Is Harris Tweed Collection Still Famous?


Harris Tweed is a luxurious staple that will always be in style. Islanders who live in the outer Hebrides of Scotland and use local wool to weave the cloth weave the fabric by hand. The original, traditional Harris Tweed was characterized by very subtle colors like deep red, purple brown and dark orange, accomplished with natural vegetable dyes.

Today, Harris Tweed is the only hand-woven textile that is sold in commercial quantities. Recent high profile manufacturers who have exported and used this beautiful cloth in a contemporary tweed collection include Nike, Alexander MacQueen, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The fabric is considered the “champagne of fabrics”. While most of the production of this textile is manufactured for use in the clothing industry, Harris Tweed also supplied most of the interior fabrics for Glasglow’s first five-star hotel, called Blythswood Square, an incredible feat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Creation of the Kilt


The history of the kilt is a thing tangled in myth, legend, pride and misconceptions. The kilt, the pride of the Scottish since the 1600’s, is also claimed to have originated in Ireland. And the man who claims credit for the creation of the kilt? A British man, Thomas Rawlinson, who lived near Inverness.

Kilt old photo

Thomas Rawlinson

Did he create the kilt? Some Brits certainly claim he did. The reason? The average Scotsman was too poor to afford a pair of pants. The British then because outraged because the kilt caught on and gave the Scottish something unique when they were trying to force them to be like themselves. Though this account is interesting, it’s not entirely accurate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scottish Commercials You Can’t Miss


Earlier we had something about Scottish movies here, now it’s time for most interesting Scottish commercials. Scottish advertising is funny, original and creative. Authors based on characteristic associations with this country – so in commercials below we mostly see kilts, beer, whisky, Scottish landscapes. Sometimes we hear also an original Scottish accent ;)

So let’s watch it!

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Scottish Movies You Have to See!


P Cinema
Image via Wikipedia

While blockbusters such as “Braveheart” may provide an introduction to the cinematic culture of Scotland, contemporary Scottish filmmakers are more likely to question the value of survival, and to use humor to examine the nature of being human.

Being Human” is, in fact, the title of one of famed Scottish director Bill Forsyth’s films. Robin Williams plays the central character in five narrative stories spanning the history of humankind. The theme of perseverance against all odds, along with Forsyth’s vivid, unpredictable imagination make this film memorable.

Forsyth’s first international hit, “Gregory’s Girl” features a socially-challenged teen infatuated with the new girl in school, despite the fact that her soccer skills far outshine his own. Film critic Roger Ebert raved about “Gregory’s Girl,” declaring that “the movie contains so much wisdom about being teenage and vulnerable” that perhaps “only grown-ups should see this movie.”

So significant have been Forsyth’s contributions to Scottish Cinema, that in “Trainspotting” a character parodies a line from “Gregory’s Girl.” However, this cult classic has none of Forsyth’s gentle insight. Based on the Irvine Welsh novel, the film follows heroin addicts along self-destructive rambles through Edinburgh. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scottish Gifts for Everyone


Scotland T-shirt Want to bring your loved ones something special from Scotland? Here are some suggestions of what you can buy.

T-shirts are always unique gift  – if you don’t know the specific tastes of the person you’re buying the souvenir for, it might be the best choice, along with things like baseball caps.

Sporrans are small satchels carried in front of the kilt. The high quality ones can be a nice remind of the beautiful culture.

Kilts – the most traditional Scottish wear adorned with the famous tartan pattern is one of the most obvious gifts from the beautiful Long Kiltcountry.

Kilts come in many colours and lengths, also prices vary from a couple of dozens to even a couple of thousands of pounds. Here, an example of a nice, classic kilt and an option for ladies.

Small gadgets like mugs, funny egg cups or a Lone Piper figurine are always nice and do not cost much. There is a wide variety of these kind of small gifts available and they are always fun to have. Read the rest of this entry »

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A History of Belonging – Scottish Clans and Their Tartans


Scotland has a history rich with a belief in family, community and loyalty. This full sense of belonging, that seems to be very lacking in today’s society, is drawing people all around the world to discover their clan and connect with a group that has outlasted wars, poverty, and modernization and still stands united.

Clans Parade

As Scotland was settled, regions were created that had their own chief, castle and governing structure. Anyone living in the boundaries of the chief’s domain belonged to his clan. Time, battles, and politics altered borders, creating clans of several different families. Many of these families would change their names to reflect that of their clan Chief. Historically, these regions were signified by a particular tartan. By the late eighteenth century, the tartan specifically become a clan symbol. Only the clan chief could make a tartan pattern the official sign of the clan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Complement Your Kilt Outfit


In general, Scottish kilt outfits have the same elements in common. It is primarily the clothing above the kilt that varies and distinguishes one outfit from another. For those considering purchasing a complete Scottish kilt outfit, there are several different styles to choose from. Two of the most common outfits are the Prince Charlie outfit and the Argyll outfit.

The Prince Charlie kilt outfit is most often worn for formal occasions such as weddings, formal dinners or evenings out. What distinguishes it most from the Argyll outfit is its distinctive jacket and waistcoat with silver buttons on the front, arms and jacket tail. The outfit itself consists of the kilt, two-piece jacket (usually black), dress shirt, bow tie, brogues (shoes), seal skin dress sporran, chainstrap, hose, tartan flashes (worn on the hose), kilt pin (worn on the apron of the kilt) and the Sgian Dubh, an ornamental dagger that is tucked into the hose.

The Argyll outfit is a less formal outfit that can be worn for many different occasions. The outfit consists of the kilt, a more casual jacket and waistcoat, dress shirt, tie, brogues, semi-dress sporran, chainstrap, hose, Sgian Dubh, kilt pin, tartan flashes, belt and buckle (optional).

A length of tartan called a “full plaid” may also be worn to compliment an outfit. This is wrapped around the chest then under the right arm, with the excess material being thrown over the left or right shoulder; the right shoulder for “civilians” and the left shoulder for pipers, clan chiefs and military commanders.

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The Stone of Scone


The Stone of Destiny. Replica, original is now...
Image via Wikipedia

Up the river Perth there is an old abbey, surrounded by trees and partially overtaken by wild nature – it is the Scone Abbey, a historical place where Scottish kings were crowned with the help of the Stone of Scone. Now long gone from it’s original place of power, the Stone still holds a great meaning, even after 700 years.

A 14th century English cleric and historian Walter Hemingford writes:

“In the monastery of Scone, in the church of God, near to the high altar, is kept a large stone, hollowed out as a round chair, on which their kings were placed for their ordination, according to custom.”

The stone has many names. Coronation Stone, Stone of Destiny, as it is said that it was deciding if a person was worth to become a king of the Scots. Jacob’s Pillow Stone, for as the legend says, it had been used by Jacob as a pillow in Haran before it was transported to Syria and later to Spain. In Scottish Gaelic – Lia Fáil. Whatever name it was, the truth is that ever since Kenneth I every monarch of Scotland, England and later Great Britain had to sit on the stone during the coronation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scottish Pets You Can’t Imagine Life Without


A Border Collie
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Of all the Scottish pets you can’t imagine life without, collies and terriers are two of the favorites.

Collies are highly active working dogs bred with coats made to hold up to regional climates in rough and smooth haired varieties. Full-grown collies weigh 70 to 90 pounds, and vary in shades of golds and browns with white or black accents. Because of their size and physical energy, they require strong discipline to make suitable house pets.

Border collies and bearded collies are also very adept at herding livestock, and while good-natured, require a lot of space in which to roam.

Smaller collie varieties such as the Shetland sheepdog are recommended as better companions for smaller spaces. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scottish Legends


Eilean Donan en, fr
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Whether you are planning an adventure to travel to Scotland or you are interested in studying the history of the country, you will be fascinated by the legends and lore of Scotland. When researching Scottish legends, the first thing that most people think of is the Loch Ness Monster or William Wallace but the history of Scotland has produced some of the more interesting legends that people are not aware of.

The history of Halloween can be traced back to Scotland where it began as a religious celebration of the end of summer, called Samhain. Samhain is a Druid festival that marked the time of the year when the days grew shorter and darkness started earlier.

The Shellycoat is condidered the Scottish boogeyman, Boobrie is a legendary water bird that haunts Scottish lakes, Fachan is a creature who dwells in the western highlands of Scotland, Red Cap is an evil creature who lives in a castle on Scotland’s border. Read the rest of this entry »

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