Saturday, January 7

Why In Design: For The Love Of Black Watch Tartan

Ringing In The New Year By Celebrating 
The Beauty of Black Watch Tartan
photo via

The word tartan is believe to have been derived from French word, tartainewhich means checked cloth!
What is Black Watch?  
Black Watch is a three color check pattern with black as the separating color between green and blue. Originally used for kilts, this pattern today it is often seen in fashion, both women and menswear by way of shirts, blazers, ties, as well as in a variety of home textiles and wall coverings.
I have long-loved a good Black Watch.  My daughter graduated from the Private, Upper East Side girls school, The Spence School.   Gabby holds the lovely title as a Spence "survivor" having attended from kindergarten until she graduated in 2013.  Steeped in tradition here in New York City, we knew it would be the perfect place for her spirited self, a school that celebrates both tradition but with progressive thought.  The school is a simply amazing place, and rooted in empowering women. But, truth be told, I fell in love with the school the very moment I visited and saw the joyous girls donning the school's Black Watch uniform.  
Spence girls in their school uniform
photo via
I love these Black Watch walls in a French farmhouse 
featured in AD Home and decorated 
by interior designer Jean-Louis Denoit
and it can be quite stylish when used on a table...
and, Ralph Lauren brought it to the bed in a stylish way...
In the home...
There is something regal about bringing in a little Black Watch into our homes.  It's a subdued plaid and works just as well with other hues in a layered manner as it does alone.  Today, let's celebrate this historical pattern, while uncovering some of the facts.  
A little bit of history of Black Watch...
Black Watch Tartan is uniquely tied with the origins of Scotland.  There is evidence that checked textiles were used well before Scotland existed though, and thought to be influenced by the Celtic people who brought this love for plaid with them to Scotland.  It soon became a staple pattern for garments worn in the early days of Scotland. It's interesting to note that the number of stripes in a tartan can show rank and has affiliations with different sects in society.  

This now famous Black Watch tartan was issued to the British Foot Regiment at Aberfeldy.  It all started when in the 1700s, George II commanded respected men in the community to make up these troops in order to patrol the Highlands to better control cattle rustling and blackmail following the Jacobite Rising. The group dubbed, Am Freiceadan Dubh (Gaelic regiment), was soon given the name, Black Watch.   These soldiers donned kilts in the now famous Black Watch tartan while on duty. They have become one of the most revered and well respected regiments in Scotland.  Just in case you'd like your very own kilt, you can order a Scottish Black Watch one at Fraser UK online.
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara

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