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Tartan FAQ's

WHY IS MY TARTAN AVAILABLE IN THREE DIFFERENT WEIGHTS?

Some Scottish tartans are available in up to three different weights; Light, medium or heavyweight, here's a guide;

Lightweight 10/11oz – Often used for ladieswear skirts, scarves, sashes & shawls and certain men’s products such as waistcoats and smaller items. But usually too light for kilts. One square yard usually weighs ‘approximately 11oz’.
Mediumweight 13oz - Suitable for any garment, large or small, men’s or ladies. It's the perfect 'middle ground' choice and is available for the majority of tartans. One square yard weighs ‘approximately 13oz’.
Heavyweight 16oz- Used for men’s products such as kilts, fly plaids & for upholstering furniture. One square yard weighs ‘approximately 16oz’.

To make it easier, we've hidden heavyweight tartans for ladies products and lightweight tartans for men’s kilt products.

I SEARCHED MY FAMILY NAME, A TARTAN WITH A DIFFERENT NAME / SPELLING APPEARED?

Not to worry, this is supposed to happen... Let us explain. Whether it be due to migration, illiterate scribes or language barriers, the majority of surnames as we know them today have evolved over thousands of years. In most cases, scribes would struggle to read or write correctly and names were recorded how they sounded which somewhat 'muddied the waters'. In 12th - 15th century Wales, Welsh speaking was banned by the Anglo-Saxons which meant Welsh patronymic names were anglicized. For example, John Ap/Ab (son of) Richard would become ‘John Pritchard’, Evan Ap/Ab Owen would become ‘Evan Bowen’ etc.

Our clever search feature scans our entire tartan database and finds the correct tartan(s) linked to your family name. If you have any questions, please get in touch!

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A 5, 8 AND 10 YARD KILT?

We offer a range of kilt models to suit all budgets and occasions. The simple explanation is the higher the yardage, the more pleats you'll have at the back of your kilt (pleats are also deeper with more tartan to work with). More pleats creates a highly impressive 'swing' effect. Here's a comparison of all three kilt models we offer:

  Suitable for... Waist straps & buckles Construction
5 Yard Casual Kilt Casual wear or hiking, can also be worn with a charlie jacket for formal occasions if on a budget

Two straps & buckles, both at the waist

Good. Designed to last a lifetime provided it's treated with care and worn occasionally
8 Yard Dress Kilt Usually formal functions such as weddings, can also be worn casually with a shirt or sports top Three straps & buckles, two waist and 1 hip Very good. Designed to last a lifetime provided it's treated with care
10 Yard 'Prestige' Dress Kilt See 8 yard kilt above Three straps & buckles, two waist and 1 hip Superb. Will last you a life time!

WHY ARE TARTANS PRICED DIFFERENTLY?

For Welsh tartans that do not sell quite as fast as others, these must be woven in smaller quantities for various reasons, which means they are more expensive for us to weave. For any other fabrics (Scottish tartans for example), we order tartan fabric in from all of the major mills in Scotland, each with their own cloth prices depending on the weight and various other factors.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANCIENT, MODERN, MUTED ETC. TARTANS?

There are multiple tartans for a single Scottish clan, eg, Campbell tartan is available in Campbell Ancient, Muted, Dress, Modern & Weathered. These all have the same tartan design (or thread count, which makes a tartan) but the descriptions refer to the various colour palettes available. Here's a quick explanation:

Ancient - Ancient tartans tend to use lighter / more natural yarn shades. Greens and blues are more subdued, red appears more orange etc.
Modern - Modern tartans are darker than ancient tartans. Reds are more of a bold red, blues are more navy, and greens more bottle green. These colours became available in the 19th century when chemical dyes were introduced.
Hunting - As simple as it sounds, hunting tartans were traditionally worn when hunting. These tend to use natural yarn shades and are mostly green in colour. Some tartans do not have a hunting variation, as the tartan already has a green prominence.
Muted - Usually an option between ancient and modern colour palettes.
Weathered - Weathered tartans use a colour palette which imitates exposure to harsh weather conditions. Back in the days of the 'great kilt', men would wear their kilts day and night, to travel and sleep, so this colour palette shows what the tartan would look like in those conditions.
Dress - Dress tartans tend to have a prominent white stripe and are usually associated with Highland dance.

 

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TARTAN CENTRE WALES LTD IS A COMPANY REGISTERED IN ENGLAND & WALES (#09344421)
REGISTERED OFFICE IS UNIT 13, CWMDU PARC, CARMARTHEN ROAD, SWANSEA, SA5 8JF