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Tartans of
an Strachan
Strachan (Modern Colours)

Modern Sett

Strachan (Ancient Colours)
Ancient Colours

Strachan (Weavers Colours) Tartan
Weavers Colours

Strachan (Reproduction Colours)
Reproduction Colours

Clan Strachan Tartans


Members of the Strachan Clan can legitimately wear three tartans… although by far the most popularly used and recognizable as a STRACHAN Tartan is the Modern Sett.


The Strachan Family Tartan (which are the most appropriate for those purchasing a new tartan), the Tribe of Mar District Tartan, and the Deeside District Tartan are discussed below:


The Strachan Clan Tartan


Prior to 5 February 2009, there were four main public tartan registries each having the Strachan Clan tartan registered (typically xx2601).  The Scottish Register of Tartans has the Strachan tartan registered under STA ref#  2601.


The tartan was designed by Tony Murray in 1987.  According to Kenneth Dalgliesh (Scottish World Tartan Society) it was first seen in 1999, and was registered in 2000.


The four setts of the same tartan shown here are the same thread pattern and colours, just different shades.


The Modern Sett shown here at the top is in the darker Dress sett, and is by far the most popular among Strachans, and as such is it also the most cost effective.  It is generally in stock at the Mill in either 11 oz or 15 oz. wool.  The tartan is also available in various other setts as shown here,  These other tartans are generally custom weaves, and therefore much more expensive.


According to a D.C. Dalgliesh representative, "The colours and thread count of the tartan is registered on The Scottish Register of Tartans (STA Ref 2601, STWR Ref 2601), and the only variant between these four tartans are the actual tones of each colour."    


All Strachan tartans are sold online in the Clan Strachan eStore, and are fabricated in Scotland.  Also, available are kilts, trews, dresses, skirts, sashes and other highland garb.


Today’s members of Clan Strachan would most appropriately wear the Strachan Family tartan as it is the tartan associated with our surname, and is recognized as such by the official tartan registry of the Scottish government. 


To view a larger image of the Strachan tartans shown here, simply click the image itself, and a new window will open.


Mar District Tartan  

Mar District Tartan
Mar Chieftain proclaim the clan tartan was the
District Tartan and not the ancient sett.

Before 1999, most Strachans wore the Mar District Tartan as a Sept of the Tribe of Mar. 


In 1296, the barons ‘de Strachan’ opposed Robert the Bruce, and were defeated and disinherited.  However, in 1345, Adam Strachan married the niece of the Earl of Mar, who was himself a cousin of King Robert II and received the lands of Glenkindie. 


It was only the House of Glenkindie who was a vassal of the Earl of Mar.  The Strachan Houses of Thornton, Carmyllie, Lenturk,  Knock, and the House of Monycabbock, Tullimaddin & Cray were all of noble stock established at the same time; and none of whom pledged fealty to the Earl of Mar.


According to "The Romantic Myth of Scottish Clan Septs", by John Duncan of Sketraw, as the 'entire clan' did not pledge fealty to the Earl of Mar, it is inappropriate from a historical perspective to recognize a Sept relationship.  According to Sketraw, "The concept of ‘sept’ names is itself one of some contention with many misconceptions and a generally exaggerated romanticisation brought about, in the main, by Victorian rediscovery." 


Be that as it may, the Strachan surname was (and is still today) popularly associated with Tribe of Mar in Scotland as a Sept.  As a result many Strachans wear the Mar District Tartan.


The Mar District Tartan would not be recommended for those members of the Strachan Clan just purchasing a tartan, because the Strachan Family Tartan is “the” tartan directly associated with our surname.


The Tribe of Mar District tartan is not normally carried in stock, and may take well over a month for the Mills in Scotland to produce.




District Tartans


In most cases District tartans probably preceded clan tartans. Martin

Deeside Plaid (Weavers Colours)
This is a custom weave.

Martin remarked in "A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland", circa 1695, that it was possible to guess the place of a man's residence from the sight of his plaid. This idea was nurtured by William Wilson & Son of Bannockburn who, having one or two patterns that had some local affinities, named a range of their new patterns after towns, cities and districts.


As a result a range of District Tartans have grown up, which can be worn by who have an association with a particular district irrespective of their clan connections. The tartan above is the Deeside District Tartan and was designed by Fenton Wynes in 1963.


These sorts of tartan continue to mature: what were trade tartans twenty or more years ago with a territorial designation have become accepted as tartans for that area.


Towns, District and Regional Councils have been commissioning tartans for promotions and merchandising which are firstly corporate tartans but are also district tartans. This is how tartan remains a growing design medium where what is good is based upon the past associations of a district or community, a District Tartan often having elements of clan designs and other elements relevant to that area.


Traditionally where there is not an association to the surname, one would wear the tartan appropriate to the district from which the family originated.

Like the Mar District Tartan, the Deeside District tartan would not be recommended for those of the Strachan surname just purchasing a tartan as it is not the tartan associated with our surname. 


The Deeside District tartan is not very popular, and may take well over a month for the Mills in Scotland to produce.

District Tartan Sources:, and



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