House of Edgar Visit to Buckingham Palace
On the 22nd of May, Nick Statt, sales manager for The House of Edgar had the privilege to attend HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay's garden party at Buckingham Palace, to celebrate the Prince's extensive charity work and his 70th birthday later this year.
Nick was invited as he is a Trustee on the board of The Scottish Tartans Authority; a registered charity that aims to protect, preserve, conserve and promote Scottish tartan. Earlier this year, the charity were bestowed the great honour of Prince Charles becoming their Patron.
We are delighted to have had the opportunity for our company to be represented at Buckingham Palace and display our exquisite Scottish tartan to royalty.
Pictured: Nick Statt with STA Chairman John McLeish and board colleagues
Team Scotland to step out in style at next year's Commonwealth Games
Team Scotland is set to step out in style at the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next April, with its new parade uniform created in collaboration with bespoke tartan manufacturers House of Edgar and multi-award winning Scottish fashion designer Siobhan Mackenzie.
With Christmas Day set to mark 100 days until the start of the Games, the exciting new look was unveiled at The Gleneagles Hotel, where the 'glorious playground' provided the perfect backdrop for the festive occasion, with track and field stars Lynsey Sharp and Andrew Butchart taking centre stage.
Following the tradition of creating a distinctive new tartan for each Games, the 2018 tartan was designed by Team Scotland in collaboration with House of Edgar of Perth and woven at their Isle Mill in Keith, Moray. It reflects Team Scotland's brand colours (blue, purple, magenta and green) with the use of green also an acknowledgement of Australia's traditional sportswear colour.
The men's kilts have also been manufactured by House of Edgar, who previously made the 2014 Team Scotland and Glasgow 2014 official tartans. However to ensure that the women's outfit showcases a mix of tradition but with a modern twist, Team Scotland commissioned 24 year old Siobhan Mackenzie - named 'Best New Scottish Designer 2016' to create a stunning new look.
Siobhan trained in kilt-making with master kilt maker John Culbert at Glenisla and after finishing her degree she worked as an alteration technician for the technical officials at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which sparked her interest to become involved further with Team Scotland. Now well established on the international fashion scene, her brand's women swear and menswear is stocked in the elite luxury store Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She has also collaborated with a host of celebrities, including '2017 Team Scot of the Year' Judy Murray OBE.
Siobhan has been particularly keen to demonstrate how the contemporary kilt she has designed, with the tartan cut on the bias on the front and vibrant purple pleats on the back, not only creates a fabulous parade uniform for Team Scotland's women, but will work well afterwards as a beautiful evening outfit and for on-trend casual wear.
Siobhan Mackenzie said: "I'm truly honoured as a young female entrepreneur to have had the opportunity to design for the women of Team Scotland. I have injected my innovative design style into the womens wear look with the end goal in mind being not only that I want to represent a modern day Scotland but also that I want the female athletes to walk out into the Opening Ceremony feeling great in their outfit! "Watching Team Scotland walk into the stadium will certainly be a very proud moment in my career."
James Dracup, Managing Director of House of Edgar added: "House of Edgar is delighted to partner Team Scotland in producing a wonderful new tartan for Scotland's team at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018.
"The cloth has been woven at our factory in Keith in the Scottish Highlands and all men's kilts handmade at our factory in Paisley. We are proud that the Scottish team will be wearing an authentic Scottish tartan, produced in Scottish factories and very excited that our fabric is to be shown in both a traditional and through the collaboration with Siobhan, a more contemporary format at the Opening Ceremony. We wish Team Scotland every success at the Games."
As the last Commonwealth Games hosts, Scotland will be the first team to walk out into the Opening Ceremony at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast on 4 April 2018.
Lynsey Sharp, who memorably battled back from illness to win silver in the 800m at Glasgow 2014 was thrilled to model the new women's kilt and said: "It's absolutely beautiful and I think it's definitely something I will wear again. I love Siobhan's designs so I was really excited to hear she was designing the women's outfit for Team Scotland.
"The parade uniform is always a huge talking point, everyone is going to be excited to see it and try it on, and I am sure they're going to be really proud of it. The parade wear brings everyone together and makes you feel like one team and it will be fantastic to see everyone wearing it together at the Games."
26 year old Andy Butchart from Dunblane, who will make his Team Scotland debut in Gold Coast and started his career as a personal trainer at the Gleneagles Hotel's leisure club said: "The tartan looks so, so good, the colours have come out really well. You can definitely see it's Team Scotland and having the green line there to represent going to Australia is a really nice touch that makes it special for these Games.
"It's going to be a really proud moment to march out first into the Opening Ceremony next April and I'm sure the rest of the team will agree with me on that."
Team Scotland Deputy Chef de Mission Elinor Middlemiss, who project manages the team kit added: "After months of planning it is really exciting to see the parade uniform come to fruition and we are delighted with the new look created by our partners at House of Edgar and Siobhan Mackenzie.
"It is always important to make sure the female team members don't feel like an afterthought when it comes to the parade uniform, so it has been brilliant to work with such an exciting young designer like Siobhan and see her bring such a contemporary twist to their kilts and I am sure they are going to love it.
"A big thank you also to the Gleneagles Hotel for providing us with such an iconic backdrop for our reveal photography. As hosts of the Ryder Cup in 2014, the new European Championships golf event in 2018 and the Solheim Cup in 2019, we share a passion for world class sporting events. Both organisations are underpinned by a strong Scottish heritage, coupled with the drive to stay at the cutting-edge, this was a perfect fit for us."
The photographs of the parade uniform were taken by Glasgow photographer Alistair Devine, highly acclaimed for his Team Scotland hero images, shot for the team's Go Scotland! campaign leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Board Changes at Historic Perthshire Textile Company
Last week marked a significant milestone for one of Perthshire's oldest family companies, when Blair Macnaughton, the seventh generation of his family to run the business, stepped down from day to day management of Macnaughton Holdings Ltd.
The company was first established by Alexander Macnaughton at the end of the eighteenth century on the banks of Loch Tay, but subsequently moved to Pitlochry in 1835, when his grandson William decided to take advantage of the improved communications that the village provided. The company grew and prospered for the next one hundred and fifty years, with sons, grandsons and great grandsons all taking their turn at the helm. Returning from overseas in 1987, Macnaughton led a management buy-out of the company, returning it to direct family ownership. Since then, Macnaughton Holdings has been one of Scotland's textile success stories, securing business around the world, including palaces, opera houses and even the "Obama" White House. It continues to manufacture its fabrics in Scotland and employs approximately70 people over three sites.
Blair Macnaughton has been replaced by James Dracup, a well known figure in the UK textile scene, who has recently run a yarn import business in Yorkshire. This is not Dracup's first senior post in Scotland however, having been a director and Managing Director at Johnstons of Elgin for 12 years.
Newly appointed Managing Director James Dracup said, "I'm delighted to make a return to Scotland and have the opportunity to lead one of the country's most respected manufacturers." He continued, "I hope to build on the foundations that Blair has laid, and continue to develop international markets for the wonderful products made by our team here in Scotland."
Also stepping down are Macnaughton Holdings' two current non-executive directors, company chairman George Hay and Geoff Crerar, who will relinquish their board responsibilities in March. Hay, currently a partner with the Tayside accountancy firm Henderson Loggie, has been on the board for more than thirty years, while Crerar, has served for fifteen.
"I'm naturally sad to be stepping down from my executive role," Macnaughton said, but I'm delighted that the company has been able to secure a worthy successor to take my place, leading the management team." He continued, "I would also like to give a special thanks to George and Geoff, who have provided the Board with wise and independent counsel for many years".
Everything You Wanted to Know About Wearing a Kilt
Editor's Note: Last November we had the pleasure of spending 10 captivating days in Scotland. Below is but one adventure of many from our stay. We hope the joy we experienced comes through in all our posts and missives from our adventure, which no doubt read better with a wee dram in hand.
Spend ten days in Scotland and you learn a lot about kilts. First off, they are a helluva lot of fun to wear for a variety of reasons, including:
The House of Edgar is synonymous with quality kilt-making the world over and we were surprised to learn that they produce at least 80 kilts per week.
" Because it's not just wearing a kilt, it's wearing a sacred national costume!
" Wearing a kilt is not just buckling on a woolen pleated tartan item; it also includes donning a belt, a specially designed jacket, sporran (a pouch worn on a strap that sits right around the family jewels area-useful since kilts have no pockets), kilt socks, shoes, garter ties, and finally, a kilt pin. The whole outfit is called Highland Dress.
" When you wear one in Scotland nobody looks at you funny. Unless you are wearing it incorrectly. (Hint: the pleats go in the back)
To learn more about all things kilt related, we visited the Macnaughton, a once small family business that started more than 230 years ago on the banks of Loch Tay (located in the central Highlands of Scotland) that is now a holding company for various fabric producers, including The House of Edgar.
If you didn't already know, the House of Edgar is now the world's largest manufacturer of traditional Scottish kilts. They not only supply the global highland-wear market, but they also kit-out numerous pipe bands and corporate entities. In short, The House of Edgar is synonymous with quality kilt making the world over and we were surprised to learn that they produce at least 80 kilts per week. Don't you feel frightfully unfashionable now?
If you ever wondered how Scotland became the only country to buckle into a kilt we did some research for you:
" Originally, kilts were only worn in the Scottish Highlands, not in central or southern Scotland.
" The word "kilt" comes from the old Norse word, "kjilt" which translates to "pleated." When kilts first came on the scene in the 16th century, they looked much different from what we see today.
" Originally, the kilt was known as a feileadh mhór (philamore) or "big wrap." This was a thick woolen cloth that stretched across the body and was entirely untailored. This original version of the kilt was extremely versatile thanks to its inherent cloth-like nature. It could be worn over the head in colder weathers and was even said to be used as a camping blanket!
" In later years, following the British Government's ban against kilts and bagpipes, the kilt evolved again. The feileadh mhór became the feileadh bag (philabeg) or "little wrap," which is not dissimilar to the kilt we see today.
" While the kilt used to be reserved for special occasions, formal dress, and weddings, we spotted kilts being worn on a daily basis-from hotel staff to young guys out for a drink. Hell, it has even become a required uniform for Scotland's Tartan Army soccer team and the wearing of one is enthusiastically encouraged for the team's fans
We met with Bill Wheelan from the Macnaughton team and asked some basic questions to help guide you in the right direction for when the time comes for you to add a kilt to your closet:
First off, why was the kilt banned in the 18th century?
In August 1747, following the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 rebellion, the British Government banned the wearing of kilts. This was an attempt to suppress highland identity and came hand-in-hand with the banning of bagpipes which were seen as an instrument of war.
During this ban, the only people who were legally permitted to wear kilts were military pipers - and they could only wear a kilt in their military tartan.
"No man or boy within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as officers and soldiers in His Majesty's Forces, shall
wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland Clothes" This ban remained in place until 1783.
How much does a typical kilt cost?
While you can have them made by a tailor, off the rack they run around $400-500, plus all accessories. We enjoy doing bespoke kilts for various companies around the world as well. They are great to mark a special occasion or anniversary.
How much fabric does it take to make a kilt?
To make a standard kilt you will need 7.4 meters, which is 8 yards.
Where should a kilt sit on your waist?
Two fingers above belly button.
Originally, tartan colors came from the fauna of your region, so people knew where you were from by the colors you wore.
Where should a kilt fall on the leg?
Center of the knee.
The question every American wants to know the answer to, what do you wear under a kilt?
It is certainly a tradition that no under-garments are worn beneath the kilt but now-a-days it really is just a personal choice for the wearer rather than any strict dressing instruction!
What is the difference between tartan and plaid?
Tartan is registered, while plaid has no back story. Originally, tartan colors came from the fauna of your region, so people knew where you were from by the colors you wore.
Who is buying kilts these days?
Tartan is a steady rock. It's the most recognized dress in the world. Kilts are really popular with the young kids, now both guys and girls. Apparently you can snag a lady easier!
A New Tartan For the Silent Service, January 2017
The Royal Navy's Submarine service reinforced its links to Scotland today, with the launch of its new official tartan designed and woven exclusively by The House of Edgar.
The tartan was commissioned to celebrate these links, stretching back more than 100 years, when some of the Royal Navy's earliest submarines were built on the Clyde before undertaking sea trials on the Gareloch near Helensburgh. Designed in 1913, these K-Class boats were propelled by both steam and diesel, and could operate at speeds up to 24 knots, crewed by 6 officers and 53 men. Of the 18 boats built, none were lost to enemy action, although 6 went down due to accident, mishap and collision.
Through both World wars and the Cold War that followed, Rosyth and the Clyde played host to generations of the brave volunteers of the Silent Service, and the ties that bind are indeed tight. From 2022, all the Royal Navy's submarines will be based in Scotland, with the Clyde's base increasing to 8,500 as a result.
Launching the new tartan, Submariner Warrant Officer 1 Stephen Thomson said, "The colour scheme of the tartan has been designed to represent the dark green of the submarines' environment; the Navy blue, red and white naturally represent the colours of the Royal Navy, while the yellow represents the coveted golden "Dolphin's badge, worn with pride by all qualified submariners."
House of Edgar designer Trudie Ainsworth said, "it was a lovely project to be part of, and a real honour for us to be associated with so many brave men and women." She continued, "I grew up close to Faslane and often saw the submarines going on patrol. I never imagined that one day I would design the tartan they would wear. It makes me very proud."
The Royal Navy Submarine Service tartan has been registered with The Scottish Register of Tartans, and has registration number 11,556 and may be worn by all submariners, both serving and retired
New Shanghai Showroom 17th June, 2016
The opening this week of its new showroom in Shanghai, provides Perth based Macnaughton Holdings, with an exciting opportunity to develop its growing market in China. In association with the locally based interiors expert, Shanghai Home Expo Company, the new showroom showcases Macnaughton's Isle Mill brand of both classic and contemporary wool upholsteries and window fabrics.
"We first met Shanghai Home Expo in 2015, when they visited us at the prestigious interiors and lifestyle exhibition, Maison & Objet in Paris," said Bill Wheelan, the company's Sales Director. "We initially sent them a number of our pattern books, and over the coming months, they sampled a variety of our products. Having established the market for the Isle Mill's products in China, they approached us with the showroom proposal, which will see our fabrics displayed alongside many of Europe's top designer brands."
He continued "The showroom formally opened last night with a grand party, and we now look forward to seeing some nice growth in this fast developing market"
The company, originally founded at the end of the eighteenth century on the banks of Loch Tay, is one of Scotland's oldest textile companies, and remains in the hands of the seventh generation of the founding family. Headquartered in Perth, and employing almost 70 staff at its three sites around Scotland, Macnaughton has bucked the recent trend that has seen many Scottish textile jobs disappear, by concentrating on niche markets with an emphasis on exports.
Queens Birthday Honours List
The company is pleased to announce that managing director Blair Macnaughton, has been awarded an M.B.E in the Queens Birthday Honours List for services to tartan weaving and kilt making in Scotland.
Blair said "Its obviously a huge honour to be recognized in this way, not only for my family and I, but also for my entire staff, who have helped me in establishing The House of Edgar, as Scotlands leading highland wear manufacturer."
He continued, "We now stock support nearly 1000 tartans, and are widely seen as the market leader in the sector. It is only through constant innovation and the dedication of our skilled team that we have established our reputation in the market."
Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band
After 10 years, Macnaughton Holdings Ltd has announced the end of its sponsorship agreement with The Shotts and Dykehead Pipeband with effect from the end of April 2013.
During the period of sponsorship, Shotts won more than 34 championship titles, including the World Championships for the Band as a whole and the Drum Corps separately. Although World Championship titles have been somewhat harder to win in the last few years while the band has been undergoing a number of changes in key personnel, the recent appointment of Ryan Canning as Pipe Major has once again seen the Shotts returning to its musical best.
In announcing the end of the agreement, Blair Macnaughton, Managing Director of the Sponsor said:
"We at the House of Edgar have thoroughly enjoyed our association with the Band over the last 10 years. It has been a totally symbiotic relation, with Edgar representing the very best of Scottish manufactured highlandwear, and the Shotts representing the best of Scottish music. We wish Band all the very best for the forthcoming competition season, under the new leadership of Ryan Canning."
Sandy Bell, Chairman of the Band said:
"We would like to thank the House of Edgar for its sponsorship and support since 2003. We have been proud to wear their uniforms and bear their name, and it has been nice to be associated with one of Scotland's oldest family companies."
Isle Mill Fabrics Used as Centre Piece of Harrods Jubilee Windows
We were delighted that the famous Knightsbridge store Harrods, chose some Isle Mill fabric to form the centre piece of one of its Jubilee windows. The mixed theme window featured a table cloth in the fabric Sloane Walk from the recently launched Sloane Square Collection, in colour Sand.
It may be of interest to note that the Macnaughton family started manufacturing textiles during the reign of George III, Queen Elizabeth's Great Great Great Great Grandfather.
Visit the Sloane Square section of our Isle Mill Website.
|Launch of the Red Hackle Tartan|
Launch of The Red Hackle Tartan
For centuries the iconic scarlet plumes of the Red Hackle have inspired generations of Scotlands Black Watch soldiers both on and off the battlefield. Now the spirit and glory of the distinctive head-dress of the worlds most famous regiment is to be embodied in a brand new tartan bearing its name.
The Red Hackle Tartan was launched on January 5th, Red Hackle Day, at a special unveiling at the regiments Balhousie Castle museum in Perth. Designed by The House of Edgar, the new tartan features the instantly recognisable dark colours of the famous regimental tartan, with a series of overchecks in two shades of red, signifying the Red Hackle.
Blair Macnaughton, managing director of Macnaughton Holdings, said
I have been wanting to create a Red Hackle tartan for several years and were all delighted with the final result. I feel sure the Red Hackle Tartan will have widespread popular appeal not only to those connected with The Black Watch past or present but also to the general public who have no allegiance to any clan tartan.
The new tartan has already proved popular with our retailers within Scotland, and it will be available in a wide range of merchadise, including scarves, ties, kilts, trews and waistcoats, as well as fabric in a variety of weights.
| The final tartan was chosen from a number of designs submitted to members of the Black Watch Heritage Trust for approval. |
Assistant Regimental Secretary Major Ronnie Proctor praised the design and said it had already won the approval among the old soldiers of the Black Watch Association that he had shown it to.
The Red Hackle is something that Black Watch soldiers have always been proud to wear, and they will be equally proud to wear the new tartan as I hope many others will.
The House of Edgar is to be congratulated on designing a tartan that is both true to the traditional Black Watch roots and the spirit of the scarlet plume.
A proportion of the sales of the new tartan will be donated to The Black Watch Heritage Appeal set up to secure the museum and its collection for the benefit of future generations.
Alfie Iannetta, chief executive of The Black Watch Museum Trust, said the donation from the sale of the new tartan was a creative and innovative way to raise both funds for the Appeal and the profile of the museum.
The Red Hackle tartan will feature on a range of merchandise available across the world and through our own museum and online shops, he said.
Its a great looking tartan and Im confident it will endure for generations.