Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Color is Your Clan?

The Tartan
Then it's Hey! for The Tartan and Ho! for The Tartan!
The stamp o' the Hielands from Skye to Dundee;
And it's proud I am bearing The Tartan I'm wearing,
The pride o' my Clan and The Tartan for me!
~Sidney Bell

Happy National Tartan Day to all of my friends and readers who are of Scottish descent!

Today, tartans are traditionally associated with Scotland, and specifically as symbols of the many Scottish Clans. Prior to the mid 19th century however, these plaid textiles were associated with the regions and districts of Scotland, rather than specific clans and families. According to the Scottish Tartans World Register, there are over 2800 officially recognized tartan patterns on record today. The Black Watch and Royal Stuart patterns are considered the two most popular tartan plaids in use in fashion as well as other media today.

If you're interested in finding out more about your Scottish family tartan or you're just curious about the history of your favorite tartan pattern, visit this great tartan search tool at the Scottish Tartans Authority website ( http://www.tartansauthority.com/).

I've always loved tartan plaids, so shopping for some of my own personal favorites on Etsy was truly a pleasure for me! I hope you enjoy my selections and will take some time to look at all of the beautiful tartan themed items that are available by simply searching "tartan" on Etsy!

One of my favorite tartan patterns is the Black Watch that I mentioned earlier. Blue and green is one of my absolute favorite color combinations, so this particular pattern is easily a favorite. From SatzDesigns comes this lovely Tartan Clutch Bag in beautiful Black Watch tartan wool fabric.

My husband and I love going to Renaissance Festivals, and we usually attend in costumes I've sewn for the occasion - and plaids are usually incorporated into my festival wear. For anyone who doesn't sew, working with plaids takes a bit of patience. One of the things I immediately notice when looking for plaid garments is the attention to detail in matching the plaid pattern along the seams and also the placement of the hem along skirts or slacks to create a smooth line. This exceptional Tartan Plaid Long Skirt from stitchintimedesigns, perfect for a Ren-Faire Costume, Scottish Festival or Civil War Reenactment is made out of Homespun fabric, and I am very impressed with the attention to detail in this piece. Simply gorgeous workmanship!

For my last selection, I chose this Forest Green and Cream Tartan Handwoven Scarf from Bataclops, a relatively new shop on Etsy which offers handwoven tartan plaid scarves exclusively at this time. I absolutely love the rich earthy greens and browns in this particular design!

The history of tartans is interesting and there is quite a bit of information available on the web to help you appreciate the legend and lore behind this traditional weave. I hope I've piqued your interest in this woven art form and the many art forms that incorporate it in their designs.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and I hope to see you stopping by again tomorrow!

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