Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Makin' The Tartan

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

MAKIN' THE TARTAN (S4x40) 4C set Geraldine Ferguson

1- 8 1s set, full turn RH and 1s+2s dance RH across once round
9-16 1s+3s dance double Fig of 8 round 2s (1s down to begin)
17-24 1s followed by 2s+3s+4s dance down the middle and back (with 2s+3s+4s separating), 1s end at top facing down and other couples facing up
25-32 All set (1s progressing down to bottom passing each couple LSh), all turn 2H
33-40 2s+3s also 4s+1s dance R&L

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Makin' The Tartan - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland, Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns.

Tartan is made with alternating bands of coloured threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill, two over-two under the warp, advancing one thread at each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where different colours cross, which give the appearance of new colours blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett.

Tartan is often mistakenly called "plaid" in the United States, but in Scotland, a plaid is a large piece of tartan cloth, worn as a type of kilt or shawl, or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.

How To Make Tartan - Information Video

Makin' - Making The Tartan
Makin' The Tartan, Edinburgh, 2005

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Tartan article on Wikisource.
Image copyright Bair175 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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