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MacDonald Tartans

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Surnames/tags: MacDonald Donald
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Tartans in general

Most Scottish clans and large Scottish families have had their own tartan since early in the 19th century. In 1815 the Highland Society of London (founded 1778) resolved that all the clan chiefs each "be respectfully solicited to furnish the society with as much of the tartan of his Lordship's Clan as will serve to show the pattern and to authenticate the same by attaching thereunto a card bearing the impression of his Lordship's Arms."

If you have a Scottish surname there’s a good chance you will have an associated tartan if not more than one. If you are a MacDonald but your mother was a Maclean or your grandmother was a Fraser its perfectly acceptable for you to wear any of those tartans “setts” (the arrangement of thread colours that make up the pattern). As a matter of fact it’s ok to wear any tartan, whether or not you have an affiliation with the family or not provided the tartan is not 'restricted'.

Some tartans have some restrictions imposed upon their wearing such as some Royal tartans that can only be worn by members of the British Royal. A Chief's tartans should only be worn by the chief of the clan and his family, the only exception being when there is no appointed chief of the clan.

Among the various tartans you will see terms such as ‘ancient’, ‘modern’, ‘weathered’, 'hunting' etc, these names refer to the thread colours. Ancient tartans are dyed to approximate the colours produced by vegetable dyes, modern tartan thread colours use the more vibrant colours of synthetic dyes introduced in the 19th century whereas weathered tartans reproduce the effects of sun bleaching or general weathering on fabric. Hunting tartans will use more earthy tones such as greens and dark blues.

Note: The tartans displayed below have been reproduced electronically and the colours are approximate.

MacDonald Tartans

Scottish Register of tartans lists no fewer than 58 tartans for MacDonald

http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/qresults.aspx?searchString=macdonald&Page=1

The following are just some of the many MacDonald Tartans. Each is associated with particular branches and we have created templates for use accordingly.


MacDonald of Islay: (historic chiefs) http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2334

MacDonald of MacDonald (current chiefs)
This "modern sett", (pattern), is the most recognized Clan Donald tartan. It is available in modern colors, ancient colors, and muted colors, but they all share the same tartan weave.

Scottish Tartans Society notes: This is oldest recorded version of the Clan sett. It varies slightly from those recorded by Logan, Smibert, Grant etc, but the motif is the same throughout. Of the nine independent branches of the Clan Donald, there are at least 27 different setts. It was not until 1947 that the MacDonalds again had a high chief, MacDhomnuill, who by tradition has the final word on the tartans of the clan. That right was granted to Alexander MacDonald of MacDonald whose son Godfrey is now the 8th Chief. Green lightened to show sett. This tartan is worn by 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (North): a Canadian Reserve Regiment.

Image:Clan Tartans-81.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-81.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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MacDonald Dress A Dress tartan is usually the term used to describe tartans woven so that the principle background colour (red, in the case of Royal Stuart) has been replaced with white. In this case of the dress MacDonald tartan has a different weave because it introduces the broad, white stripe.

Image:Clan Tartans-78.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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MacDonald of Glenaladale: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2358

Image:Clan Tartans-79.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-79.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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MacDonald of Kingsburgh: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2364

Image:Clan Tartans-80.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-80.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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Macdonald of Sleat: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2367

Image:Clan Tartans-82.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-82.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Macdonald of Sleat.
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Macdonald of Clanranald: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2352

Macdonald of Clanranald tartan.
... ... ... is a member of Macdonald of Clanranald.
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Macdonald of Glengarry: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2380

Image:Clan Tartans-84.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-84.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Macdonald of Glengarry.
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MacDonald of Keppoch: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2387

Clan MacDonald of Keppoch tartan.
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald of Keppoch.
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MacAlister: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=2266

Image:Clan Tartans-86.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacAlister.
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MacDonald of Ardnamurchan: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=5217

Image:Clan Tartans-87.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-87.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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MacDonald of Glencoe: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=909

Image:Clan Tartans-88.jpg

Image:Clan Tartans-88.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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Original MacDonald Tartan Template

Image:Clan Tartans-9.jpg
... ... ... is a member of Clan MacDonald.
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