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Tartans and Dress
The Clan Lamont Tartans
  Ancient
  Muted
Modern
  Hunting
Bagpipes, whisky, and tartan! The three things most people identify with Scotland. There are even dialectal differences in British and American Sign Language for “Scottish”. One imitates the squeezing of the bagpipe, the other mimics the cross stripes of the tartan., “Why did tartan become identified with Scotland?” The use of different colours crossing each other in weaving has a long history and is not limited to Scotland. Such fabric existed three thousand years ago in Mongolia and as far from Scotland as Japan. Artistically, tartan is a lovely fabric. Practically, it is an effort to avoid the blotchiness resulting from uneven dye lots. Neither is the twill weave unique, over two threads, under two, off set by one. This creates a stronger fabric and gives tartan its herring bone effect. With this combination two pure colours cannot touch each other except at the corners. The resultant blend gives the tartan designer the ability to create colours. Tartan is the only polychromatic art form of the Celts to survive. However, only in Scotland did it become an iconic symbol, “the fabric which represents a nation.” The Scots originally came from Ireland in the fifth century bringing the Old Irish language and culture with them. For a thousand years Scottish chiefs looked to Ireland to train their bards and musicians. By the 1500’s an Irish historian reported that Scottish mercenaries were distinguishable by their arms and their clothing. The second oldest tartan in commercial production today is the “Ulster” found in 1956 in Antrim and dated 1600-1625. In populous parts of Scotland, tartan was universally identified with Highlanders who were thought of as “savages” with a barbaric language and a primitive culture. The adoption of a tartan as a national symbol of Scotland evolved due a series of events. The first was the Act of the Union when Scotland surrendered her Parliament to Westminster. After 1707 Lowlanders began to wear tartan as a symbol of “Scottishness”. The second was the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 with its romantization of tartan by “Bonnie Prince Charley”. In 1747 the “Disarming Act” prohibited the wearing of tartan and Highland clothes. The best way to insure something will happen is to tell people they cannot do it. The Act was followed by the exploits of kilted regiments in the long wars with France, closely followed by the immense popularity of the works of Sir Walter Scott. Scott painted Highlanders as noble figures clad in traditional clan tartans. He “stage managed” the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh, insisting that Chiefs parade their followers in “clan tartans.” Lastly, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert established their retreat at Balmoral putting the Royal “seal of approval” on a fabric that had been illegal in her grandfather’s time. By the 1840's tartan was firmly enthroned as an iconic symbol of Scotland, worn proudly by Scots everywhere. Mary Lamb
In 1817 the then Clan Chief, John Lamont first Registered Lamont tartan. The Lamont tartan was the first ever to be registered. There are four variations of the Lamont tartan.
  Duplicating the old vegetable dyes used in the highlands, it is the preferred tartan as it shows the pattern more clearly.
Sometimes called weathered or hunting it is supposed to duplicate cloth that has been exposed to the sun and weather. It has a brownish-pinkish cast. This tartan was specially made for the centenary celebrations and is not available now. We are hoping in the near future to have it made again and will be available from Bells of Dunoon
Uses the darker modern chemical dyes, and is preferred for evening wear.
Has a more brownish- greenish colour again meant to look as if it has been exposed to the weather and rain. This cloth can be purchased from Bells of Dunoon. (see links page)
Clan Lamont - Ancient Tartan Clan Lamont - Muted Tartan Clan Lamont - Hunting Tartan Clan Lamont - Modern Tartan
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