History of Tartan

The rich cultural heritage of Scottish Tartan dates back to ancient times, when Celtic weavers created unique fabrics for their isolated clans scattered throughout the remote Scottish highlands – distinguishing one clan from another and identifying brotherhood, friends and family. The import of these associations resulted in the creation of a governing body in Scotland that registers and trademarks the unique patterns of Celtic weavers. The strength of brotherhood as represented by tartan was so strong that in 1742, Parliament banned the use of tartan in an effort to squelch the Scottish identity and prevent further uprising. In 1782 the ban was lifted and by 1822, Kings were wearing tartans. In 1853, Prince Albert designed the Balmoral Tartan for Queen Victoria. Today, it is still worn by the royal family.

The Scottish Americans brought their Tartans and the powerful associations with them to the USA. Throughout our history famous Americans and American institutions, from the Kennedy family to the FBI and from West Point to the 34 of our 50 American States, all have proprietary tartans.