As pointed out elsewhere, the District
Tartans are probably the original type of tartan and are now a growing
area for new Trade
|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
More Examples: The