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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    The idea that colours in tartan have meanings is fairly recent and I have to say, somewhat annoying.
    Manx National tartan does have various 'rationale' for the colours (Blue for sky and sea, yellow for gorse, and suchlike). Are you saying the concept of drawing colour inspirations from real life things is annoying or that attributing it where it is not is?...

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    The idea that colours in tartan have meanings is fairly recent and I have to say, somewhat annoying.
    I have read that this trend is a "modern conceit".
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 26th January 19 at 12:14 PM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  3. #23
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    I have read that this trend is a "modern conceit".
    Perhaps a we bit of “romancing the scone”

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  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Me cousin Jack View Post
    Perhaps a we bit of “romancing the scone”
    Could very well be.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  6. #25
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    Thanks to all for your input.
    I cant say I understand it all yet but I think I'm on the right path.

    Thanks
    Justicia et Fortitudo Invincibilia Sunt (Justice and Fortitude are Invincible)

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    The idea that colours in tartan have meanings is fairly recent and I have to say, somewhat annoying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    I have read that this trend is a "modern conceit".
    Sure, it's a bit of a conceit. But a tartan is a specific sequence of colors that in turn has a specific meaning, so when designing one nowadays, I think it makes perfect sense for the colors themselves to have meaning as well. Far more so than, say, Wilsons of Bannockburn slapped my surname on this pattern when they switched from numbers to names, or someone famous with my surname happened to wear a tartan like this when sitting for a portrait, or the Sobieski Stewarts pulled this design from their collective backside and my clan chief at the time decided he liked it anyway.

    When I designed a tartan to represent my Italian heritage, I decided to base it on the emblem of the Italian Republic, the Stella d'Italia (Star of Italy). Not only the colors, but the design itself. A red-guarded white stripe on a gray band to mimic the red-outlined white star on a silver/gray cog, a red-guarded white stripe for the red banner with white writing, and green for the leaves of the olive and oak branches that flank them. I tried to include brown for the branches themselves, but it just didn't look right to me, and the black and white lines were added to balance out and even up the design:



    It is of course a bonus that it incorporates the colors of the Italian flag. And I chose a blue background because blue is often used to represent Italy itself, and I thought it seemed the best option to make the rest of it stand out.

    Now, I could've just created something random and said, here, this the "Italian Heritage" tartan. Okay, but what does it have to do with Italy or Italian heritage? Um, well, I have Italian heritage, and I designed it, so...yeah. I don't quite understand how that is preferable to me "annoyingly" putting actual effort into the significance of the design.
    Last edited by Dollander; 26th January 19 at 05:45 PM.
    Kilt n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland. -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1906

    Scotch is a drink; Scots are a people. - Stuart Rankin, 1990

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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCafferty View Post
    Thanks to all for your input.
    I cant say I understand it all yet but I think I'm on the right path.

    Thanks
    Just to clarify, I get the impression that you thought it was the specific shades of green and gold that made it authentic or not. Is this correct? If so, then hopefully you understand now that it's the specific sequence of the general colors that make a specific tartan. So whether it's the bottle green and navy blue of the "modern" colors, or the grass green and sky blue of the "ancient" colors, or the olive green and slate blue of House of Edgar's "Muted" pallet, green is still green and blue is still blue.

    Many of the clan and district tartans are such that there's no restrictions on them, and any weaver is allowed to produce them in the official thread counts without permission from anyone else. But in the case of the Irish National, it is owned by House of Edgar, and can only be woven by someone else with their consent (which Stillwater has). Meanwhile, the makers and sellers of cheaper kilts realized there's a market for kilts among the Irish diaspora, so they created a knockoff version of the Irish National tartan that was just different enough to avoid a trademark infringement and simply call it "Irish", "Irish Green", "Irish Heritage", etc.

    Now, as was mentioned, the Irish National isn't officially recognized by the Republic of Ireland, but it is nonetheless an officially registered tartan. So if you're looking to inexpensively honor your Irish heritage with a kilt, I'd think it far better to get the "real deal" from Stillwater rather than a cheap imitation from eBay or Amazon.
    Last edited by Dollander; 26th January 19 at 06:35 PM.
    Kilt n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland. -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1906

    Scotch is a drink; Scots are a people. - Stuart Rankin, 1990

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dollander View Post
    It's the thread count that makes it a specific tartan, i.e. how many threads of green, red, blue, etc. and in what sequence.
    Not quite. It's the proportion of colours in a specific order than makes a tartan unique rather than the threadcount per se. The threadcount will invariably be altered to fit different weights of cloth or intended end uses. Sometimes those proportions are even varied. At risk of going off topic but by way of explanation, here are the six settings for MacDuff from Wilsons' 1819 Key Pattern Book.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Thomson View Post
    Manx National tartan does have various 'rationale' for the colours (Blue for sky and sea, yellow for gorse, and suchlike). Are you saying the concept of drawing colour inspirations from real life things is annoying or that attributing it where it is not is?...
    I’m afraid I have a rather jaundiced view of faux colour symbology which has no historical precedent in tartan design and which is an unnecessary anthropomorphism. I sit on the Advisory Committee of the Scottish Register and every week we get a number of new design applications in which the rationales have to be heavily edited and revised because they contain all sorts of claims and perceived symbology which is incorrect. Let me give an example from a while ago. A design was submitted to represent a US State, the three-page rationale included a statement that ‘the five main colours represent the five principal ethnic groups in the state. The named colours were; white, red, yellow, blue and green! I very much doubt that said state had a healthy population of little green men.

    The situation is different if, for example, one is armigerous and the colours are taken from a Grant of Arms or something similar but in general I don’t understand the need to justify the colours beyond the fact that one likes them or that some may reference an historical or family connection that was the inspiration for the design.

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  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    I’m afraid I have a rather jaundiced view of faux colour symbology which has no historical precedent in tartan design and which is an unnecessary anthropomorphism. I sit on the Advisory Committee of the Scottish Register and every week we get a number of new design applications in which the rationales have to be heavily edited and revised because they contain all sorts of claims and perceived symbology which is incorrect. Let me give an example from a while ago. A design was submitted to represent a US State, the three-page rationale included a statement that ‘the five main colours represent the five principal ethnic groups in the state. The named colours were; white, red, yellow, blue and green! I very much doubt that said state had a healthy population of little green men.

    The situation is different if, for example, one is armigerous and the colours are taken from a Grant of Arms or something similar but in general I don’t understand the need to justify the colours beyond the fact that one likes them or that some may reference an historical or family connection that was the inspiration for the design.
    I think I agree with what you are saying, at least as I interpret it, that assigning a meaning where the designer had none is pretentious, but if the designergenuinely had a reason for picking the colours inspired by something then that is different?

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