Clan Campbell’s history is one that is detailed and compelling, the story was explored on the blog in an Unleash your inner tartan post. So, today I thought I would tell you all about the different Campbell tartans and believe me there are a lot of them.
Campbell Clan (Black Watch)
The Campbell Clan Tartan is also more commonly known as Black Watch, an extremely popular and easily recognisable tartan all around the world. It is in fact one of ScotlandShop’s most popular tartans, with almost all of our products available in the tartan. The tartan was worn by ‘The Black Watch’, a group that patrolled the highlands after the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The Black Watch was made up of companies from different clans; one from Clan Fraser of Lovat, Clan Munro, Clan Grant and three from Clan Campbell. This tartan was adopted as the Clan’s official tartan due to the number of Campbell’s who were a part of The Black Watch. Many clan tartans are based on the Black Watch tartan and to this day it is still used by military units within the Commonwealth.
Campbell of Breadalbane
The Campbell of Breadalbane tartan is traditionally worn by members of the Breadalbane or Glenorchy branches and the earliest the tartan was seen was 1810. This branch was started after Sir Duncan Campbell threw the MacGregor’s off Glenorchy and gave it to his son. They are the leading Campbell family after the Argyll’s. This tartan is based around Black Watch, it features identical colours with the addition of yellow stripes.
Campbell of Cawdor
Campbell of Cawdor is an armigerous clan, the family name was originally Calder, but after Lord John Campbell moved to England he changed the spelling of the name as this is how the English pronounced Calder. When the Campbell of Cawdor tartan was first designed it did not have a name, it was eventually named in 1850 over 100 years later. Again this tartan is based around Black Watch, with the addition of red and light blue stripes.
Campbell of Loudoun
The Campbell of Loudoun tartan is also very similar to the Black Watch tartan in terms of sett and colour and it is almost identical to the Campbell of Breadalbane tartan with a white and yellow stripe instead of just yellow stripes. There is a castle named after the branch in Ayrshire, it was built for the 6th Countess of Loudoun in the early 19th Century.
Campbell of Argyll
The Sixth Duke of Argyll introduced a white line to his plain Campbell Clan tartan so he could distinguish himself as chief, this has come to be known as the ‘Campbell of Argyll‘ tartan. However, no other clan chief has done this which is why the tartan is not officially recognised.
Traditionally, Dress tartans were to be worn to formal occasions and the main colour was swapped for white or there was extra white added to the pattern, this was to make the tartan stand out more and appear brighter. The Campbell Dress tartan is very similar to the Gordon Dress tartan.
Although there are a number of Campbell Tartans, woven at mills across Scotland, there are however only four Tartans that are recognised by the Clan Chief as official tartans that can worn by Clan members. These are Campbell Clan (Black Watch), Campbell of Breadalbane, Campbell of Cawdor and Campbell of Loudoun. Are you a Campbell or just love the Black Watch tartan? Send us some pictures of you wearing your favourite tartan and we will share them with Campbell’s around the world.