Lot 48: macrae tartan

April 11, 2017

macrae tartan

at my grandma's funeral six months ago, i learned something about my grandma's side of the family that i can't believe i never knew before.

do you see my mom wearing that fabulous plaid skirt?

that skirt is the macrae tartan.  the macrae clan is a very prominent clan in scotland that even has it's own castle, the eilean donan castle in scotland. my mom's mother was ethel gertrud macrae, making me a fourth generation macrae and very much scottish!

years ago when my mom went to england, she had learned of the macrae clan and their famous skirts, the tartans.  walking along the streets in england, she found a shop that sold fabric.  she went in and asked if they had macrae tartan fabric.  the shop owner was very enthusiastic and said "of course!" and pulled out bolts and bolts and bolts of macrae tartan fabric.

with tartans, there are two kinds: dress tartans for ceremonial events, and hunting tartans, which are darker as to camouflage in with nature.  my mom chose the ceremonial tartan.  when she got back to the states, she had my aunt make the dress she is wearing in the above picture.  she had extra fabric so my aunt even made her a shawl.

years later, my mom was at a medical conference with my dad.  there was a man who was flailing his arms around, desperately trying to get my mom's attention from across the room.  after a while, my mom approached him, perplexed.  the first thing he said was "so you're a macrae?" hahah! they talked for a while and i love that something as simple as a fabric pattern could bring people together.

i am proud of my heritage and want a tartan of my own! what do you know of your heritage?


  1. The skirt looks nice and being proud of ones heritage is a good thing, also wanted to tell you I linked back to your blog on my post yesterday

  2. That is so neat! I love her skirt. My family is mostly European, lots of different kinds. my maiden name is Tiffin and there used to be some people (I think native american indiands) called "Tiffin-wallahs" and they were people who carried lunch pails on their heads. "Tiffin" means lunch , I believe. Lunch is my favorite meal! It's perfect!

  3. So cool! I love learning more about my heritage. Sadly, I don't think my family has a castle. Unless I really AM adopted...


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