beyond what he stated.
    Descendant of the Gillises and MacDonalds of North Morar.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    21st May 08
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    There are various rumoured "traditions" associated with the ribbons. One that I know of is that letting them fly loose means you're single whilst having them tied in a bow means you're married. Most (all) of these alleged associations are pure hogwash. It's just personal preference.
    The bit about single vs. married is an American myth akin to the 'ancient' Scottish tradition of Kirkin' the Tartan and the sgian dubh being derived from a weapon. The bow (or even a simple knot) is traditional, but today -- in the Highlands, where the wind blows free -- it's a personal preference. I've never seen the ribbons cut off, but that would be personal so is likely done by some. My Balmoral has a simple knot and the ribbons hang free, but I do have a doo-lander that has a bow.

  11. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to ThistleDown For This Useful Post:


  12. #9
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    I simply tied a knot in the ribbons on my Mackie and folded the free ends inside the crown out of the way.
    Last edited by Bruce Scott; 28th November 18 at 02:23 PM.

  13. #10
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    To further the preference point, of these six chiefs, Mackintosh of Mackintosh has no knot, Macpherson of Cluny has a bow, Farquharson of Invercauld has a knot, McBain of McBain has a knot, Macpherson Grant of Invereshie has no knot, Maclean of Dochgarroch has a bow and, out of the picture, Brigadier General Macfarlane has no knot. Six of the seven live in Scotland.

    Last edited by ThistleDown; 27th November 18 at 07:28 PM.

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