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Highlandwear Made In Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions

Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan Campbell

This blog post examines the Campbell Clan, looking back at their History, studying their Clan Crests and a glimpse at the associated clan tartans!

The Campbell Clan is one of the largest Scottish Clans and historically one of the most powerful. According to the 2001 census, ‘Campbell’ was the 4th most common surname in Scotland.

Clan history

It is thought that the Campbell’s originally hailed from the Strathclyde area on the west coast of Scotland, with strong connections to the Argyll region.  The clan chief of Clan Campbell has been the Earl of Argyll since 1445, then Duke of Argyll from 1701.

The Argyll region of Scotland and the Campbell Clan Crest

In the 14th Centuary the Campbell’s were strong supporters of Scottish Independence, and fought along side Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314

The Campbell’s are perhaps best known for their part in the infamous Massacre at Glencoe, where troops (including several Campbell’s) lead by Robert Campbell of Glenlyon murdered members of the MacDonald Clan in Glencoe on 13th February 1692.

During the two Jacobite uprisings in the 18th centuary, the Campbell’s sided with the British government and fought against the Jacobite armies. The Campbell’s had four divisions of men at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the last battle of the uprising which crushed the rebellion.

Today, the Clan Chief of the Clan Campbell is Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll, who captained Scotland’s Elephant Polo team to victory in the 2004 and 2005 World Elephant Polo Association World Championships.  Inveraray Castle has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell, since the 17th century.

Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll (L) and the Scottish Elephant Polo team in 2005, with Campbell in the centre (R)
Clan tartans

The Campbell Tartan is predominantly green and blue, intersected with a black check. The tartan may look quite familiar to many, as it also goes under the name ‘Black Watch‘ – the tartan used extensively in the UK military.

A variety of Campbell tartans

There are variations of the tartan based on different locations around Scotland where certain Campbell’s hailed from. These tartans include: Campbell of Argyll, Campbell of Breadalbane, Campbell of Cawdor, Campbell of Lochawe and Campbell of Loudoun. Each design uses the base colours from the Campbell tartan, but add a thin, coloured line through the design.

Clan crest and motto

The Clan Campbell crest is of a Boar’s head and they have the motto ‘Ne Obliviscaris’, which is Latin for ‘Forget Not‘). Houston’s stock many varieties of Campbell Clan Crested accessories here.

Other Useful links

The Clan Campbell Society of North America (CCSNA) is a great resource to learn more about the Campbell Clan’s history.

Inveraray Castle, the seat of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell.View all the Campbell Tartans stocked by Houston Kiltmakers

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Gifts Highlandwear Kilt Pin Made In Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History Sporran traditions

Clan Crest Accessories – Personalised Clan Highland Wear

The roots of Highland Wear comes from the Scottish clan system – clan tartans are a great example of showing the contrasting styles of the clans. Each clan, along with their own specific tartans, also have their own clan crest and coat of arms. At Houston’s we can provide the option to customise many items with your own clan crest to make each item special to you and link to the connection with a family name. Great as personalised touches to your kilt outfit

With origins in the clan system of Scotland, a Scottish crest badge is a heraldic badge worn to show allegiance to an individual or membership in a specific Scottish clan.

Clan Crest accessories can be customized with 120+ different family crests – the perfect personalized gift for a loved one, a friend or wear them yourself! From clan Anderson to Wallace, any many names in-between, choose your family’s clan crest for your accessories!

Wall plaques, Cufflinks and tankards are also available with a family crest, which make great gifts!

All our clan crested accessories are made in Scotland by our trusted supplier. As there is a wide range of crests available in some rare occasions it could take up to 6 weeks for your accessory to be delivered as they will have to be made if they are out of stock at the time of order.

Houston’s crested product range includes Sporrans, Kilt Pin’s, Belt Buckles, Sgian Dubh’s and much more. You can see our full range here!

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Highlandwear Jackets Tweed Jacket Weddings

Jacket Guide – Highland Wear Jackets and Tweeds

About our jackets:

All of our Houston’s Own Range Black Jackets are Super-Lightweight. Jackets, Waistcoats and Trews can all be customized with different button, pocket and fabric options.

Tweed Jackets are hugely popular, matching well with a Highland wear outfit while also having the flexibility to be worn separately. We supply every tweed from all Scottish & English mills.

Click on the images below to learn more about our Tweed Jacket range or learn about our wide variety of other Jackets available.

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Highlandwear Jackets Kilt Kilts Kilts for Sale Made In Scotland

Kilt Alterations, Adjustments and Repairs

A Kilt made by Houston’s, if cared for correctly, can last a lifetime. As your body changes over time there can be a need for alterations to be made to your Kilt to keep it fitting you perfectly. Houston’s owner Ken has had one of his Kilts for 30 years, having had 4 alterations to it over the years to keep it looking its best.

We offer a wide variety of alteration and repair services for your Kilt to make sure that through its life it still fits you perfectly.

Our in-house seamstress has over 30 years experience and with her skilled eye can identify solutions that can be made to keep you in your Kilt! Best to bring your Kilt into the shop where we can take a look at what alterations can be made.

Kilt Alteration Services:

  • Kilt Waist Alterations – Often Kilts made have some extra material left that can be let out if your waist size increases. Alternatively Kilt can be taken in if you lose weight and your Kilt struggles to stay up. When buying a Kilt from us, we ask if you wish the Kilt to be cut for growth – this means we will leave some extra cloth hidden in the seam, leaving you with more options to let the Kilt out at a later date.
  • Moving Kilt Adjustment Buckles – The buckles attached to your Kilt can be moved either out or in, giving more of less room. This can give your Kilt a better fit if your weight changes. Our seamstress takes great care in making sure that the tartan cloth attached to the buckle blends in as best as possible to where the buckle is moved too.
  • Worn Kilt Strap Replacement – Over time, your leather waist straps can experience general wear and tear after years of tightening and loosening and may need replacing. Replacing tired looking straps means that ever detail of your Kilt is looking great.
  • Adding Kilt Extension Straps – Extra long straps can replace standard Kilt waist straps, allowing for a larger fit if needed. This involves
  • Kilt Lining Replacement – Worn waist kilt linings can be removed and replaced with new material. The lining of a Kilt is there to protect the Kilt from general wear and tear, so may need replacing over time.
  • Kilt Shortening – A Hem can be added to your Kilt if it is too long. This can be let down at a later date if required.
  • Complete Kilt Remake – We can take apart your Kilt and reassemble it from scratch. This is quite an extreme solution and we recommend it as a last resort.
  • Jacket Alterations – Many fine tuning alterations can be completed on a Jacket, from  sleeve & shoulder adjustments to, Back & Side Seam alterations. More about Jacket Alterations can be read here

Jacket Alterations to Kilt Jackets

These alterations are available on a kilt by kilt basis – best to bring in your Kilt so we can take a look and see what solutions are available to us. Pricing is subject to the work done and quote available on request.

Get in touch with us with your query and we will be able to best advise what we can do to get you looking your best in your Highland Outfit!

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Kilts Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan

Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan Gordon

This article examines the Gordon Clan, looking back at their History, studying their Clan Crests and a glimpse at the associated clan tartans!

Clan History

The name Gordon believed to be of Anglo Norman descent. The first known of the name are said to have saved the King from the attack of a wild boar. This is why many believe a boar’s head features on the family coat of arms.

The earliest record of the name confirms the Gordons settled in the Borders of Scotland during the reigns of William the Lion and Malcolm IV.

Sir Adam de Gordon was one of the commissioners who negotiated with Edward I in order to settle the competition over the crown of Scotland. Sir Adam was a faithful follower of Robert the Bruce and was sent to Rome to ask the Pope to reverse the excommunication, placed upon Bruce after he killed John Comyn.

Coat of Arms and Tartans for Clan Gordon
The Gordon Coat of Arms. Gordon Tartan variations including Red Gordon, Weathered and Dress.

British Army Links

The Gordon Highlanders was a infantry regiment of the British Army that existed for 113 years, from 1881 until 1994 when it was amalgamated with the Queen’s Own Highlanders to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons), which was later merged with the Royal Scots Borderers, the Royal Highland Fusiliers , the Black Watch and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Ancient, Modern and Dress Gordon Tartans and Clan Crest
Ancient, Modern and Dress Gordon Tartan Variations. The Gordon Clan Crest with the motto, 'Bydand'.

Clan Crest and Motto

The clan crest for the Gordon Clan is of a stag’s head atop of a crown. This is surrounded with the clan motto, ‘Bydand’, which translates from Gaelic to traditional Scots as ‘Bide and Fecht’, meaning ‘Stay and Fight’. The Gordon Coat of Arms features the head of a boar, thought to be reference to the boar killed by an early Gordon in protection of the King.

Clan Tartans

There are several Gordon tartans, with perhaps the best recognized being the ‘Dress Gordon’ variation. It has transcended the world of highland wear and became a popular tartan in other fashion items.

Useful Links

House of Gordon USA, whose mission is to preserve  and promote our unique heritage and Celtic culture.

You can learn more of the heritage and history of the Clan Gordon at House Of Gordon.com

You can see our full range of Gordon Tartans here!

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Highlandwear How Its Made Kilt Kilts Made In Scotland tartan

Traditonal African Cloth, Made into a Traditional Scottish Kilt!

Recently a customer came into our shop with material he had collected from his recent trip around Africa. He asked if we could make the traditional cotton African cloth into a traditional Scottish Kilt, and we accepted the task!

(Click on the Images to Enlarge!)

There were a few challenges to overcome to make this African Kilt a reality – the material provided wasn’t in the usual dimensions we use to make a Kilt, so the Kiltmaker had to carefully work out the best way to cut and restitch the cloth back together in an easier to work with shape.

The material was different to what we usually work with. Instead of a heavyweight wool this cloth was a lighter-weight cotton.

The unusual design on the cloth meant that working with it was quite different from Scottish Tartan, but there were still similarities. As you can see from the reverse of the Kilt, the Kiltmakers has still managed to incorporate the pattern of the cloth into the pleats on the rear.

We think that turned out great, a very unique look! What do you think of this different take on the Scottish Kilt?

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions

Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan Anderson

This article examines the Anderson Clan, looking back at their History, studying their Clan Crests and a glimpse at the associated clan tartans!

Clan History

The Anderson Clan has links stretching back to St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. Anderson literally means ‘Son of Andrew’. The name Anderson was recorded as early as the 13th century. As the name Anderson is so wide spread in Scotland, it is hard to narrow down to a specific area where the Anderson’s originally hailed from. It is generally agreed that the region they most likely call ‘home’ is the traditional district of Badenoch.

Clan Anderson came from Badenoch
Clan Crest for the Anderson Clan and Map of their Origins

Clan Crest and Motto

The Clan Crest of the Anderson Clan is of an Oak Tree and their motto is ‘Stand Sure’. The motto reflects both the Oak Tree and the lasting of the Anderson name – the Oak Tree grows strong and lives for a long time, similar to the Anderson Clan.

Clan Tartan

The Anderson Tartan is a particularly popular design. An elaborate tartan, it incorporates several colours and many thin stripes. Mainly a blue design, it also features green, red, yellow, white and black.

Anderson Clan Tartan
Ancient, Modern and Muted Versions of the Anderson Tartan, the Thread Count and a Digital Image of the Tartan

Other Useful Links

The Anderson Clan Society is a useful place to start if you are looking for more details about the clan.

 You can see the full range of Anderson Tartans that we stock here!

Categories
Highlandwear How Its Made Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Made In Scotland Scottish History traditions

Ruche Ties – Behind the Scenes – How they are Made

We spent some time in our In-Store workshop, watching many items being created by our wonderful seamstress Beth. In this series of articles we will take a closer look at a few of the Tartan accessories she has been crafting! This week we take a closer look at the Ruche Tie.

Mix of Tartan Ruche Ties

What is a Ruche Tie?

A Ruche Tie is alternative neckwear to the standard tie and bow tie. In terms of looks it is halfway between a standard tie and a cravat. Ruche Ties are wider than a standard necktie with an extravagant knot. They make for the perfect neckwear for your Highland Outfit, providing extra prestige to your formal attire.

Ruche Ties come in both plain colour, or in a tartan to match your Kilt. If you are having a Kilt made, please enquire about having matching neckwear crafted to match. Tartan Ruche Ties are a popular option with Kilt Hires and are available in boys sizes too!

How a Ruche Tie is Made

Our seamstress has been making Ruche Ties for many years, and has perfected her own take on this neckwear.

(Click Photos to Enlarge!)

Cut out the Tie Templates
Cloth for the Ruche Ties is cut from Templates

To start, the material needed is cut from templates. Cloth for the two tie sleeves, neck knot and neck loop are carefully cut out. If tartan is being used, extra care is taken to keep the design symmetrical and to incorporate as much of the tartan pattern into the tie.

The Parts for the Ruche Tie are sewn into shape
The cloth is stitched into shape

From here the cloth templates are stitched to create the shape of the knot, the two tie sleeves (one larger than the other) and the neck loop (like a tube of cloth now).

Press the Edges of the Tie into Shape
The Edges of the Tie are carefully pressed into shape

The edges are then pressed to give them their final shape. The pressing ensures that they keep their shape and there aren’t any unwanted bulges.

Ruche Tie knot stitched on to the rest of the Tie
The Knot is hand stitched on to the rest of the Ruche Tie pieces

The next step is to hand stitch the knot on to the top of the two tie pieces – this holds the whole tie together. The Ruche Tie is starting to take shape! Finally, metal hook are attached to the neck loop, and this in turn is attached to the knot. The tie is complete!

A Few Ruche Ties in Mens and Boys Styles
A Few Ruche Ties in our Exclusive Bute Heather Tartans!

Our Ruche Ties come in both Men’s and Boy’s sizes and can be made in over 130 colours to match your outfit, or in the Tartan of your choice! To find out more please contact us at Houston Kiltmakers!

 

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Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Made In Scotland Special Weave Tartans tartan Wedding Kilts

Teflon Coated Kilts – Stainproof and Beerproof!

Houston Kiltmakers were the first to Teflon Coat/Stain-proof all of our own range Tartans. Since then many of the Tartan mills have followed suit and offer a Stain-proof coating on their Kilts. We provide this Teflon Coating on all our Own Range Tartans and on a range of Tartans from Selected Mills at no extra cost.

A Teflon Coating, applied to the cloth in the finishing process when the tartan is woven, creates a protective layer around your finished Kilt. This allows for rain and stains (even beer!) to simply run off or be easily wiped off your Kilt.

Over the life of your Kilt, we calculate that this simply protection will save you approximately £180 to £260 on dry cleaning as the garment will need cleaned less often. The Teflon coating lasts a minimum of 18 dry cleanings.

Look out for the ‘Stain Proofed Coating’ banner on the Tartans in our Tartan Finder to see which of our cloths come with a Teflon Coating – Free of Charge!

Stain-Proofed Tartan
Look out for the Stain Proofed Coating Labels in our Tartan Finder!

Teflon Coating is available on a wide range of stock Tartans, and also on Special Weave Tartans. If you are unsure if the Tartan your looking for has a Teflon Coating – just get in touch and we will let you know!

 

Categories
Highlandwear Kilts Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions

Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan MacDonald

This article examines the MacDonald Clan, looking back at their History, studying their Clan Crests and a glimpse at the associated clan tartans!

MacDonald Clan Tartan and Map
Clan MacDonald Hail from the Isles. They have many associated Tartans, here we see the Ancient Clan MacDonald Tartan.

Clan History

Clan MacDonald is historically the largest of the Scottish Clans. Their roots can be traced back to the 12th century, with Domhnall mac Raghnaill (Donald, Son of Ranald) often being cited as the first in the clan’s line. They hailed originally froom the Inner Hebrides and Ross.

There are several branches of Clan MacDonald, many with their own Tartans. These branches are established from regions where members of the Clan MacDonald moved to around Scotland. The most noted of these are MacDonald of Sleat, MacDonald of Clanranald, MacDonell of Glengarry and MacDonald of Keppoch – the Tartans of all these branches can be seen on Kiltmakers.com, along with other historical variations.

The Clan MacDonald (Sometimes referred to simply as Clan Donald) are historical known to hail from the Islands around the west coast of Scotland, leading to the Clan Chief being bestowed with the title, Lord of The Isles. (This has since been passed on to the hair apparent of Scotland, meaning currently HRH Prince Charles holds the title.)

Clan Crest and Motto

The Clan Crest of Clan MacDonald is of a hand in an gauntlet holding a cross over a crown. The motto of Clan MacDonald is ‘Per Mare Per Terras’, which translates to ‘By Sea and Land’. Several of the branches of the Clan MacDonald have their own Clan Crest, such as MacDonald of Clanranald. The MacDonald of Clanranald crest shows an arm holding a sword above a castle, with the motto, ‘My Hope is Constant in Thee’.

Clan Crests for the MacDonald Clan
Clan Crest for the Clan MacDonald (L) and Clan MacDonald of Clanranald (R)

We offer a wide range of Highland Wear products, customized with your own Clan Crest. From Sporrans and Kilt Pins to Hip Flasks and Sgian Dubhs, we can customize most items with a Clan Crest.

Rival Clans

The most famous rival Clan to the MacDonalds is the Campbells. This clash can be traced back to the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692, where members of Clan Campbell murdered members of the MacDonalds of Glencoe on a cold winters night. 38 MacDonalds were killed by their guests, to whom they were providing traditional warm hospitality. Another 40 members of the clan lost their lives to exposure as they attempted to flee across the snow covered glen.

Massacre of Glencoe

Other Useful Links

MacDonald remains the most common ‘Mac’ name is Scotland, with Houston’s owner Ken MacDonald being part of the Clan.

The Clan Donald Centre on the Isle of Skye is an estate around Armadale Castle where you can learn more of the history of Clan Donald.

Clan Donald USA has several regional divisions across the States where you can meet and associate with others carrying the MacDonald name.

You can learn more about Clan Donald and its heritage on a dedicated site here: Clandonald-Heritage.com.