View Full Version : Black Watch tartan with a twist

Buxom Wench
01-06-2010, 06:29 AM
Check it out Black Watch tartan with a twist (http://www.scotsman.com/news/Check-it-out--Black.5958184.jp)

06 January 2010
IT is a twist on one of the world's most celebrated and enduring military brands.

A model strikes a pose in the distinctive new tartan designed to raise museum funds. Picture: Dan Phillip

A new tartan celebrating the Black Watch was unveiled yesterday in a move designed to preserve the proud heritage of Scotland's famous fighting unit.

Proceeds from sales of a range of items in the new "Red Hackle" tartan will go towards multi-million plans for a permanent museum charting the regiment's history.

The tartan takes its name from the distinctive red plume worn by the regiment's troops in their bonnets. While incorporating the traditional dark regimental tartan of the Black Watch, the design has been overlaid with a series of checks in two shades of red.

It was designed by Perthshire-based House of Edgar, part of Macnaughton Holdings Ltd, with the final tartan approved by Black Watch top brass.

The material is available as a fabric and sold as scarves, ties, kilts, trews and waistcoats.

Some 10 per cent of the sales from the tartan will be given to the Black Watch Heritage Appeal, which is seeking to establish a permanent museum to the regiment at Balhousie Castle in Perth.

Blair Macnaughton, managing director of Macnaughton Holdings, said the company was "delighted" with the new tartan.

"I have been wanting to create a Red Hackle tartan for several years," he said.

"We hope it will appeal not only to anyone connected with the Black Watch either at present or in the past but also to the general public who have no allegiance to any clan tartan.

"The red hackle is synonymous with the world's most famous regiment. I think it will appeal to people the world over. It's a great name and I can't believe a Red Hackle tartan hasn't been designed before now."

Originally made from red vulture feathers, the hackles can be traced back to the 18th century, and have been worn exclusively by the Black Watch since 1822.

Soldiers of the Black Watch first started wearing it on their Tam O'Shanter bonnets in 1795.

It is said the honour was conferred by King George III to recognise the regiment's gallantry in the Battle of Geldermalsen in that year.

Assistant regimental secretary Major Ronnie Proctor praised the design and said it had already won enthusiastic approval among serving and retired soldiers of the regiment, which is now a battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

"The red hackle is something that Black Watch soldiers have always been proud to wear," he said.

"They will be equally proud to wear the new tartan as I hope many others will.

"The House of Edgar is to be congratulated on designing a tartan that is both true to the traditional Black Watch roots and the spirit of the scarlet plume."

Alfie Iannetta, chief executive of the Black Watch Museum Trust, said donations from the sale of the new tartan were a creative and innovative way to raise funds for the 3.2m museum.

He said: "I'm confident it will endure for generations."

It's very simple, but we hope it will be successful

THE Red Hackle tartan is a classic design at heart, and it was very important for us to include the famous Black Watch design.

There are only three colours black, navy and bottle green but we wanted to include the red. We went through a series of designs, first of all swapping the black for red, then the navy, and then the green.

In the end, however, we settled on keeping the Black Watch design, but the scarlet and cherry overchecks give it definition and fresh life.

It's very simple, but we hope it will be successful. It's difficult to know the response, but we've already had a great reception from retailers. There are various pipe bands named after the red hackle and numerous regimental associations around the world, and we hope the new tartan will give them a chance to wear something new.

The first rule when making a new tartan is to ensure it is wearable for men and women, otherwise you are cutting off half your potential market.

If we are approached by a family or a company, we will research their history and see if there is any allegiance to a clan. In that case, we will suggest making amendments to that tartan.

A lot of people get snooty regarding tartan and regard it as kitsch, but research shows it is worth 300 million a year to the Scottish economy.

Blair Macnaughton is managing director of Macnaughton Holdings, the fabric manufacturer and kiltmaker founded in 1783.

01-06-2010, 07:26 AM
Cool! ::clappin:

01-06-2010, 10:04 AM
Very cool indeed. I'm thinking that I may adopt this as my own. My father's tartan is Stewart. I'd like my own, and this fits. It's pretty, a good cause and still red. :-)

Roberto Phoenix
01-06-2010, 11:36 PM
Very nice. Hopefully, this will be able to be worn by anyone. Usually black watch is worn by peple with some military background and I've seen people on some boards who get a bit uptight when its worn by non military.

01-07-2010, 01:22 AM
Very nice. Hopefully, this will be able to be worn by anyone. Usually black watch is worn by peple with some military background and I've seen people on some boards who get a bit uptight when its worn by non military.

I'd hope that since part of the proceeds are going to help build a museum preserving the history of the regiment, that kind of silly elitism won't show up. Purists can keep to their Blackwatch, but anyone who wants to donate towards the cause shouldn't be slammed for doing so. People are stupid.

Lady Anisette
01-07-2010, 08:59 AM
If anyone has a problem with non-military wearing Black Watch tartan, they have problems. It is a favorite among Catholic schools for uniforms in NYC. Especially girls schools. I spent the better part of 4 years trying to figure out how to make that damn tartan cute. Hey, I was a teenager and didn't know better. To this day, I see that tartan and I am taken back 25+ years. The girls still wear Black Watch uniforms today.

I think this new one is a vast improvement. :-)

01-07-2010, 07:56 PM
Ohhh, I love this tartan! Sky wears the Campbell of Argyll tartan, rather similar to the Black Watch. I've wanted to get something tartan of my own for years. I may well adopt this one, too. :)

Annabella St. Clair
01-09-2010, 08:30 AM
It was my understanding as the article read that Black Watch was a "free tartan" which of course means anyone can wear it. I've sold alot of Black Watch in the shop this past season. I think it's kind of like how we Americans wear camo. It's more like honoring the military. I even had some US Marine tartan come in and sold it to a marine. He was super happy.

Another nice free tartan is Irish National. Very green but good for St. Pats day too so easy to market to newbies.