Allen Tartan
The tartan and Scotland are inextricably linked. This unique fabric pattern evokes the proud history of the Scots which remains palatable in Scotland to this day. However, Scotland has long had much more to offer to the world than the tartan, bagpipe, and sporran. Think of Silicon Glen, Dolly the Sheep, Kelvin, Adam Smith, even golf, all of which is only a handful of the incalculable number of people and ideas that call from Scotland. Yet still for some reason, when the world thinks of Scotland, its mental image is usually of someone in plaid. There just is something about Scotland's past that stirs the imagination.

Perhaps this is not a bad thing. Sure the ancient land claymores and clans (and of Rob Roy and Braveheart) has long passed. However, we here at Allan Tartan like to think that there is something that we all can all identify from that era, something that is still pertinent to our modern daily lives. Simply put, it is having pride in what you believe in, and being true to what you think is right. It is having persistence in the face of adversity, and doing the right thing in the times when you are most tested.

We at Allan Tartan are happy to offer you a way to celebrate your own little bit of Scottish heritage. We hope that you decide to take a bit of Scotland home with you today. If you are proud of your Allan or Allen name, or maybe you just like the pattern, we invite you to have a look around and we hope that you will make an order today.
About the Fabric
Our tartan is designed for anyone with the Allan or Allen surname. It has been registered at the Tartans Authority and the Scottish Tartans Society and has been included in Philip Smith's Tartans: Abbotsford to Frasier. Every Allan Tartan product is made in Scotland, at the Lochcarron mill in Galashiels and is 100 percent new wool.

Debbie Allen, daughter-in-law of Harry Cecil Allan, born in Edinburgh, designed this pattern in celebration of her Scottish heritage. Debbie is a certified master weaver. She offers her design to anyone who wishes to be proud of their Allan heritage.
History of the Tartan
The oldest preserved tartan ever found, known as the the Falkirk tartan, is a fragment of cloth that was being used as a stopper in a bottle holding coins from the third century. It was light brown, dark brown and white, and made from the undyed wool of the indigenous Soay sheep. It was found near the Antonine Wall, a Roman fortification in central Scotland.

Apart from archeological evidence like this, we know little about the history of tartan before it appears in the written record in the late 16th century. The first definitive reference to tartan is found in the Royal Household accounts for 1538, when three ells of 'Heland tertane' were purchased to be made into trousers for King James V.

The word 'tartan' is derived from the French word 'tiretaine' which means a kind of woollen cloth, yet it does not describe the distinctive plaid pattern that makes the tartan unique today. Still, back in this time, the highland fabric was woven from wool that was died from local plants, mosses and berries. Accordingly, different patterns only reflected where it was made, not necessarily which clan wore it. It appears that these Scots wore a mixture of tartans as they saw fit, without any sense of a standardized clan design.

This 'feileadh mor' or big kilt, with it's five meters of 'tiretaine' cloth that wrapped around the shoulders and waist remained in use throughout the Highlands until the Jacobite defeat at Culloden in 1746. The British banned the kilt for men in the highlands the following next year till 1782, with the only exception being for Scots who served in the British military.

During this time period what we would now recognize as the modern pleated kilt appears, known as the 'feileadh beg' or small kilt. Also notable, the company of William Wilson and Sons of Bannokburn, near Stirling—which had become the foremost suppliers of tartan to the military—are the first to collect and publish a record of family and clan patterns, known as the The Cockburn Collection. Controversy does exist as to the accuracy of this first record, yet to this day only a few patterns can be traced back before this 1819 book.

Despite the 35 year ban, the popularity of the tartan blossomed in the 19th century, along with a Highland romantic revival. A royal visit, the first in 150 years, by King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822 cemented the popularity of the tartan as something uniquely Scottish; not just something you would wear in the Highlands. Sir Walter Scott, the organizer of the event, urged everyone around to come out to the big event 'plaided and plumed,' and they did. The tartan become the national dress of Scotland.

To this day, the tartan is unique to Scotland, and it is hard to mention one without thinking of the other.