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News

Birthday sale!

09/06/2014

http://www.heritageofscotland.com/p,10th_birthday_sale_extended,l.php

And here we are! For 10 years now we've provided you with the highest quality Scottish garments. For 10 years we've done everything we can to meet all of your expetations, with regard to both product quality and customer service. We are proud to have thousands of customers who trust us, return to us and recommend us to their friends and family. We have been able to reach people worldwide who have a true loyalty and feeling for their Scottish heritage!

These 10 years of existence we owe to you - our dear customers. Therefore, we want to celebrate this special birthday with you! On this unique occasion we've prepared a global sale. Everything is discounted, with many items now 30% off! Even our highest quality made-to-measure clothing is 15% off now!

In repsonse to your huge interest in our birthday sale, we've extended it for the next few days! Don't miss this opportunity, place your order before June 15th (23.59 GMT) for up to 30% discount!

Articles

Bagpipes history

09/06/2014

Love them or hate them, it can’t be denied that bagpipes are the quintessential sound of Scotland. In this blog post, prepare to learn more about these “instruments of war”, used to celebrate, commemorate and even intimidate, throughout much of Scottish history!
Bagpiper in EdinburghAlthough bagpipes are thought to be Middle Eastern in origin, possibly dating back as far as 4000 BC, the instrument spread throughout Europe during the early part of the second millennium AD. Unsubstantiated claims for their use in Scotland date from around 1300, but the first concrete evidence of “warpipes” being used in their traditional role on the battlefield comes from writings about the Battle of North Inch in 1396. This early association with the military has always stayed with the bagpipes; their penetrating notes were used to unsettle the enemy, and communicate with allies. The unique construction of bagpipes means that the high pitched and VERY high decibel shrills and skirls emanating from them can be heard for several miles, and with their aggressive tones they quickly supplanted the horns and trumpets which had been previously popular.

Modern pipes are made of four main sections; the blowpipe, chanter, bag and drones. Traditionally, the bag would have been made from a full animal pelt, in the distant past goats, sheep, even cows and dogs were used to make this part of the bagpipes! In modern times, thankfully it is more common for synthetic materials to be used for the bag – with a fabric covering often made from tartan – either the official band tartan, or the regional sett, or for soloist pipers their own clan design. The bag is a reservoir for air blown by the piper; as the bag is continually squeezed under the piper’s arm while playing the air is forced out through the drones to create sound. Five sticks emerge from the bag, three drones, a chanter and a blowpipe, and we will look at the role each of these plays now.

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The blowpipe is used to inflate the bag; the pipe will prefill the bag before he starts to play then continue to keep filling the bag while playing. The blowpipe is usually made from hardwood though the exact wood type varies, and new techniques in the manufacture of this essential part of the instrument mean that pipers can fill bags more easily – leading to a smoother sound and more ease of playing. Unusually for a wind instrument, no reeds are played by the mouth directly, the blowpipe is just a filling device, and the reeds are contained within other areas of the pipes.

Also made from hardwood, the Great Highland Bagpipes has three drones – two tenors and one bass. Essentially, the drones create the music when the pipes are played; each one has a reed contained within and they can be tuned to different keys. As the air escapes the bag a constant low “droning” noise is heard, the distinctive noise of the bagpipes and the reason for this part’s name! When the bag is squeezed harder, more air escapes, increasing the volume and pitch of the drone, with the tone differing depending on the piper’s finger position.

The chanter is the most well-known part of the bagpipes, and is essential for player input. Held by the piper in both hands, the Angel playing bagpipeschanter is a long stem drilled with holes acts as the finger-board. As the player moves his fingers to cover or uncover the holes, the airflow within the instrument changes and the notes differ, just like with instruments such as the clarinet or flute! It was traditionally made from Scottish woods such as holly or laburnum, then later from exotic hardwoods such as cocuswood or ebony, though nowadays synthetic materials which are easier to maintain are also popular. Chanters can also be purchased with a mouthpiece attached, separate from the bagpipes themselves, as practice instruments.

Learn About Tartan Colour Meanings

Using a practice chanter can be essential for new players. Playing the pipes properly is a whole body effort – you must blow air into the pipe constantly, squeeze the bag under one arm at a controlled level to ensure the air is escaping at the desired pressure, and keep up with precise patterns of covering and uncovering the holes of the chanter to create notes – all while keeping the drones balanced on your shoulder and making sure no part of the unwieldy and large pipes slips or is dropped by accident! Understandably, this is very difficult to master all at once, so practicing just on the chanter allows the piper to thoroughly learn the finger movements required without the pressure of managing everything else all at the same time. As they gain more experience they can move onto using the full pipes, though many pipers will return to the practice chanter when learning a new piece of music until they are confident of their performance.

Bagpipes are often played in Scotland as part of an ensemble of pipers and drummers. All the pipers play the Great Highland bagpipes and provide the melody and complexity of the music, with the mixed drum corps providing the rhythm from a selection of snare drummers, tenor drummers and one (or occasionally two) bass drummers. Musically, the band follows the direction of the pipe major, though when on parade the drum major may be responsible for leading the band on their route and keeping time with a mace. The pipers almost always play traditional arrangements, but the drum scores are often composed by the drum major himself – and the drummers are judged not only on performance, but also on how well their drumming complements and suits the traditional sections played by the pipers during competitions.
Pipe band in the CanongateIt is in pipe bands that the bagpipes military roots can be seen most clearly; with drums and pipes being truly historic in their use on the battlefields, to provide direction or convey commands, to boost morale or to strike terror into the hearts of enemies. All battalions of the Highland Regiment still have pipers, and the practice has also been adopted by many other Regiments, not to mention civilian entities such as police forces, fire brigades or universities.

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As a solo instrument the Great Highland Bagpipes are also popular, from christenings to weddings, ceilidhs or funerals, even in modern times no Scottish life event is complete without a piper. Soloist pipers play an especially important part in traditional weddings, where they will often compere the event to keep things running smoothly (especially during the speeches!) as well as playing the bride down the aisle, providing accompaniment as the happy couple leave the church or registrars, and again when they enter the reception to be welcomed by their friends and family.

As Scotland continues to develop and grow into a strong 21st Century nation, the bagpipes continue to be a vital and vibrant part of its citizens lives; traditional soloists are everywhere, in our personal lives, working in partnership with Highland dancers, or even busking on the streets of our beautiful cities. Pipe bands bridge the traditional and the modern with innovative drumming and amazing displays of virtuoso technique. Even more encouraging, the pipes have been adopted by modern musicians in rock bands – or rather rock music has been adopted by pipers! With groups such as the Canadian Real MacKenzies, or Scotland’s own Red Hot Chilli Pipers blending electric guitars and punk vocals with the traditional sound of the bagpipes, it can truly be seen that this instrument goes from strength to strength and is one of Scotland’s best-loved and most defining features!

Everything you need to know about a Scottish Kilt

18/02/2013

Buy Kilts here.

Kilt

A kilt is an unbifurcated traditional garment of Scottish, and by extension Celtic, culture that exists in various modern forms and forms inspired by the historical garment, including:

    the modern form of the traditional Scottish garment (further defined below);
    the historical form of this same Scottish garment (see History of the kilt);
    the Irish kilt (see Irish kilt);
    the Welsh kilt, or cilt (see Welsh Kilt and St David's Tartan);
    the contemporary kilt, such as the Neo-Kilt™ or Utilikilt™ (see Contemporary kilts); and
    certain types of school uniform skirts for girls (see School uniforms)[1].

Traditionalists emphasize that the plural of "kilt" is "the kilt" rather than "kilts", though the latter term has been used alongside the former and continues to gain acceptance in modern English.

The modern traditional kilt is typically seen at modern-day Highland games gatherings in Scotland and elsewhere throughout the world. Historical forms of the Scottish kilt have differed in several particulars (some quite substantial) from the modern-day version. Specifically, the organizations which sanction and grade the competitions in Highland dancing and bagpiping all have rules governing acceptable attire for the competitors. These rules specify that kilts are to be worn (except that in the national dances, the female competitors will be wearing the Aboyne dress). The word kilt as used in this article refers to those garments as typically seen in such competitions.[2] [3]

Depending on the occasion, a kilt is normally worn with accessories such as a belt, jacket, sporran (a type of pouch), special footwear, and – optionally – underwear. These are discussed in the separate article kilt accessories.


General definition of a kilt

The kilt, as referenced above, is a tailored garment which is wrapped around the wearer's body at the waist, hanging down encircling and covering the upper part of the legs above the knees. The fabric is cut so that it is open along a line from the waist to the lower edge (the selvedge on a kilt) with the opening being secured by means of straps and buckles.

The two ends of the kilt fabric overlap considerably to form what are called aprons. These aprons are positioned in the front while the remaining length of the fabric (around the sides and in the back) is pleated.

In addition, the kilt exhibits certain peculiarites of design, construction, and convention which differentiate it from other garments fitting the above description.


Design and construction


Fabrics
Kilted reenactor

The typical kilt as seen at modern Highland games events is made of twill woven worsted wool which, in conjunction with its tartan pattern (see below), is commonly referred to as tartan. A twill weave is a type of weaving pattern in which each weft thread is passed over and then under two warp threads at a time. The result is a distinctive diagonal weave pattern in the fabric which is referred to as the twill line. In contrast, the Irish kilt traditionally was made from solid colour cloth, with saffron being the most widely used colour. [2]

Kilting fabric comes in different weights, from very heavy (regimental) worsted of approximately 21 oz. (per yard) weight down to a light weight worsted of about 10-11 oz. (per yard). The most common weights for kilts are 13 oz. and 16 oz. The heavier weights are more appropriate for cooler weather, while the lighter weights would tend to be selected for warmer weather or for active use, such as Highland dancing. Not all patterns (setts) are available in all weights.

For a kilt for a typical adult, about 6 to 8 yards of single width (about 26 to 30 inches) or about 3 to 4 yards of double width (about 54 to 60 inches) fabric would be required. The exact amount depends upon several factors, including the size of the sett, the number of pleats put into the garment, and, of course, the size of the person!


Setts (tartan patterns)

One of the most distinctive features of the authentic Scottish kilt is the tartan patterns (called setts) which such kilts exhibit. Many of these patterns have come to be associated with Scottish clans. The process by which this came about is the subject of the history of the kilt.

For purposes of description, it is first of all necessary to point out that these patterns, in addition to other characteristics, are always arranged horizontally and vertically, never set at a slant or diagonal. In addition, the setts are registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority which maintains a collection of fabric samples characterized by name and thread count.

The actual sett of a tartan is the minimum number of threads that completely determines the pattern. The pattern itself is then repeated in both the warp and the weft which, with very rare exceptions (mainly in the case of some very few old and rare tartan patterns) are identical. This identity of warp and weft means that the pattern will appear the same if the fabric is rotated through an angle of 90 degrees.

Setts are further characterized by their size which is the number of inches (or centimeters) in one full repeat. The size of a given sett depends not only on the number of threads in the repeat, but also on the weight of the fabric. This is so because the heavier is the fabric weight, the thicker the threads will be and thus the same number of threads of a heavier weight fabric will occupy more space when woven.

The setts are specified by their thread count, which is the sequence of colors and the proportions thereof. As an example, the Wallace tartan has a thread count given as K2 R16 K16 Y2 K16 R16 (K is black, R is red, and Y is yellow). This means that 2 units of black thread will be succeeded by 16 units of red, et cetera, in both the warp and the weft. (Typically, the "units" will be the actual number of threads, but so long as the proportions are maintained, the actual pattern will be the same.)

The colors referred to in the thread count are specified as in heraldry (though tartan patterns are not heraldic). The exact shade which is used is a matter of artistic freedom and will vary from one mill to another as well as from one dye lot to another within the same mill.


Measurements

The kilt is tailored to the individual proportions of the wearer. This means that in order to make a properly fitting kilt, certain of the kilt wearer's individual body measurements must be known to the kiltmaker. Most kiltmakers require at least three such measurements, and some want a fourth as well. The three measurements which all kiltmakers require are those of waist, hips, and length. A fourth - the fell, or the distance from waistline to the widest part of the hips - is sometimes also required.

Generally, kiltmakers will supply instructions and a diagram explaining how (and where) to take the required measurements and these should be followed precisely as otherwise the kilt will not fit properly. Again, most will recommend that another person do the actual measurement, especially for the length (the distance from the waistline to the top of the kneecap). Prospective kilt purchasers should follow the measurement instructions as detailed by the kiltmaker of their choice.[4]

Cooperation

Scottish shops

09/06/2014

If you own a shop that offers any kind of Scotland related items then you might be interested in our wholesale online shop: http://www.gold-bros.com/

Kilt Shops

18/02/2013

We are a manufacturer, supplier, wholesaler and retailer of all Scotland related items. We will be happy to start cooperation with Kilt shops in other countries. Contact us to receive access to our wholesale site and catalog. [email protected]