Scottish Plaid Information

If you're looking for Scottish Plaid Information I'll try to provide in these pages as much help as I can, or signpost you to where you can find what you are looking for. Seeing a Scotsman wearing the kilt often makes people ask the age-old question, "What do Scotsmen wear underneath?

However, I know when I think of tartan (or plaid) I also tend to think of clans, and wonder which tartan goes with what name.

You may be wanting to know your own family or clan tartan. There are so many different tartans. You might already know what YOUR family clan or tartan is, or maybe you want to find out; or perhaps you just love tartan, but don't feel entitled to wear a specific one, but just want to wear everyday tartan clothes .

You'll see kilts and tartan worn at special functions such as weddings and Highland Games. If you're visiting Scotland in the summer months, do make the effort to attend. There is something very stirring about the pipes and drums which you will hear in the Music Events, or you can just listen to it in the background while watching the Dancing Events or perhaps all the heavyweight competitions in the Athletic Events. Be sure to watch "Tossing The Caber" (or 'poles tossed by Scots')

By the way if you live in USA and are interested in buying kilts or accessories - have a wee browse at The Celtic Croft for a great selection of kilts etc.

But getting back to Scottish Plaid Information, there are too many tartan's to mention on this page. The Gordon tartan below is one of my own family tartans.

To Find YOUR tartan click here HERE

Scottish Plaid Information
Gordon Tartan

Gordon Tartan


What's the Difference between Tartan and Plaid?

Many people from other countries and in particular America, refer to tartan as plaid. But plaid actually refers to a long woollen piece of cloth worn over the shoulder.

Some people think the term came from the Gaelic word 'plaide' meaning 'blanket'.

The plaid (or sort of shawl) was both simple and easy to wear. Basically it was just a long rectangular strip of tartan material that didn't require any sewing.

It was placed on the ground on top of the wearer's belt, and folded into pleats and the wearer would lie down and fix his belt around him, ensuring that the cloth covered him to at least the knees, thus resembling a kilt.

If a jacket was worn the extra material was looped over one shoulder. As you can imagine, with so much material, it could be used as a blanket too. Again you can get a wee idea of this from the Braveheart movie.

Tartan Shawl


What isTartan?


MacLeod Tartan

Macleod Tartan



Tartan is essentially a checked pattern. It's history in Scotland goes back centuries.

The patterns of an individual tartan is often called a 'Sett' which refers to its structure which used to be defined by the measurement of the width of each stripe. These days it is now by a precise thread count.

Most 'setts' are symmetrical, with each series of stripes reversed around the 'pivot' or central stripe. The blocks of pattern are then repeated.

The pattern of a tartan is formed by interweaving the bands of stripes at right angles.

The lengthways thread is called the 'warp', which are set on the loom. The crosswise threads or 'weft' are then woven into it. The style of the weave is known as twill.

Royal Stuart Tartan

Royal Stuart Tartan


The Purpose of Tartan

From early days, tartans were around for different purposes, and many clans adopted their own 'dress' and 'hunting' tartans. The "Dress" tartans were designed to be 'showy'. The design is normally just a bit different to the main clan tartan and often one of the main background colours changed to white.

The Dress Tartans were and still used on formal occasions and as mentioned earlier are still very popular at weddings and Highland Games.


If you've enjoyed this page on "Scottish Plaid Information, please also the following:-


Kilts and Flashes - A brief look at the history of the kilt.
Tartan Clothes from Scotland - A summary of some of the tartan clothes that come from Scotland.
Highland Games - Look at some of the categories of Highland Games event.
Athletic Events - Highland Games Categories always include a variety of athletic or sporting competition.


Dancing Events - Learn more about the Dancing competitions, always a joy to see, and again featured in every Highland Games.
Music Events - Learn a wee bit more about the different Music Events which are a common feature in all Highland Games.
Tossing The Caber - Look at this wonderful athletic event. If you don't know what it is, you might refer to it as 'poles tossed by Scots'.
Highland Games in Fife - for this year's venues for the games in the Kingdom.


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Scottish Plaid Information


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