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  1. #1
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    Hunting for a Lovat Scouts Style Bonnet

    Greetings all,
    I am trying to locate a bonnet of Lovat Scouts type in size 7 1/4, or 58cm. I donít need an original as long as it looks the part, navy blue with navy torie and white and navy dicing with untied tails. I had always intended to have a custom Mackie made at some point, but thatís not possible now with the company no longer making traditional headwear. Please see the pic, courtesy House of Labhran.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I appreciate any help I can get.

  2. #2
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    It was only during a visit the The Highlanders Museum at Fort George some years ago, that I discovered the bonnet that I had been wearing for 30 years or more was a genuine Lovat Scouts' issue. Outside that museum, I have only ever seen one other, and that during a Remembrance Day parade some years ago.

    Mine came to me second hand, but still in excellent (seemingly never worn) condition, and I immeditely took a fancy to the dark blue/white colour combination with self-colour toorie. The dicing on mine was never the bright white you see these days, but more a 'natural' white of wool, but this may be natural 'ageing' of the wool. I have always worn the trailing ribbons tied, Highland style.

    You may be lucky and find one in army-surplus, or even in specialist military auctions, but they are rare - so your best bet is probably to have one made, if it is the look rather than the genuine article you are after. That way, you can specify colour shades.

    With the demise of Mackie's bonnet production, your choice seems to be a Pakistani maker, but what I have seen of their headwear, the low price makes it an appealing alternative. You will have to look past the lack of sophistication in construction and ribbon attachment/size adjustment, but only close scrutiny would reveal these anyway.

    My bonnet seems to be thicker and stiffer (less soft and floppy) than the Mackie bonnets I have seen, but Mackie's can be 'treated' to reduce that, and to get a more controlled fit and service.

    I will get some pictures of mine done, and post them here for your reference.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    It was only during a visit the The Highlanders Museum at Fort George some years ago, that I discovered the bonnet that I had been wearing for 30 years or more was a genuine Lovat Scouts' issue. Outside that museum, I have only ever seen one other, and that during a Remembrance Day parade some years ago.
    The same pattern was worn by the Scottish Horse I believe.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #4
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pictures of my LS bonnet...

    I am uncertain of the date, but the dates between which the Scouts operated as a distinct unit is well-known. In the post-war rationalisation of the British army, it was amalgamated or incorporated a number of times, and I am uncertain how much of their original service issue (such as headwear) they will have kept.

    I guess mine dates from around WWII, almost certainly not earlier.

    You can see in detail the how the ribbons are attached, and how there is a V-shape cut-out with a gusset in the headband, that allows for the bonnet to be shaped to the head. The ribbons were originally trailing, but I have always kept them tied.

    Notice, also, how far forward the crown is set over the headband, to allow the traditional 'cocked-up' style to be achieved easily. The pictures I have seen of the Lovat Scouts show them wearing their bonnets at very rakish angle - but that maybe just for the sake of the picture.

  6. #5
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you for the reference pics. That blue is so dark it looks black. J Higgins still has a few black and white Mackie bonnets in stock and I was tempted to go that route and call it close enough, but I think I would regret it.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guthrumironhead View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you for the reference pics. That blue is so dark it looks black. J Higgins still has a few black and white Mackie bonnets in stock and I was tempted to go that route and call it close enough, but I think I would regret it.
    This must be a good example of why warnings are given about how different devices display colours.

    The bonnet is distinctly dark blue - something very obvious in sunlight - but is quite a dense shade. It appears blue on my screen.

    The colour shades currently used for bonnets seems some way from the colour they claim to be (I have no idea why this should be) as I would expect 'Lovat' to be the earthy, mossy green normally thought of - but the recent examples I have seen of Mackie bonnets labelled as Lovat appear a bright pale green, almost a candy-colour in tone. The same is true of the pale blues.

    Conversely, some of the darker blues can only be distinguished from black when placed side-by-side with the black version - especially under artificial light.

    But the colour of this old bonnet of mine cannot be doubted when seen 'in the flesh' and is probably closer to, but still some degree darker than, the traditional blue-bonnets seen in the old illustrations. No-one seems to have made those for decades.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guthrumironhead View Post
    Greetings all,
    I am trying to locate a bonnet of Lovat Scouts type in size 7 1/4, or 58cm. I donít need an original as long as it looks the part, navy blue with navy torie and white and navy dicing with untied tails. I had always intended to have a custom Mackie made at some point, but thatís not possible now with the company no longer making traditional headwear. Please see the pic, courtesy House of Labhran.


    I appreciate any help I can get.
    House of Tartan will be taking over the manufacture of MacKie bonnets. You might be able to order yourself one in 6-9 months

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