The tartan first appears in the fifth century with the arrival of the Scoti tribe from Ireland. The check pattern used by the Scoti was very basic and evolved over time. The very word tartan is probably a derivation of the French word “tartaine”, meaning checked cloth.
The different weaves became associated with specific clans throughout Scotland, primarily in the Highland and Island regions. Variation of patterns continued until the seventeenth century when the patterns became standardized, known as setts.
The Wallace Tartan, based on the red and black checkered Rob Roy Tartan, is one of the most widely seen patterns today. It originated in the early 1820’s when Wilson’s of Bannockburn, the foremost tartan manufacturer of the era, first began to attribute setts to specific families.
“Wallace Dress” or Wallace Red
This is the tartan that 3M uses on their “Scotch®” brand packaging tape.
“Wallace Hunting” or Wallace Green
You may also recognize this tartan as it is used on the 3M “Scotch Magic® Mending” packaging tape.
This is the tartan that both the Chief Ian and the Acting Chief Andrew wear.
The Wallace Blue
Wallace Blue Dress (Dance)
Notice that it has a White background. “Dress” tartans usually have a White background and were used for Evening or Formal wear as they are lighter/brighter and more easily seen in the low light of evening.
Only found on the Scottish Tartans Authority web site.