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  1. #1
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    Where's best to look for historic non-familial tartans?

    Hi there. As a sort of follow up to my newbie post about deciding which tartan(s) to use, I was curious where to find historic tartans (associated with districts etc.) still in production? For example, if I search The Scottish Register of Tartans for Hebrides, I come up with all sorts of interesting patterns that are in various historical collections. Are there any manufacturers or stores which particularly specializes in such things?

    By way of explanation, since my many Scots ancestors arrived in Appalachia before the Romantic Era Celtic Revival, I'd be happier when choosing my kilt material to have one in a tartan that is documented to a very early time, but not clan or military affiliated. Thanks!
    Last edited by Old Building Prof; 22nd April 18 at 02:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    There are many such designs by they are for the most part, if not entirely, non-stock patterns meaning a special weave. That's not as daunting as it sounds, I have done a number of such specials and the results are always worth the effort..

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to figheadair For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    There are several old tartans that are not listed as clan or family tartans, many show as fashion or regional on the Scottish Register of Tartans and a few are thought to predate some of the clan tartans. I normally go for the non-clan/non-family tartans myself and have found that some are easy to find while others are special order from either a kilt maker or a tartan mill. My family came to the Jamestown colony before the Mayflower and I understand some of the search for tartans from before the Victorian or Georgian era, yet I do not limit myself to these older tartans.

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  6. #4
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    11th July 05
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Building Prof View Post
    Hi there. As a sort of follow up to my newbie post about deciding which tartan(s) to use, I was curious where to find historic tartans (associated with districts etc.) still in production? For example, if I search The Scottish Register of Tartans for Hebrides, I come up with all sorts of interesting patterns that are in various historical collections. Are there any manufacturers or stores which particularly specializes in such things?

    By way of explanation, since my many Scots ancestors arrived in Appalachia before the Romantic Era Celtic Revival, I'd be happier when choosing my kilt material to have one in a tartan that is documented to a very early time, but not clan or military affiliated. Thanks!
    Early non-clan and military tartans is a good approach to follow if, like me, one is not affiliated with a Scottish clan or family. I am also a 1745 Jacobite reenactor, so researching and obtaining early non-clan tartans is something I do. I have learned a tremendous amount of information about 18th c. Highland tartans from Figheadair's web page (google "Peter E. MacDonald" and go to his research page). Through Peter, I have obtained early tartans in original color shades, weights and finishes to increase my authenticity as a living historian, and I've also obtained custom-woven tartan through his good offices for making into modern kilts. Some of the ones I've gotten are the Old Culloden, 42nd Musicians, 42nd Coarse Kilts, Lord Loudoun's Highlanders, and others. I think that after you do the research on early tartans, you'll really like them. Getting them woven is a custom proposition and not inexpensive, but I think you'll find it worthwhile - especially since you'll be the only one on your block with a kilt in such a tartan. Check with Peter - I can't recommend him enough - and I think you'll enjoy what he has to tell you.

  7. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Orvis For This Useful Post:


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