Clan Buchanan Tartans

There are 20 Buchanan tartans registered in the Scottish Register of Tartans, Scotland's official tartan register, including two fashion and personal tartans (

The original clan tartan described on The Buchanan Society website comprises colours measured in 1/8th inches using natural dyes (

It is similar to the Hastie Macgregor (Buchanan #2, STWR 172) tartan registered on the Scottish Register of Tartans, but with a difference that it is missing an azure line after the first green line.

  • 1/2 Azure - Elder with Broom and Alum
  •    8 Green - Iris leaf or Whin bark
  • 1/2 Black - Alder bark or common Sloe
  •    2 Yellow - Crab Apple or Elm Tree
  • 1/2 Black - Alder bark or common Sloe
  •    2 Yellow - Crab Apple or Elm Tree
  • 1/2 Black - Alder bark or common Sloe
  •    1 Azure - Elder with Broom and Alum
  • 1/2 Black - Alder bark or common Sloe
  •    8 Red - Rock Lichen or Blaeberry
  •    1 White - Natural wool.

                Recreation of tartan description on the The Buchanan Society website

There 4 most popular Clan Buchanan tartans are:

        Ancient                                                     Hunting

        Buchanan Ancient                Buchanan Hunting                        

         Modern                                                    Weathered

         Buchanan Modern                Buchanan Weathered              

Other tartans include:

        Buchanan Dress                                     Buchanan Antique (fashion)
        (used by Highland Dancers)                  (recently popular, not in register)

        Buchanan Dress Blue (Highland Dancers)                 Buchanan Antique LW403 Edgar (Fashion)                                           


There is very good information about the history of the tartan at .

Wearing the Tartan

J. Charles Thompson, author of 'So You're Going to Wear the Kilt!' says that there is no such thing as the right to a tartan.

There are very few tartans with restrictions placed on them (such as the Royal Family's Balmoral tartan).  So wear any tartan you like.  By wearing a tartan you are honoring what that tartan represents, be it a clan, family, or location.  Many people choose to wear a tartan that associates with their family, but some choose to wear the tartan of a good friend, a mentor, or to commemorate a historical event (such as the Culloden tartan, or the Jacobite tartan).  Whatever the case, be aware of what the tartan you wear stands for and wear it proudly.

Note that some tartans today have been copyrighted as fashion.

More information about wearing the kilt and accessories is available at

Ladies Wearing the Tartan Sash
Courtesy of

The manner of wearing tartan sashes or light scarves had customary significance even two centuries ago, and whilst the wearing of sashes in any particular manner has so far no legal significance, a due respect for tradition suggests that uniform practice, and implication consistent with custom, is desirable. The difference methods undermentioned to wearing such are appropriate for ladies in different circumstances. All these suggestions are based on a careful study of old portraits, prints and traditional practice, and bear the authoritative approval of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

              Wearing the Sash

  1. Style worn by Clan Women.
    The sash is worn over the right shoulder across the breast and is secured by a pin or small brooch on the right shoulder.

  2. Style worn by Wives of Clan Chiefs and by Wives of Colonels of Scottish Regiments.
    The sash which may be fuller in size is worn over the left shoulder and secured with a broach on the left shoulder.

  3. Style worn by ladies who have married out of their clans but who still wish to use their original clan tartan.
    The sash is usually longer than style 1, is worn over the right shoulder secured there with a pin and fastened in a large bow on the left hip.

  4. Style worn by country dancers or where any lady desires to keep the front of the dress clear of the sash.
    Commonly seen made with a rosette secured with a brooch or clan badge. The style is similar to the belted plaid and is really a small arisaid. It can be buttoned on at the back of the waist or held by a small belt and is secured at the right shoulder by a pin or small brooch so that the ends fall backwards from the right shoulder and swing at the back of the right shoulder.

Note: Members of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society have been granted permission by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to wear their sashes on the left shoulder. This is an honour bestowed upon the Society because she is their Patron.

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