Variations of the Black Watch
The full Black Watch tartan gives the impression of a shorter pattern
than it is, because the under check is Blue - Black - Green. However
the real under check is Blue - Black - Green - Black - Blue and
this allows the opposite blues to carry a different over check.
The first blue can carry a single tramline in its centre, whilst
the last blue can have the distinctive double tramline leaving the
centre clear, and this is the most significant feature of the full
pattern. The eye can be confused by the combinations, off the main
diagonal, of single and double tramlines crossing and the pattern
therefore appears very complex yet having coherent elements.
When this Government pattern was adapted, the blues and greens
were usually lightened as in the Campbell and the pattern
reduced in size to the more expected Blue - Black - Green under
However, a number of tartans use the full pattern. They usually
start by "Decorating the Green" under check.
Continued: Decorators of the Green