The Lindsay Tartan
What Is A Tartan?
The word, tartan, was derived by the historian Logan in the 19th century from the Gaelic tarstin or tarsuin, meaning 'across'. The French had the word 'tiretaine' in the 13th century defining dyed cloth of scarlet colour.
The defeat of Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and the Scottish Jacobite forces on the moor of Culloden, near Inverness, on April 16, 1746, was the precursor to The Disarming Act of 1746. This act not only banned the carrying of arms, but made it an offense, within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, on any pretext whatsoever, to wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philabeg, or littleKilt, Trowse, Should-belts, or any part whatsoever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no tartan or party-colored plaid or stuff shall be used for Great Coats or upper coats. The punishment for anyone convicted on the evidence of one or more credible witness or witnesses was six months in jail for the first offense and transportation for seven years for the second. The act against Highland dress was not repealed until 1782. By that time the skills of dyeing and weaving the intricate tartan, if not wholly forgotten, had ceased to be a way of life.
Nonetheless, the tartan has become synonymous with Scotland
and Scottish clans and families in particular.
They had patterns that were popular within certain districts of
manufacture, relied on a limited range of color dyes and were made of the
local coarser type of wool. This has lead to the idea of district tartans being the
original association, between the land, the community and its cloth.
Where there was a strong clan within a district, as was often the case in
the highlands, then visitors from other areas might well have been recognized as
of a clan from their tartan. It
is this concept of clan tartans that today predominates, but the use of tartan
is yet richer.
By the early 1800s, it was realized that the
knowledge of tartans was being lost and, simultaneously, there was a romantic
movement concerning Scotland's past. This lead to institutional and individual efforts to preserve
tartan designs. Tartans were
reconstructed from portraits, collected on pilgrimages, demanded from clan
chiefs and recovered from weaver's notes.
The weaving and tailoring industries were especially
boosted by the visit to Edinburgh of George IV in 1822 and by Sir Walter Scott's
statement, as the visit's manager, "Let every man wear his tartan".
Queen Victoria gave considerable encouragement thereafter, though this
encouraged both fantasy and fact in the study of tartan.
The significance of tartan as national dress, worn
under various circumstances, created clan tartans for every "name",
even those that previously had none. These
were often supplemented by hunting tartans of subdued character and dress
tartans which were brighter.
Where no clan tartan exists, families can and have
developed new Family Tartans. Generally which tartan is worn is controlled by
convention there not being a statute for its government. Disputes as to its use
and production rely on the civil law of Copyright, Design Act and in rare cases
The Clan Lindsay Tartan
Although the highland dance industry has adopted many very beautiful and colorful modifications to the Lindsay plaid, there are only two official tartans for The Clan Lindsay. They are the Modern and the Ancient or Weathered tartans. The navigation bar on the left of this screen provides access to the pages showing representations of the two Lindsay tartans that are currently featured on this web site.