Some Lesser Known Facts About Tartan

1) The oldest discovered sample of tartan was found buried near Falkirk and is believed to be 1700 years old.

2) Even complex looking tartans normally use a maximum of only six colours.

3) In ancient times Highlanders used a single length of tartan both for day wear and as bedding.
4) The wearing of tartan was banned in Scotland following the battle of Culloden in 1745. The ban lasted for thirty-six years.

5) Many clans only adopted a tartan to honour the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822. The chiefs selected a tartan from manufacturers' pattern books when asked to attend an audience with the king who had requested they wear 'their' clan tartan.

6) The London based actor and artist - R R McIan - created two large illustrated volumes (1845) of Scottish figures. He used many of his London based actor friends as models and invented many of the tartans illustrated – these illustrations are still used to this day and have become iconic of \'Scottishness\'.  (Many of the illustrations on this site are by R R McIan from these volumes.)

7) A Hong Kong based company created a successful range of tartan phone covers.

8) Many businesses (both in Scotland and overseas - some with tenuous Scottish connections) have had a tartan designed as their corporate tartan.

9) A tartan fashion show "Dressed to Kilt" is held annually in New York – one year it was opened by Billy Connolly wearing a striking blue and yellow kilt – funds raised go to a Scottish charity.

10) The first affordable commercial computer software to design tartan was developed by a Glasgow based company (who also designed this website!) and released in 2000.