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Monday, March 25, 2013

Wilson of Bannockburn colors

In my kilt making, I offer clients a choice between the usual color options for tartans -- modern, ancient, weathered/reproduction -- and the more historic Wilsons of Bannockburn colors. 

Wilsons of Bannockburn was an old tartan mill that started in the 1760s and continued on into the early twentieth century.  They were the first large scale commercial producers of tartan cloth, and by the 1780s had standardized their colors to a large extent.  Modern day tartan researcher Peter MacDonald has painstakingly researched these colors and I am glad to be able to offer them as a special weave option for my clients.

The problem is, however, that most people are not familiar with what these colors look like.  In terms of how they compare to the modern-day color schemes people are used to, I say they are not as dark as the modern, but not nearly as light as the ancient.  But that is not really helpful.  And because no mill today stocks them as a matter of course, there are no swatch books or online thumbnail galleries to show what any particular tartan might look like woven in these colors.

In an effort to help people get some idea of what these colors look like, here are several photos showing cloth I have had woven in the Wilsons colors.  I have tried to select tartans that are both red-based and green-based to give a general idea of what other tartans might look like woven in this color palette.  I hope it is helpful!

To order your kilt in the historic Wilsons colors, click here.


The green/blue Armstrong tartan in the center is in Wilsons' colors.  The bolt to the left of it is in the reproduction/weathered colors.
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