St Andrew’s Day: Why Scottish Tartan Fabric Is So Important

Posted On: Thursday, November 30th, 2017 0 comments
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This week Scotland celebrates St Andrews Day; one of its major national holidays and a day of nationwide festivities. Next to Burns Night, St Andrews Day is perhaps one of the most anticipated dates on the Scottish calendar – and, as you’d expect from a classically Scottish symbol, tartan fabric always plays a major part.

What Is St Andrew’s Day?

st andrews day why scottish tartan fabric is so important

Held on the 30th of November each year, St Andrew’s Day is the ‘feast day’ of St Andrew – which doesn’t refer to a feast in the literal sense, we should say, but holds the older meaning of ‘day of religious dedication’. St Andrew himself was a Galilean fisherman who was crucified by the Romans after Jesus’ death. Hundreds of years later, monks smuggled his relics into Fife, which is now the town of St Andrews. This is, in short, how St Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Along with other emblems like tartan fabrics, the white Saltire on the Scottish flag (intended to represent the cross he was crucified on) has become one of the most enduring Scottish symbols.

Today, St Andrew’s Day is a national holiday which celebrates the hallmarks of Scottish culture, food and dance. There are bagpipes, traditional Scottish music, and of course, no shortage of people dressed in traditional Scottish dress. To simply describe tartan fabrics as ‘traditional’ is indeed true, but does them something of a disservice; to the Scottish people, they’re far more than that. Tartan is recognised as a Scottish symbol the world over, and few other fabrics can claim to have such a deep and diverse range of meanings. The pattern’s many variations are symbolic of the many different clans that have historically made up the Scottish people, making each individual tartan pattern a point of pride for Scottish people in both their unique familial history and united national heritage.

Acorn’s Recommendations


At Acorn Fabrics, we pride ourselves on having a huge and diverse range of cotton shirting fabrics to choose from, and that’s as true as ever when it comes to tartan fabrics! If you’re planning on incorporating some traditional Scottish elements into your wardrobe, here are our top recommended fabrics:

Mc Lean Tartan Fabric

The McLean (or MacLean) clan is one of the single oldest clans in Scottish history, giving their personal tartan fabric a significant historical value to complement its vibrant, memorable aesthetics. Its bold red shade is brilliant for making a statement, offset with muted patterns of blue and green that help it to embody that perfectly Scottish feel.

Brodie Tartan Fabric

The Brodie clan are another ancient Scottish family, which has often been involved in key moments in Scotland’s history. The tartan’s darker colour makes it exceptionally well suited for formal occasions; its mix of blue-green hues gives it a reserved feel, but helps it to retain an intriguing visual impact.

Hampton 106 Red Check Fabric

Whilst not being technically tartan, the Hampton red check fabric will appeal to tartan lovers by striking an excellent balance between our two previous suggestions; dark and unobtrusive enough to be suitable for formal occasions, but with a dash of vibrancy from the red checks that are central to its design. If you’re not sure of the formality of a given occasion, you could do a lot worse than a Hampton red checked shirt!

Of course, these are just our suggestions. You might have your own favourites! As well as our tartan fabrics, there are plenty of similar options amongst our range of checked fabrics too, so feel free to browse them at your leisure. In the meantime, if you need any help or have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01282 698662.

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