Tartans of the Clan MacFarlane
The Modern tartan is a general use tartan. This tartan in its different forms of “ancient” and “muted and weathered” can be used for all occasions, whereas the Hunting tartan in all of its forms is generally used for “everyday” wear. However, to wear the hunting tartan for semi formal occasions would probably not be inappropriate as it is a favorite of many MacFarlanes.
The MacFarlane ‘Dress Tartan” (World Register 659) is a handsome tartan of white background with blue and red over stripes. Dress tartans are designed for fancy dress occasions. Remember that almost all of the tartans we know of today were the designs of the Victorian Scottish Weavers developed during the1800′s. They were not worn during the time of William Wallace or Robert the Bruce. The MacFarlane “Black and White” is probably an “Evening Sett”, the dress form of the Lendrum-MacFarlane Clan Tartan (The MacFarlane Black and Red (World Register 1190)). Although often referred to as a mourning sett it has none of the characteristics of this sett, i.e. dark background with a white over stripe. The brightness of the sett would probably make it a little bold for a funeral. This tartan may have been worn by women as an arisaid, a type of cloak worn by women from the 17th to the 19th century, but the pattern would have been much larger and brighter.
The reasons for the names “Modern” and “Ancient” involves a bit of history. During Victorian times, it was stylish to use very dark dyes, where the blues were almost black, the greens were forest-green instead of kelly-green, and so on. This made for some very somber tartans and also made recognition harder in many cases. When they finally decided to use lighter colors, however, they came up with the following reason: They argued that the old dyes and darker colors could not have been produced in the “old days”, so they called the lighter, more natural colors “ancient” and the darker colors “modern”. As these tartans probably did not exist in the “old days” this becomes an exercise in good marketing. Whatever tartan you choose wear it with pride as you are a member of the MacFarlane Family.ld days”, so they called the lighter, more natural colors “ancient” and the darker colors “modern”. As these tartans probably did not exist in the “old days” this becomes an exercise in good marketing. Whichever tartan you choose, wear it with pride.