General FAQ Tartan FAQ Kilt FAQ

Home Page
Tartan Fabrics
Women's Clothing
Highland Accessories
Highland Footwear
Children's Clothing
Celtic Decor
Celtic T-Shirts
Food Products
Bodhrans and Whistles
Bravehart Stuff
And Stuff

Kilt Rental
Gift Certificates

Ordering Info
Document Downloads
Tartan Finder
The Official Minnesota Tartan Website!
Celtic History Links
FAQ Home Events We Attend
About Us
Customer's Pics
Contact Info
Catalog Request
Subscribe to our Email Newsletter

General Questions

What are clan crests?
What is Tweed?
What is the difference between Harris tweed and just tweed?

Q: What are clan crests?

A: In Ancient Times, a Chief wore in battle a distinguishing badge on his helmet, a device which his followers could recognize in the turmoil of action. This is known as the CREST OF THE CHIEF and appears at the top of his Full Coat of Arms. Anyone bearing the same name as a Scottish Chief is a Clansman of the Chief and has the privilege of wearing his CREST surrounded by a STRAP AND BUCKLE GARTER to denote his Clan Allegiance. The great Scottish Clans contain families who bore a different surname but were descended from the Chief through the female line. They are called SEPTS. Therefore anyone who has an ancestor bearing a Sept name or the Clan name itself has the privilege of wearing or displaying the Crest Badge and indeed only they may legitimately wear this authentic Scottish Ancient Device. Scottish Clan Crest Badge are approved by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.

Q: What is Tweed?

A: According to, tweed is a rough, unfinished woolen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check, twill, or herringbone pattern. Subdued, interesting color effects (heather mixtures) are obtained by twisting together differently colored woolen strands into a two- or three-ply yarn. Tweeds are desirable for outerwear, being moisture-resistant and very durable.

The original name was tweel, the Scots for 'twill', the cloth being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. The current name came about almost by chance, according to a tale recounted in Windsor Revisited, written by HRH the Duke of Windsor. About 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the name of the river Tweed which flows through the Scottish Borders textile areas, subsequently the goods were advertised as Tweed, the name has remained so ever since. Tweed, also according to the Duke, was a favourite material of both his grandfather King Edward VII and his father, George V.

Q:What is the difference between Harris tweed and just tweed?

A: Harris tweed can only be called Harris if it is woven on the Isle of Harris, Scotland, and they charge a hefty premium for the name. It is really no different, excepting that a couple of the mills do have some nice herringbone designs, etc.

There are many different qualities of tweed. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell the difference, and there is no such thing as a "standard" tweed. We use a couple of different mills that make tweeds which we believe are an exceptional value for the quality. They are tight woven tweeds with an excellent twist in the yarn.


Subscribe to our Email Newsletter!

Would you like to be notified of new products, sales, and special offers?
Click the link below to go to our subscription form.

Click Here to Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter