Kilts, Tartan, and Patterns

Yesterday we asked what clothing people normally wear to a Burns Supper.  Traditionally men wear kilts and ladies wear a full length tartan skirt.

Kilts and Tartan

  • Kilts were the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands in the 16th century
  • They are often made of a woollen cloth in a tartan pattern
  • Tartan is a pattern made up of horizontal and vertical stripes in different colours, on a coloured background
  • The interwoven stripes are known as a sett.
  • Originally, clans people used local plants, mosses and berries to dye the wool.


If you could create your own tartan what would it look like, what colours would you use?

Have a go at making your own, colour in your own tartan using this blank sheet                  – Design your own Tartan

Or create your own tartan using paper, you will need different coloured paper, sticky tape glue and scissors

  • Cut 4 or 5 strips of paper or card all at the same length
  • Lay the strips down leaving a small gap in between. Keep them in place using
    a strip of sticky tape
  • Cut out 4 or 5 more strips in a different colour and weave them up and over the first strips
  • Once you’re happy with your very own tartan use some glue to stick it
    to a piece of paper or card



Did you see any tartan patterns when you went on a pattern hunt ? Here is the tartan pattern I found.

Look at this amazing tartan! I love how you have made it into a kilt. Well done!