The Mackenzie Tartan
is the regimental tartan of the Seaforth Highlanders,
which were raised by Mackenzie, Earl of Seaforth in
1778. Wilson's 1819 pattern book records various widths
and weights of cloth suitable for different ranks
in the regiment. There is a certified sample in the
Collection of the Highland Society of London, signed
by Mrs. Mackenzie of Seaforth, 1816.
The Mackenzie tartan as we know it today
is a military tartan and was developed by the Mackenzie Lord MacLeod's 73rd Highland Regiment (and continued later by the
Seaforth Highlanders), which was taken from the an early version of the Black Watch (developed about 1729) and had Black,
White and Red lines added. In fact most clan tartans today were developed since the military Highland Independent Companies
introduced the idea of using the pattern for identity between 1725 and 1739. With exceptions there are very few examples of
tartan patterns being used for clan identity prior to 1700, moreover it was the cap badge, usually a plant or ribbon, which
was used for identity. However there is evidence that regional tartans existed. This would explain why different tartans were
seen being worn by the same clan at the battle of Culloden.
Green for forest and
fields, Blue of the sky and free sea, drawn through with
White for purity and Red for
blood and bold fighters. All denote freedom, fairness, purity, honor and courage.
specially for the Millennium Gathering
Authenticated by world
renowned tartan &
weaving authority, James Scarlett, a fresh Mackenzie tartan has been discovered, reminiscent of the current "Ancient"
colouring but with subtle differences. The material has been woven to match the original piece dated from the 1820s. The white
stripe originally thought to have been of silk is woven with partly a cashmere interface.
A bolt of this material has now been woven
and if you wish to have a kilt made of this unique set, and at the same time support the Clan Centre Fund, then contact the
UK Society at the link below.
More Information on our various Tartans and the
history and meanings behind tartans, please visit