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FAQs about Scottish Tartan & Clan Finder

What is the difference between tartan and plaid?

The primary distinction between plaid and tartan designs is their association. Tartans are typically associated with Scottish clans or families, whereas plaids are not. Repetition is another feature that distinguishes tartan from plaid. Tartan lines are repeated multiple times across the vertical and horizontal axes, which is not always true for plaid. The term plaid is most commonly used to describe a crisscross pattern around the world. What's The Difference Between Tartan and Plaid?

What tartan should I wear?

If you are Scottish or of Scottish descent, you can traditionally show your heritage by wearing the tartan associated with your surname. However, you may not get a match because the spelling of the word changes over time. The spellings of Scottish surnames have evolved over the centuries, with some variations originating in Gaelic. Murray, for example, was originally Morrey.

Can I wear Tartan even though I am not Scottish?

There are many universal or generic tartans that can be worn by those who do not have Scottish blood or ancestry. Some universal tartans honor a special event, charity, or person, whereas others honor a district or geographic area. There are no hard and fast rules, and if you like a tartan, you are free to wear it.

Is there a Tartan for every Scottish name?

There isn't a tartan to match every Scottish surname. Tartans are available for Scottish Clans and septs (related families).

How do I find my family clan tartan?

Explore your Scottish ancestors by using your surname, an ancestral name, or connected Scottish locations on the clan map. Once you've determined your clan, use our Tartan Finder to view the various tartans associated with it.

What are the different types of tartan?

Tartan is classified into five types: ancient, modern, hunting, dress, and weathered. Within those groups, there may be some variations, such as Fraser Hunting Ancient or Fraser Dress Modern.

What is the difference between tweed and tartan?

Tartan and Tweed are similar in weave and material, but there are significant differences in their characteristics. Tweed is typically a plain design with a prominent main color and, on occasion, a subtle secondary color running across it. Tartan, on the other hand, is created by alternating bands of color, resulting in a busier block pattern.