If you enter any tartan shop today looking to purchase a kilt, or perhaps simply order tartan yard goods, chances are that you will be shown a sample book, or "swatch book" of the available tartan fabrics. This collection, entitled Patterns of the Highland Clans, is just such a sample book, dating from approximately the mid-nineteenth century.
The bookplate on the inside cover identifies the book as belonging to Scott Adie, Ltd. Scott Adie were men's and women's tailors and Highland dress specialists operting out of London from the mid-ninteenth to the mid-twentieth century. This collection was apparantly in use over many years and in several cases the name of the tartan has been amended or corrected by a different hand. For example, under the original name "Perth" someone made the later addition, "Drummond of." Under the name "Logan," a later hand added "(Skene)." Some marginal notes in the sample book are dated as late as 1939.
There is no indication in the book as to who the weaver of the cloth was, but many of the tartans included correspond to those in the early nineteenth century records of prominant tartan weaving firm William Wilson and Sons of Bannockburn.
This rare sample book is held in a private collection. The Scottish Tartans Museum was privileged to have this item on loan for a time in 2005, during which time these photographs were taken.A Scott Adie ad from 1907.
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