Mitchell Kilt Hire ~NZ ~ Celtic Fabric & Tartan Importers

(Background represents, Mitchell (old or Ancient colours)
Tartan is a vibrant fabric with a living tradition. In concept it is both ancient and modern. There are Scottish, Irish, Cornish and Welsh tartans. Clan, Sept and family tartans. National and District tartans. Special tartans, even personal and corporate tartans.

Sold through our shop in Cambridge - Unicorns-n-Pheasants, 17 Empire Street (opening Sept 2012), are wonderful fashionable Celtic fabrics,imported by Mitchell Kilt Hire. These fabrics range in suitability for exclusive soft furnishings and durable upholstery as well as wall hangings, cushions fabric suitable for kilts, trews, clothing. We no longer weave special scarves or crib blankets in handwoven tartan made to order but can procure suitable items for you. We can organise on your behalf the supply / manufacture of tartan carpets.

Celtic fabric wares, Upholstery and home furnishing fabrics & Tartan
can be supplied by the metre, or in kilt length, or in half (31m) or full pieces (62m).
Tartan Information Page

Mitchell Kilt Hire ~ feiswvg1.jpg

Mitchell Kilt Hire ~ tartn01.jpg

Mitchell Kilt Hire ~ feiswvg2.jpg

*Mrs Anne McLean, my mother and our handloom weaver (shown above demonstrating on a table top loom),
passed on this year (2006) in the month (Sept.) of her 82nd birthday,
hence we can no longer provide handwoven tartan items.

If want to view the range of Callanish or Hebrides upholstery and soft furnishings fabrics, Celtic fabric items, orScottish, Irish and Welsh tartans we have swatch books on hand in our 'Unicorns-n-Pheasants' shop in Empire Street, Cambridge.

The Scottish Tartans Society Tartan Search Page

Or try The Tartan Finder Page Tartan Finder by Colour Tartan Generator

Show me some New Zealand Tartans and others too ...

Tartan Fabric weights and styles.

Kilting fabric has a true selvedge that is normally used unhemmed. Non-kilting fabric does not have a true selvedge and must be hemmed. Not normally used for any kilts, especially NOT mens kilts. Sometimes used for childrens kilts. Kilting fabric is dearer than non-kilting fabric because it requires more care and expertise during the weaving processes.

Natural and Synthetic Silk tartans.

Very light fabric, non-kilting, used for accessory style attire and ladies wear, etc.

Plain weave tartan.

Light, non-kilting faric is available in 7 and 8 oz weights - this is suitable for ladies sashes, and other uses where a true selvedge is unnecessary.

Saxony tartan fabric.

Light, woollen fabric is available in 9oz & 10oz weights, available in kilting and non-kilting fabric - this is suitable for lightweight dancing kilts, ladies sashes, etc

Light weight

Worsted kilting fabric is available in 10, 11 and 12 oz and Reiver weights - suitable for dancing kilts, light weight gents kilts (for indoor Scottish country dancing and use in hotter climates). Can also be used for heavier sashes, and light plaids (drummers, pipers, fly) and other attire - eg ties.

Medium weight

Worsted kilting fabric in 13oz (Braeriach) weight - suitable for gents kilts and for heavier skirts for ladies, plaids and other attire.

Heavy weight

Worsted kilting fabric in 16 & 17oz (Strome, Auld Reekie) weight - purposely woven for gents kilts.

Military weight

Worsted kilting fabric in 19-20 oz weight - purposely woven for military and 0ther very heavy duty wear use.

Tartan colouring.

Common references to tartan colours are:

Ancient / Old Colours

Dyeing of spun thread was once done with lichens, mosses and other vegetable matter. The colours so obtained tended to be more pastel shades and depending how well fixed, would often fade easily.

The development of aniline (chemical) dyes from coal produced a wider range of colours. They were brighter and easier to acquire and use. These were "modern" colours, and the original dye colours were referred to as "old" or "ancient". Of course the modern chemical dye manfacturers could also produce dyes that gave the same colours as the original vegetable dye. Virtually all cloth, except some home dyeing, is now commercially dyed using modern aniline dyes.
The terms Modern, Ancient etc have nothing to do with the actual age of a tartan sett or pattern. Tartans are being designed even today and are woven in ancient/old colours.

Modern -

this is usually a tartan in the darker and brighter or intense hues. For example Blue tends to be Navy and green a bottle or forest green. Any tartan can be woven in modern colours even if the sett was 600 years old.

Ancient / Old Colours

this is usually a tartan in the paler more moderate hues. For example Blue tends to be Azure or sky blue and green a grass or leaf green. Any tartan can be woven in ancient colours even if the sett was 6 hours old.

Muted -

this is usually a tartan in the pastel hues tending towards the brown spectrum.

Weathered -

this is usually a tartan in colours representing considerable exposure to the elements such as sun, rain, fading, peat stain etc.

Reproduction -

Dress -

this is usually a tartan including a lot of white in the sett after the old arisaid styles. Dress tartans are more specifically for ladies wear and dancing kilts. They are also available in Modern and Ancient shades. Clans, or families with their own tartan do not always have a dress sett. Also there are many dress tartans that have been specifically created for use as dancing tartans and have names and patterns, not associated with the more usual clan tartans. There are some dress tartans that do not include white.

Hunting -

Some clans, or families have setts they call hunting tartans. They can be in modern or ancient colourings. Sometimes a clan tartan in modern colours is called a hunting tartan by a particular vendor/mill.


About Mrs A McLean, weaver    

Searching for a tartan?........
The thread count of the tartan is required.for weaving special items.
Thread counts are shown on the Scottish Tartans Society site below.

The Scottish Tartans Society Tartan Search Page

Or try The Tartan Finder Page

Tartan Finder by Colour

Tartan Generator

See our Tartan Day page for more info' about Tartan

We import pure wool tartans from
D C Dalgliesh - 
        Scotland's Last Artisan Tartan Weaving Mill
and other remaining Scottish/Irish/British Woollen Mills

There are now three organisations providing tartan details and recording info:
The Scottish Tartans Society
The Scottish World Tartans Register
The Scottish Tartans Authority

Copyright 1999/2012
Mitchell Kilt Hire
Main MKH Page Top Contact Us Link Pages
1 ..2.. 3.. 4.. 5