Archive for the ‘Scottish goods’ Category
Friday, November 12th, 2010
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. (more…)
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
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 country.
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. (more…)
Monday, September 13th, 2010
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.
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. (more…)
Saturday, August 21st, 2010
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. (more…)
Friday, May 14th, 2010
Since the beginnings of Scotch Whisky a long time has passed and it evolved into what could easily be named queen of beverages. It is the best selling alcoholic drink in the world and not without reason. Since the first mention of whisky in 1494 (oddly enough, found in notes of Inland Revenue), distillers had the time needed to perfect brewing procedures.
One of the things that are not common knowledge is that whisky is actually colourless in the beginning. It only gains its rich colour after either seasoning in sherry casks or adding caramel, that is supposedly not influencing the taste. While tasting of whisky, its age and the cask it’s been brewed in. You can know an aged whisky by thin trickles slowly making their way down the sides of the glass. (more…)
Monday, April 26th, 2010
Traditional Scottish clothing is characterised by the appearance of tartan or ‘plaid’ patterns in some form. Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Originally it was made from woven cloth, but now additional materials are also used.
Until the middle of the 19th century, highland tartans were associated with regions or districts, rather than by any specific clan or family. This was due to the fact that the designs were produced by local weavers, with a limited range of local dyes and for local tastes.
[photo by: Lee Carson]
Male Scottish dress includes a kilt or ‘trews’, sporrans and gillie brogues.
The kilt is a knee-length ‘skirt’ with pleats at the rear. It was first worn in the 16th century, by men and boys in the Scottish Highlands. It is typically made from one piece of fabric that is wrapped around and fastened at the side. (more…)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
If you’ve ever attended a traditional Scottish celebration such as a ceilidh, you may have seen gentlemen wearing loose fitting cotton shirts with a leather laced opening around the throat. These shirts are known as Ghillie or Jacobean shirts, and are a big part of traditional Scottish clothing.
They are the more informal accompaniment to the kilt, and were originally designed to be comfortable for dancing or other physical activities. Many kilt wearers prefer them to the more restrictive and formal waist coat and shirt combination that is also worn with a kilt.
One main feature of the ghillie shirt is the leather lacing starting from the middle of the shirt and running up to the throat. This sets it apart from other loose cotton shirts. Although the ghillie shirt is most commonly known as an accompaniment to a kilt, it predates the kilt and has many other modern uses. These shirts are popular among many history fans and historical reenacters, including Renaissance fair performers.
Of course, a ghillie shirt can worn many other times as well. It is particularly suited for a semi formal occasion, such as a first date. It has a certain charm that other long sleeved cotton shirts lack, and can look especially dashing on men with a more rugged style and features. It’s also great under a suit coat, or for even formal occasions such as a wedding, as long as the rest of the outfit is more conservative. The ghillie shirt is a versatile piece of clothing, with a deep history and the style to continue to be popular.
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Edinburgh boasts to be among Europe’s most beautiful cities. It grasps the enchanting rocky panorama typical for Scotland, and tightly entwines it with the buildings and ancient monuments that can be found there, creating a successful and sophisticated mix of traditional and contemporary. This can be seen clearly in two of the city’s most famous names. Owing to the presence of neo-classical architecture, Edinburgh was known as ‘the Athens of the North’, well seen within its historic landmarks and abundant national heritage. On the other hand, Edinburgh is also regarded as ‘Auld Reekie’ (Scots for Old Smoky) , which would likely point people to the large quantity of pubs and bistros, and the constant nightlife and late-night parties, and also the soccer.
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Celtic jewellery is indeed still highly desired. Despite being age old designs, these patterns are still magnetic and highly alluring. The majestic beauty that the Celtic era signifies flows through these ornaments and it comes as no surprise then that many jewellery stores have flooded several other counters over and above the bridal jewellery section with these patterns. Jewellery UK designers have realised the potential of these designs and have begin to use silver, gold and platinum when creating these pieces. Right from corals and semi precious stones to even precious stones such as emerald and rubies, Celtic designs are making place for them all.
However, despite the high attraction of these jewellery pieces, not many of us know how to go about buying them. Keeping the advice listed below will go a long way in ensuring that one is able to pick the right kind of Celtic jewellery.
Everyday wear- Not all of us go to jewellery stores looking to buy grand and expensive stuff. Most of us are hoping to buy jewellery that we can wear casually too. Celtic designs can easily be incorporated into your daily wear jewellery, despite their grand designs. Most jewellery UK designers have understood this fact and designed, rings, pendants and even ear wear in materials like silver and other similar cheaper metals that can be worn almost everyday. Try and pick Celtic patterns that look complete even though they have been incorporated in smaller ornaments. (more…)