Well see when I watched Star Trek my favorite character was Scotty, and in this one episode he wore his grey Scottish kilt for making some sort of diplomacy with alien foreigners, along with Kirk, and Spock (who wore the diplomatic uniform). And since tartans back then didn’t get to the Lowlands until the 17th century or 16th century (where the Scotts were a border clan and had territories in the Lowlands), I was wondering if the Scott’s Grey tartan sett was one of the most oldest tartans.
Well oldest Scott tartan.

4 Responses to “What is the oldest clan Scott tartan?”

  • jamesmom2:

    “…the Falkirk tartan or the Shepherd’s Check… is the oldest known piece of tartan cloth to be found in Scotland. It dates from the mid third century (some have it as late as 325) and consists of equal width stripes of a light and dark natural wool in a twill weave.”

    see link below for source and information on other historical tartans

  • Jim L:

    The idea that each clan had its own tartan is a load of bunk for gullible tourists.

  • David S:

    I have read in at least one of my reliable sources about tartans that the black and white tartans are generally the oldest. Why? You only need some white sheep and some black sheep to make it. No dyes.

    The response that tartan is a tourist thing is somewhat true. Tartan was banned by the English after the defeat at Culloden – it wouldn’t have been a tourist thing then, would it? It was Sir Walter Scott who persuaded the English to allow tartan again. A lot of the romantic image of Highland Scots (one t) was Sir Walter’s doing. His writings brought back the history of Scotland … with a bit of poetic license and imagination added.

    The Lowlands are where most of the woollen mills are (or were) located and many Highland Scots migrated to the Lowlands to find a livelihood during the Clearances. I’m sure both the Lowlander’s interest selling their wares and the influence of the newcomer Highlanders were a reason why tartan became a popular fabric. To have tourists buy tartan in significant quantities is something that came along later – probably in the 20th century when it became popular for the descendants of immigrants to return to Europe to see their family’s homeland and relations.

    If you are a Clan Scott Society member, you can visit the Members Only area of our website to see a collection of twenty three Scott tartans and tartans associated with the area, Sir Walter, and associated families. Also included are variations of these tartans (ancient, weathered, etc.) and thread counts.

    David Scott
    Membership Secretary
    Clan Scott Society

  • Smiley:

    David Scott, I just wanted to add that tartan is not exclusively Scottish. Technically China had loomed tartan as it’s easy to deduct that when you loom two or more colors, boxes would have been figured out fast.

    I study tartan, and I intend to learn how to weave it for added education. I have purchased several books on the subject and one central idea comes up that the original tartan designs were all lost because they were not recorded. When plant dyes came into being, and reaction to the Black Watch, many families were surveyed back in 1700’s for tartan design, about the time they wanted to record who was who. Many clans did not have a tartan, so they would take the Black Watch or tartan they could examine, and make their variations and then submit them. Many were thrown together, not recording thread counts, and then when it became important in the 1800’s many weavers were then having to use paintings to get close to the patterns. I know I am glossing by a lot of history, but when I see all this super secret tartan talk, well, why hide it to members only?

    I know why, to help drive membership at the clan callings. And I have to laugh, I heard a few tales about Americans wanting to get back to their homelands, all dressed up toe to heel wearing the chieftain feathers in their bonnets (as this was the office they were elected in their local clan gathering) literally offending the families in the old country who still adhere to the old standards.

    It has just bee recently that they are now teaching Scottish kids about Haggis and Tartan because the powers that be, many nationalist, are afraid that the generic western world of Levi’s and Reebok’s are going to ruin their culture. Then factor in that all these crazy Americans, me included, are eaten up with tartan, kilt making, piping and the like. So why make such a huge deal, lets all enjoy this Scottish thing together, and let go of this inclusive you have to be in the club idea? That being the idea of many clans that get so wrapped up in these super secret ideas.

    Just throwing a thought out there.

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