Craft Magazine develop a taste for tartan

Womens Weekly Craft Magazine OctoberWomens Weekly Craft Magazine October2014Craft magazine reports this month on this Autumn’s big trend in tartan. They fell in love with our tartan finder and couldn’t believe the range of colours and checks available in so many different fabrics. Part of the Woman’s Weekly magazine family Craft is full of so many fab ideas of things to make and Christmas is of course the time when we all get a bit creative and try to make the most personal gift for those special friends and family. The dark nights lend themselves to sewing and knitting and it is time to clear the dining room table and put your forgotten skills to good use. For cost effective fabrics that will wash well and are great for kids try the polyviscose or polycotton fabric. Perfect for making that cow on the front of the magazine! And for the full range of tartans the 10oz wool is so soft and easy to work with and great for bags and cushions and quilting.  So why not try entering your name into our tartan finder and see if you can’t find a bit of family history at the same time as discovering some amazing colour combinations. We are always here to help if you get a bit overwhelmed by the choice!

What about All Saints Day?

Candle

We asked Aneta here in the ScotlandShop office to write us this piece as we were all chatting about Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes and she educated us all about another special day which falls between the two – All Saints Day.  Aneta is developing a fabulous Scottish vocabulary but is originally from Poland and All Saints Day is a very European celebration.   “A regular trip to purchase the weekly shopping from the supermarket reminded me that Christmas is just round the corner! All the reds, gold and greens of the wrapping paper, decorations and accessories on the shelf …but it is still October and the weather warm and beautiful, so I felt a bit confused. We are all excited for Christmas and the New Year approaching, but I realised that there is something missing from the whole ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme… What about the All Saints’ Day?”

Cemetery

Not everyone is familiar with that feast which falls on November the 1st. It was celebrated mainly by Catholics in ancient times to honour all martyrs, those known and unknown. Nowadays, this is a time of silence, remembrance and reflection of those dear to us who passed away. It is time of visiting commentaries, bringing flowers, lighting a candle for their souls and praying.

Different countries have different celebrations of All Saints Day, but the core is the same for all of us – to show our respect to those who are no longer among us and who meant so much to us.  So before all the Christmas-mania begins, lets stop for a few moments to say a quick prayer for the deceased family members, friends, someone you knew and light up a candle in remembrance of their past presence in our life.

Candles

 

Our Top Tartan Halloween Costume Idea

CherHere in the ScotlandShop office we are all very excited for Halloween with a lot of discussion regarding our outfits, and it got us thinking about how we could incorporate tartan in to our outfit.

Our favourite tartan costume idea takes inspiration from Charlotte “Cher” Horowitz from the 1995 American comedy film Clueless. The film is loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel Emma. With Ailcia Silverstone playing the lead role of Cher, the film also features Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd and Brittany Murphy. The film has since become a 90′s icon with a spin off television sitcom and series of books  following due to the success of the film.

For our perfect Cher outfit we suggest our Tartan Kilted Skirt, or for something slightly more daring our Tartan Mini Kilt , the Kilted Skirt pictured is in the MacLeod Dress Modern Tartan but can be made to order in over 500 tartans, next you need a smart school jumper we suggest our Women’s V Neck Cashmere Jumper pictured in Swansdown and to go with this we have our Women’s Cashmere Mix Socks pictured in white. To finish off the outfit a few 90′s school day accessories are required, our favourite being Cher’s pink fluffy pen, but let your imagination run wild and pick some of your favourite 90′s items.

Halloween Tartan

As well as our top tartan Halloween outfit we have had a look for our favourite Halloween inspired tartans featuring lots of orange, purple, green and black. The tartans pictured in our Halloween selection are Morrison Red Ancient, Pride of Scotland Modern, Black Watch, Montgomery Modern, MacGregor Ancient, Scotland Forever Antique and Rob Roy MacGregor Ancient.

From everyone here at ScotlandShop we all hope you have a brilliant Tartan Halloween.

Our Top Five Pink Tartans to Wear it Pink

Wear It Pink Every year, wear it pink raises over £2 million during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by asking people to wear something pink and donate whatever they can. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held every October and is celebrated with both the flagship wear it pink event and the Pink Ribbon Ball. The month will see the whole of the wider breast cancer community coming together to raise awareness, raise funds and promote the need for greater research.

What better way to celebrate wear it pink than with pink tartans, we’ve created our list of the top five pink tartans to wear it pink.

Ailsa Pink

Ailsa Pink

Ailsa Pink is one of a range of very popular pastel coloured tartans. We use it for our baby shoes as it is so cute but we have also made all sorts of cushions and skirts in this check and it is just one of those colour combinations that works whatever you do with it.  Our pastel tartans are woven in the north of Scotland and the mill is the last remaining textiles mill in the area so by purchasing this tartan you are also sustaining jobs in a very rural area of Scotland where employment is not easy to come by.

 

 

 

Highland Rose

Highland Rose

The Highland Rose is a beautiful new tartan introduced in 2011. The Highland Rose tartan combines beautiful pinks and oranges to create a very light and bright tartan which lends itself perfectly to interiors products such as cushions and throws as well as accessories such as bags and scarves. This tartan is not linked to any particular clan or region of Scotland and can therefore be worn by anyone.

 

 

 


Borthwick Dress Modern

Borthwick Dress ModernThe Borthwick Dress Modern tartan is predominantly black and white tartan with a fab bright pink and green stripe through it. The Borthwick name is of territorial origin, and it seems likely to have been assumed from lands on Borthwick Water in Roxburghshire. The family is one of the most modern in Scotland and some recent research suggests that they may have come to Britain with Caesar’s legions. During the fifteenth century the Borthwicks acquired immense influence and became Lords of Parliament.

 

 

Connaught

Connaught

The Connaught tartan is predominantly pink, purple and green. According to folk history, the 6th century BC saw the division of Ireland into five separate kingdoms: Ulster (w), Connaught (s), Munster (e), Leinster, and Mide. Ulster and Connaught were the two most powerful kingdoms. However, by 300 AD, Ulster had lost much of its power. The ruling houses in Connaught and Mide emerged and expanded their kingdoms, essentially splitting Ireland in two. The people of Ulster were pushed to a northern section of Ireland bordering the Irish Sea, and their name was changed to Dal Riata. Eventually the Sons of Niall, the ruling family of Connaught, ruled the Dal Riata. Unhappy with the natural borders of the sea, they began to colonize the land of the Picts.

Sunart Sapphire

Sunart Sapphire Sunart Sapphire is a predominantly white, pink, blue and red tartan. This gorgeous tartan is part of the Bruicheath collection designed originally for Highland Dancers but now hugely popular for all sorts of clothing and interiors projects. We just love that shade of pink!


 

 

Great British Bake Off National Baking Week and Tartan Chocolate

Baking and Chocolate Week

This week is extremely exciting  for all foodies, not only is it National baking week but it’s also Chocolate Week! We do love our cake here in the ScotlandShop office and are big fans of the series. We just need to persuade Mary Berry to use our Tartan tablecloths in her tent instead of the current red and white gingham one! National Baking week is all about promoting homemade food and family time and this year the National Baking Week teamed up with Cathryn Dresser, a contestant in the 2012 Great British Bake Off who is extremely passionate about baking. To kick things off, Cathryn produced five recipes, exclusive to National Baking Week for us all to try that can be found on the National Baking Week Website.

Nancy

This Year’s series of The Great British Bake Off finished just last week with Nancy Birtwhistle announced as the ‘Queen of the tent’, with Luis Troyano and Richard Burr finishing as runners-up. This is a TV highlight within the office, so we were sad to see the series end.

This week is also National Chocolate Week and what better chocolate for us than Tartan Chocolate pictured below. The Moniaive Chocolatiers based deep in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway have come up with their mouth watering Tiny Tartans and Taste o’ Tartan bars which “ooze everything Scottish while emphasising the country’s cosmopolitan philosophy through the use of fair trade products from across the world”. Mmmm I know what I want to find in the bottom of my tartan christmas stocking this year!

Great British Bake OffTartan Chocolate

Wool Week 2014 bringing your tartan fabric to life

Wool Week

The Campaign for Wool celebrates everything about wool annually and given that wool is at the core of almost all of our tartans then we are certainly up for a celebration. The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, in order to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural and sustainable benefits offered by wool. To celebrate this we look at the journey from sheep to tartan. National Wool Week kicked off in 2014 with a wool ride on Sunday 5th October. Over 300 cyclists rode through the centre of London to celebrate everyone’s favourite natural fibre. Throughout the cycle riders were greeted by a flock of sheep, woolly installations galore and models wearing some amazing wool designer creations from The Campaign for Wool Collection.

Wool Week Cycle

From Sheep to Tartan -

Sheep with Sunglasses

Sheep

All of our wool tartan fabrics start life with a super cool Scottish sheep and once the sheep are in perfect condition the wool is then harvested from the sheep. This is also known as shearing.

Washing, Blending and Carding

Raw Wool

Once all the wool has been collected it is cleaned to remove all dirt, lanolin and other foreign materials from the wool before any further processing is attempted. Once cleaned the wool is then blended, bleached, and dyed to each necessary colour. Which as you can imagine for over 500 tartans involves many colour combinations! The next stage is carding a mechanical process that disentangles and intermixes fibres so that they aligned ready to be turned in to yarn. The term carding originally derived from the Latin carduus meaning teasel, as dried vegetable teasels were first used to comb the raw wool.  Nowadays small metal teasels are used in this process.

Spinning

Yarn

Spinning transforms the wool in to yarn, all of the wool fibres are drawn out and twisted together to form the yarn. The direction in which the yarn is spun is called twist,yarns are characterized as S-twist or Z-twist according to the direction of spinning and the tightness of the twist is measured in TPI. Yarns can be made of two, three, four, or more plies, or may be used as singles without plying.

 

Weaving

Weaving

Weaving turns yarn in to fabric, all of the yarn is set out in the specific colour order for each of the different tartan patterns which is know as the warp, once arranged is fed in to the loom vertically, an extremely intricate process ensuring the order of yarn is correct. Once in to the loom specific sections of the warp thread will be lifted up at certain stages so that yarn can be interwoven horizontally know as the weft. Once this has been interwoven yarn in both the warp and the weft is combined to create the fabric.

 

So there you go – from sheep to tartan! There are lots of fabulous mill tours in the Scottish Borders where we are based so if you want to see the whole process in action then you know where to book your next holiday.

 

 

What we did on our Holiday Tartan on the red carpet

What we did on our holiday posterWhat we did on our holiday 1 2014 Film What we did on our holiday hit screens across the UK on Friday .

From the creators of the hit BBC comedy series Outnumbered “What We Did On Our Holiday” is a heart-warming, uplifting comedy for all the family. Doug (David Tennant) and Abi (Rosamund Pike) and their three children travel to the Scottish Highlands for Doug’s father Gordie’s (Billy Connolly) birthday party. It’s soon clear that when it comes to keeping a secret under wraps from the rest of the family, their children are their biggest liability…

The film’s youngest star Harriet Turnbull who plays Jess MacLeod, Doug (David Tennant) and Abi’s (Rosamund Pike) youngest daughter was pictured at the films world premier on Monday 22nd September in London in a beautiful dress made for her in our MacLeod of Harris Ancient Silk Fabric. This is Harriet’s first professional acting role and she looks like she had a fantastic time in her dress on the red carpet. Harriet wasn’t the only one of the film’s stars to be pictured in tartan.Bobby Smalldridge was also pictured wearing one of our MacLeod of Harris Modern Boy’s Wool Tartan Ties and looks very smart indeed.

David Tennant also chose to wear some tartan in what we think looks like a Robertson Red Modern Kilt.

The film has received great reviews, Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian wrote “It’s impossible not to enjoy this big-hearted and sweet-natured British family movie from Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.”

Suggs Tartan Madness

Suggs SelectionGraham McPherson, commonly known as Suggs, best known as the frontman of the band Madness, but also an actor, former radio dj, television and radio personality. Suggs has always had his own memorable style often wearing suits and sunglasses. Madness were one of the most prominent bands during the 2 Tone Ska revival, they are still performing with their most recognised line-up.

Suggs New Compilation CD caught our eye when we spotted the Tartan Suit Jacket worn on the cover of The Suggs Selection which full of classic’s from bands such as the Who and the Jam who have been influential within British Music over many decades. The Tartan worn is Black Watch Modern which is predominantly blue, green and black. This isn’t the first time Suggs has been spotted wearing a tartan jacket though, we spotted this slightly older photo of Suggs looking good in tartan.

Suggs in Tartan

The Black Watch tartan is a more subdued tartan, designed with camouflage rather than display in mind. It it thought that it perhaps influenced the later creation of Hunting Tartans in the late 1800s. The use of a three colour check, with black separating green and blue, is unlikely to have been an existing design in 1739 when it was proposed. If your looking for a Men’s Tartan Suit Jacket of your own then look no further. 

Our Made to measure men’s tartan suit jacket is made in the tartan of your choice. Your tartan suit jacket is genuinely made to order therefore we can add many additional details or change styling for you. We can add or take away buttons to the main front fastening and the cuff. Cuff buttons are stitched as standard but we can make them “real” on all or some of the holes. Lapels can be satin or velvet instead of tartan if you wish.  Pharrell wore a fabulous Stewart Royal tartan suit with black satin lapels for his wedding.  The standard lining for our tartan suit jacket is black twill but you can also choose a contrast lining in red or to match a colour in the tartan to create a more striking finish.  We love helping you to choose these extra touches so please call us or email us if you need some help.  This blog was prompted by a customer who spotted the jacket on Sugg’s album cover and asked us to create him the same jacket in the same tartan. If you spot a taxi driver sporting a Black Watch tartan jacket you know who made it!

All eyes are on Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup

Our theme this week sees Gleaneagles play host to the 2014 Ryder Cup. After a two-year wait, we are very excited to see if Team Europe can complete a hat-trick of successive wins in one of  the greatest golf tournaments. With the Practice matches already underway and the Ryder Cup Gala Concert tonight there is a bit of Ryder Cup mania going on here in Scotland.

The Course

Gleneagles Course

The PGA Centenary course has been created by Jack Nicklaus, an acclaimed golf architect. This was surely a daunting task to create the perfect course for a tournament of this size yet it was reported that Nicklaus described the course as ‘the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with’. On the Ryder Cup website you can play the Virtual Gleneagles Course so even if you can’t make it to the tournament you can still test out the course and feel at the heart of the action.

The Teams

Team Europe consists of Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson,Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter, with Paul McGinley captaining the team, making history as the first Irish Captain.

European Team 2014

The American Line up for 2014 Captained by Tom Watson includes, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson. Today is the Ryder Cup Gala Concert at The Hydro Arena in Glasgow featuring some popular acts like Jake Bugg, Twin Altlantic, Amy Macdonnald and Nina Nesbitt this is where we can see the teams gathered for the first time.

Ryder Cup Tartan

Ryder Cup Tartan

To mark the return of the Ryder Cup to the “Home of Golf” in 2014, the official Ryder Cup Tartan has been launched to commemorate the match at Gleneagles. Created by our local mill and internationally-renowned tartan designers, Lochcarron of Scotland, the bold plaid features four shades of blue inspired by the landscape of Scotland. The design also incorporates white – a nod of the cap to the Saltire – Scotland’s national flag of St Andrew – and blue and gold to reflect the colours of the European flag.

The Ryder Cup Collection

The Ryder Cup Collection

The exclusive 2014 Ryder Cup Collection has been inspired by the rich heritage and tradition of this historic sporting event. This collection combines the highest quality with exceptional design all made in Scotland. What a great memento to be treasured along with the everlasting memories of the event. Already very popular during the build up to the Ryder Cup tartan products available in the collection include rugs in cashmere and lambswool, along with tartan clothing and accessories from from Men’s Tartan Trousers to a Women’s Mini Kilts, tartan scarves, ties, flat caps and tams.

We can’t wait to see all the pictures of fans wearing their caps and scarves in the crowd. While watching the tournament why not send us a picture of you with your piece of Ryder Cup Tartan.

Blanck Digital and the adventures of the Tartan Leather Satchel

Blanck Digital CoverBlanck Digital Contents PageBlanck Digital SatchelBlanck Digital Mini Skirt

Blanck Digital Magazine recently featured our Tartan and Leather Satchel and Tartan Mini Kilt in their Summer Loving fashion editorial. Blanck is a digital Pan-African Fashion and Lifestyle magazine.  The magazine prides itself on strong imagery in editorial fashion and portraiture, which is used to showcase the work of amazing teams of Photographers, Stylists, Makeup artists and Art directors. This hard work is shown throughout the magazine and we are in love with the photographs featuring our Tartan and Leather satchels, just as much as we love the satchels themselves. The satchels are an extremely popular product within in our office with many of our staff bringing their satchels to work every day.

Leather Satchel on the Train

Leather Satchel at the Hotel

Bike & Leather Satchel

On a recent business trip to London, ScotlandShop Boss Anna had great fun Instagramming  updates of the Adventures of her new Leather Satchel. Instead of tartan she chose one of the new Craigie Hill tweeds teamed with Boisinberry leather.  The Adventure kicked off with an early start on the first train of the day from Berwick-Upon-Tweed to London Kings Cross, which as shown in the picture was too early for most. The Satchel was even able to get it’s own seat on the train. After a long day at the IMRG International Connect Conference learning all about Cross-Border trading with Keynote speakers including Justin Lodge from Wiggle and David Lloyd from Google it was back to the Best Western Hotel for a relaxing evening. The next day Anna was off to meet with our PR company, Push PR, rather than riding the underground Anna gave the Barclays Cycle Hire a shot for the first time, popularly known as Boris Bikes, after Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London at the time of the Cycle Hire Launch. With 10,000 bicycles and 720 docking stations these bikes are becoming just as well known as the black cabs and red buses of the city. You can get your own Tartan Leather Satchel on our website, and if that’s not enough choice for you there are a few other leather colours available, just get in touch and we’ll have the perfect colour for you.