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Tartans: choosing from variety of fabrics


The “same” tartan (e.g. Stewart Hunting Ancient) can be woven in any number of fabrics, by different weavers. Which you choose depends on how you intend to use it. The main distinctions are:

  • Material - e.g. Pure New Wool, Silk, etc.
  • Weight - e.g. 16oz (heavy), 10oz (light), etc.
  • Width - e.g. 140cm/56″ (double), 70cm/28″ (single)
  • Finish - e.g. Kilting Selvedge, Furnishing Flameproof, etc.
  • Weaving Mill - each may interpret a tartan’s look differently

Good quality tartan is most commonly woven in pure new wool. Unless you are making a fashion statement or have an allergy, a traditional kilt should always be in wool. Wool is also ideal for a range of other men’s and ladies’ clothing, household furnishings, and much more.

We also offer Polyviscose tartans for use where its hypoallergenic properties are important, or where its greater ease of cleaning may be important.

Almost all our tartans are also available as pure silk, many quite affordably off the shelf, but otherwise woven to order. All our silks are woven in Scotland, and so are of the highest quality.

We are offer products in many other materials and material mixes. But these are often ready-made as products (e.g. tartan mohair blankets) and may not be available as cut fabrics except in large volume.

You will find more details about the uses and characteristics of each material when you view its full details in our Tartan & Fabric Finder.



Categories Help Centre Fabrics Help Centre Tartan Finding & selecting
Tags fabrics tartans choosing materials