The "Glen" Family of Tartans

As pointed out elsewhere, the District Tartans are probably the original type of tartan and are now a growing area for new Trade Tartan designs.



The majority of tartans with district names are trade patterns based around a single type of pattern, the trade tartans known as Glen Trool, shown above. A typical variation can be seen in Glen Shee, where the pattern is almost reversed in colour contrast.

The easiest way to see the similarity of tartan patterns is to use a Tartan Colour Disk, which shows the whole pattern within a circular pie chart. It can be clearly seen that the Glen Shee is a re-colouring of the Glen Trool.


One can also see how this pattern can become fully embellished as in one of the Glen Clova tartans to become a Royal Stewart look-alike, again clear in the Tartan Colour Disks. The "Glen" design is part of the more complex Stewart one.



Finally, one might see the "source" of the Glen patterns in simpler historical setts such as the MacLaine of Lochbuie tartan shown above with its Colour Disc.

It is quite surprising that the weaving trade have created a range of district designs with this common base pattern. The tendency today is to base new designs on a wider range of tartan concepts such as nearby clan, family, museum and district tartans, landscape and even heraldic colours.

More Examples: The Black Watch