A Highlanders Honour....

A Highlanders Honour.... - Prickly Thistle

I love nothing more than being asked questions, after all I like to ask lots of questions too....

Lately one of the most common questions has been around Clan Tartans and do we stock any Clan fabrics or products.  So, I thought the best thing might be to write up a little diary page so people can hopefully understand why I made the decision for Prickly Thistle to not weave historical Clan Tartans. 

If you would rather watch and listen to me blether about this, you can watch our episode 2 #WovenWednesday live recording on Instagram here - this is our new weekly live chat with all of our amazing followers, you can literally ask us anything!  Maybe you will join us one week and say hi....

So what could be the reason for not weaving historical Clan Tartans?

First and foremost I wanted to bring back the weaving of tartan to the Highland region (because there was no mills here, crazy right!). I got to know and hold the upmost respect for the very few Scottish owned and based mills that were left in the country. I realised very quickly that the lifeblood of their business was Clan Tartan fabrics and items for retail, tourism, kilt hire shops, Highland Games, etc all over the world.

They NEED that business to exist, and if I had any integrity I was not going to compete with them and then use 'marketing' to displace their business in a clever 'romantic' way perhaps.  That possibly would have been the easy path but to me it is definitely not the right path.  I wanted to help restore an industry I cared about, and everyone else in it.

I choose to focus on new Clans, with my integrity I wanted to serve the present and future inclusive communities of people with shared values from around the world. Creating new designs of identity and everyday working on how we can get back to 100% Scottish fibres, Scottish dyes, and stop the 'industrial destruction' of replacing people with computers to be cheaper and faster.

I hope this helps explain a little more about what we do and why a tartan mill in the Highlands does not weave Clan Tartans, its because I wanted to make sure that Prickly Thistle had integrity and truly showed we care about others, Highlanders with Honour,

Clare x

PS - do you know that most of the Clan tartans as we know them today are one of the biggest forgeries in Scotland.....  The Sobieski Stuarts have a lot to answer for.... more to come!


  • Lillian Hansel

    A few years ago I went to the games in Alexandria, Virginia and they directed me to a sight where I bought some material that I was told was the Moffett’s tartan, my daughter’s married name, and made hats and scarves for those in the family.
    Is there somewhere I can go to find an authentic tartan, this time for my grand daughter who married into the Justice family?
    Lillian Hansel
    447 Torner Road
    Essex, Maryland

  • Suzanne Mann

    Thank you for your prompt response and the enlightening information.
    That being said, is there any website to which I can go to find AUTHENTIC tartan for the Moncrieffe Clan – or for that matter ANY clan? Thank you again, Suzanne Moncrief

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