23rd September 06, 04:24 PM
If you are not buying a premade kilt, why don't you look at the BC tartan?
Chinese Blood, Kilted Heart, One United.
23rd September 06, 05:09 PM
For purists wearing a kilt with a tartan that isn't our would be a sacrilege.
I was a little skeptical when I decided to buy a kilt and for that reason I choose the province of Quebec tartan.
To make things clear I decided to write to the canadian Fraser clan chief and asked hit if a non Fraser can wear a Fraser tartan without upseting a person of that clan.
Here is the reply
Hoping that will help somebody in the future.
Hello Pierre Arpin,
Other than the Balmoral Tartan that is reserved for the exclusive use of members of the Royal Family, any of the now more than 5,000 tartans registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority, including the many Fraser tartans, may be worn by anyone who chooses to do so. I frequently encounter people wearing a Fraser tartan kilt and usually speak with them. A number of people I have encountered wearing a Fraser kilt have no Clan Fraser connection but just like our tartans, so feel free to wear whatever you like.
For a good example of the most popular Fraser tartans visit the site of The Lady Saltoun, Chief of Clan Fraser at http://www.fraserchief.co.uk/tartans.html
The Fraser Gathering tartans, designed for the 1997 Clan Fraser Gathering at Castle Fraser, may not be readily available now, but Ancient Hunting and Red Dress Fraser are readily available from major Scottish tartan mills. I own and wear both a Red Fraser tartan kilt for formal events, and an Ancient Hunting Fraser tartan kilt for day wear.
W. Neil Fraser, Chairman
Clan Fraser Society of Canada
Pierre 'IQ89" Arpin
AKA The unclonable
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GG d-- s: a++ C++ U--- P L- E-- W+++ N o K- w+ O--- M-
V-- PS PE- Y+ PGP- t+ 5 X R* tv- b++ DI D-- G e++ h+
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
23rd September 06, 05:32 PM
Many clans didn't had their own tartan when tartans and kilts became a (upper class) hype early 19th century, so they went to Wilson of Bannockburn...the most important weaver.
Some picked a tartan from an old painting, others had their tartan designed and some just picked an excisting tartan from a sample book....and claimed it. Some tartans changed name this way (The Regency tartan became the MacLaren tartan for instance).
And to make it all a bit more complicated...the Sobieski brothers came up with the "Vestiarium Scoticum" with "ancient" (clan) tartans...they invented themselves :rolleyes:
The "yellow" MacLeod is a Sobieski invented tartan for instance.
Conclusion...clan tartans are not as old as many think they are, some tartans were in use as fashion (because clans just didn't had a tartan) tartans before they became....clan tartans.
What a mess
So...wear the tartan you like, you can't make it any worse
23rd September 06, 07:08 PM
Regardless of the history of tartan, or whether or not there are laws, I do not wear clan tartans other thatn the ones with which I have some connecttion. Out of both respect, and personal preference. There are a number of tartans considered "open" to all as welll as district tartans. (My personal favorite right now... the Xmarks tartan.)
This is a choice I have made for myself. However, I'm not one to pass judgement on others for wearing a specific tartan for their own reasons either.
23rd September 06, 08:16 PM
I'll add a few comments here:
Take into consideration, virtually ALL tartans have a SPECIFIC meaning and "baggage" attatched to them. For example, the Royal Stewart is "officially" the tartan of the royal family, but has been opened to all her subjects and those that are thier decendants and those who ally with her. The Black Watch is the tartan of a specific old military unit (the "government" unit during the Jacobite years). It has been used by many, many units since then and is now seen as a "general" tartan. Many I know DO NOT wear these two tartans for the Royal and Government associations they bear. Likewise, Caledonia is a very,very old pattern and was used in the 18th and probably the 17th century. It is used to represent Scotland as a whole today. Each and almost every tartan has similar associations.
Sometimes, a tartan has more than one association. One of these is the same Black Watch mentioned above. A good article on this is:
One on Black Watch is here:
While one is free to wear (almost) any tartan, each has one or more meaning and to wear that tartan ties the wearer to the meaning. In some cases, it is to make a claim that one has no right to (such as the Balmoral tartan, which is understood to be limited to the royal family itself-> so to wear it bears the claim of being royalty). I analogize it to sports colors. In both sides of the Atlantic, football (in US-> NFL or college and in Europe-> football/soccer) provides a good example. Each team has a set of colors, a livery associated with THAT team. While free to wear whatever colors you want, to wear these colors is to associate yourself with that team. So:
Anywhere in the US, to wear:
orange and a white paw-> Clemson University
Green and Yellow-> Green Bay Packers (NFL) or Oakland A's (MLB)
Purple and yellow-> Minnisota Vikings
Black, Light Blue, and silver or white-> Carolina Panthers
(You get the idea)
This is accentuated with logos added to the colors.
A few weeks ago (the day of the Atlanta Falcons/Carolina Panthers football game), I wore a Falcons jersey and a Black Watch kilt on the battery in Charleston, South Carolina (Panther country). It seemed more people noticed the jersey more than the kilt!!! I stood out as a Falcons fan and got pro and con comments on the team (with only 1 mention of the kilt at all!!), no negative "skirt comments" ("Trust a Falcons fan to wear a skirt"-> never heard). The colors tied me to the team (and, thereby, all the other Falcons fans)
A Tartan is similar.
MacLeod ties to the MacLeods
MacNeil to the MacNeils
Wallace to Wallace
USA Bicenntenial/St Andrews-> US citizen/supporter
Carolina-> North and South Carolina
(again-> you get the idea)
Therefore, while one is "free" to wear whatever tartan he/she wishes, one is identified with the meaning of that tartan, and they become a representative of that tartan. It is best to know what that tartan is, what it means, and be able to discuss it at least somewhat. Imagine:
A person who wears a Packers jersey and is asked "How about those Packers?"
Person-> "The who?"
Questioner-> "The team your wearing."
Person-> "Oh,I just saw it and liked the colors."
Most likely this will result in a look of disgust, if not downright anger.
Moral: Wear what you like, but know what you wear and have a good reason for it. The best reason-> My ????? was a Mac????
PS-> I am an Atlanta Falcons fan, as that is where I was born and raised. By second favorite team (by only a small margin)-> Panthers, for I have lived here since the team can into being.
MacWage, "Dark Lord of the Box Pleat!"/ "Box Pleat Militant" Laird of Glenmoor (Carolina)
CARPE TARTANAM! (Seize the Tartan!)
23rd September 06, 09:57 PM
That was a very interesting and informative post. I learned a lot. Thank you.
Convener, Georgia Chapter, House of Gordon (Boss H.O.G.)
Where 4 Scotsmen gather there'll usually be a fifth.
7/5 of the world's population have a difficult time with fractions.
23rd September 06, 10:29 PM
About half my tartan kilts are my various clan tartans - because I want to honor the heritage of my clans...EVEN my maternal clans...there were plenty of men in my maternal clans too.
The other half of my tartan kilts either honor a region of my heritage, or are tartans I happen to like the color of and have no blood tie to, or are fashion tartans. I love the freedom to choose what tartans I like for what reasons I chose.
A couple years ago a self-appointed member of the tartan police ambushed me at the Clan Donald tent at the Mesa, AZ Highland Games and told me I couldn't wear Macdonald Lord of the Isles Hunting because that was reserved for Prince Charles. Well, the mills sell a LOT of that tartan anyway and I've had a necktie in that tartan for nearly 30 years. Wound up writing Clan Donald officers for clarification and of course was told the guy was looney tunes and yes anyone is welcome to wear that tartan. This year at the same games I asked after him with the intent of having a manly discussion with him. I was told he was no longer welcome at the Clan tent because of his delusions and rude behaviors.
Like any other field of interest and passion kilts and clans seem to attract self-appointed "experts" who are in fact dead wrong.
Kilt away in any tartan you choose. I expect if its a tartan we're not supposed to be wearing our kiltmakers won't be able to buy the fabric.
Was up on Second Mesa on the Hopi reservation today for fall dances in the plaza of Sichomovi Village. There, seated and watching the most elegant Hopi dancers was a Hopi grandma with a Royal Stewart tartan blanket in her lap to keep her warm. Sadly, no photos allowed in the Hopi Villages. But if a Hopi Grandma can sport a Royal Stewart tartan, anybody can.
Me, I had on my Cameron Black and Red hand sewn kilt and got lots of positive comments. Even climbed a ladder and back down kilted and modestly to watch the dances in the plaza from the roof.
Kilt up any way you wanna and stand proud.
Last edited by Riverkilt; 23rd September 06 at 10:32 PM.
Ol' Macdonald himself, a proud son of Skye and Cape Breton Island
Lifetime Member Scottish Tartans Authority, Owner Freelanders #4 & 5
"I'll have a kilt please, a nice hand sewn tartan, 16 ounce Strome. Oh, and a sporran on the side, with a strap please."
23rd September 06, 10:48 PM
You can E--mail the Stewart society at email@example.com for permission to wear the Stewart tartan you want, although its not necessary, but it might make you feel better.
23rd September 06, 11:07 PM
More than anything, I really don't think a highlander would have let anyone else tell him what colors he was allowed to wear. Do as you please and enjoy your freedom. ; )
23rd September 06, 11:18 PM
Thanks everone for your ideas and opinions. I am sorry to be asking so many question, it is a pain.
Thanks David, I followed up on you suggestion.
Originally Posted by David Dalglish
A 2006 study found that the average Canadian walks about 900 miles a year. The study also found that Canadians drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year. That means, on average, Canadians get about 41 miles per gallon.
Tags for this Thread