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Scotland's oldest tartan goes on show in history of fashion fabric



It’s official - the oldest ever tartan found in Scotland is more than 400 years old. New tests on a scrap of fabric found in a Highland peat bog in the early 1980s have concluded that the iconic checked material is likely to have been created in the 16th century.

Found around 40 years ago, in the bog in Glen Affric, some 15 miles west of Loch Ness, the fabric underwent numerous tests thanks to The Scottish Tartans Authority (STA). They undertook dye analysis and radiocarbon testing of the tartan to prove its age. The investigation found four possible colours in the fabric, via high resolution digital microscopy, including green, brown and possibly red and yellow.

Researchers found that no artificial or semi-synthetic dyes were involved in the making of the tartan, leading researchers to conclude it predates the 1750s, estimating it was most likely made between 1500 and 1600.


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