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Headquarters of Kinloch Anderson in Leith

What is Tartan ? According to dictionary.com, Tartan is defined as “a woolen or worsted cloth woven with stripes of different colors and widths crossing at right angles, worn chiefly by the Scottish Highlanders, each clan having its own distinctive plaid.”  Which is true but the main thing to know about tartan is it’s representation. Tartan is what Americans call plaid. Compared to the Scottish it is even pronounced differently in America. After a very informative meeting at Kinloch Anderson I learned that plaid is originated from the highland dress. Over the years that one tartan covered piece of garment was split into a plaid and a kilt. . Oh…What is exactly is a Kilt?

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Scottish cultural representation in the form of Fashion 

Above is a representation of how traditional kilts are worn. Men in weddings military and/or any other formal attire.

Kinloch Anderson is a family company who have been leading in making tartan for over 140 years. Right now the family is in it 6th generation of the family business. The group and I had to meet with 5th generation wife,


“Want the best come to us…want the cheapest then maybe we’re not the best for you ” said Mrs. Anderson.

The company has made tartan designs for the Queen Elizabeth and the Royal family. As well as the Duke of Edinburgh.

It takes over 8 hours and 550 pounds to make a decent kilt. A kilt was once one big garment called the highlander dress, but over the years has turned into the skirt look and a plaid the throws offer the shoulder.

What does tartan mean to Scotland ? Tartan is the pattern that symbolizes Scotland. Since 1868 , it had been the lead of identification. The population is small but because of tartan, Scotland is in the lead for cultural identification. Hints a another form of communicating. The media uses cultural identification to communicate to the public. For example scotch liquor brands uses tartan to familiarize the drink with Scotland.


Right now there are 7,000 registered tartan patterns but that number is now increasing by 150 a year.