Traditional Scottish Souvenirs

Traditional Scottish Tartan


Scottish Tartan Skirt
Scottish Tartan Skirt

For those that have Scottish heritage and would like to purchase a traditional souvenir or two it is easy to find them online. One way to show your pride is to look into tartan scarves. It gets cold in the states just as it does in the UK and they are brilliant gifts.

What is a tartan scarf?

Tartan is actually a specific design. It is a common misconception that this design is the same as the plaid design. This is untrue. A plaid is a blanket, not a scarf. You can also wear whatever tartan you like. This needs to be made clear because it is rumoured that you must be part of a clan to wear certain types. This is not true! Wear whichever tartan you like.

Back when traditional tartans became popular they used to be able to specify where people are from due to what was used to dye the wool. This is because certain plants and berries are made in certain locations. The first time a tartan was mentioned was 1578.

Another interesting fact about the traditional tartan is that Scots were banned from wearing them after they lost at Culloden in the year 1746. Finally, thirty seven years later they were able to wear the tartans again. Queen Victoria and the rest of the Royal Family sensationalized this design so much more and that is when it became more popular.

Business then boomed and then there was a large demand for clan tartan. In fact, there was quite a bit of confusion in regards to that. Many clans have the same types of tartans while there are a few clans that have added maybe one extra line or colour. There is a lot of history when it comes to the tartan and having one would really fill in the need for tradition in your home.

Whether you want to find something for your mother or your best friend you can find a traditional tartan scarf that suits almost anyone with Scottish pride! Tartan Scarves are commonly made out of lamb’s wool. These proper traditional tartan scarves are found in Scotland and can be shipped from there to anywhere if you find a place to get them from.

There are so many different types of tartan scarves. They come in different colours and more than one hundred and fifty different designs. Travel to Scotland and bring home the best traditional souvenirs you can find.

Traditional Scottish Tartan
Traditional Scottish Tartan

Traditional Scottish Sgian Dubh

Scottish Sgian Dubh

Traditional souvenirs are great to bring home and remember all of the joys you experienced in another country. For those that want something to remember from their travels the Sgian Dubh would be a fantastic traditional souvenir. What is a Sgian Dubh? This is a black knife that is traditionally used in Scotland.

Sgian dubh is spelled in many different ways but it is pronounced one way. This is “skeen doo” phonetically. Sgian means dagger and dubh means black in Gaelic. There are two different theories about what the black part of the name truly means. Some believe that it is as simple as the average colour used for the handle, but some other feel that it has to do with how it is “secret” or “hidden”.

It is believed that this traditional dagger had eventually evolved from what is called an armpit dagger. That is a knife that was a bit larger in size than the traditional sgian dubh. It is rumoured that these were not only kept in a pocket under the man’s armpit but a Scottish woman would actually carry these types of knives under her skirt with her purse also.

There is another theory that this knife evolved from a knife kept in a set used for skinning. There have been sets like this found before. These sets were kept by the “ghillie” which means “boy” in Gaelic. He was considered a serving boy as the hunters would not do such a considerably “menial” job. These hunters were typically in the upper class so they could do this.

There is a vast history when it comes to this fantastic little dagger. The handles were made out of horn and brass in the beginning by Scottish smiths. These were a crude version of what they are now. Eventually they started becoming made with ivory and ebony. The design became more artistic and more particular, also.

This traditional weapon has a lot of legends attached to it. For example, the stone that is often in its pommel is weighed to provide a proper balance for throwing. This of course is untrue. Another one is that it should not be drawn for purposes that mean next to nothing and “must taste blood” before it can be put away again.

To purchase a traditional sgian dubh it may be best to get it from Scotland or even find one that is made in the states as these are where the best ones are made.