What predisposes someone to take up the history of tartan and Highland dress as a hobby is another of Life's great unknowns! It could be an inbuilt fascination by the past and the opportunity to research a relatively obscure part of Scotland's history and document the real story for future generations. On the other hand, it may be akin to stamp collecting for others - amassing a wealth of woven samples to fill the spaces in history's album.
Whatever the impetus, researchers of all persuasion have played an invaluable part in piecing together the very fragmented story of tartan from its earliest appearance three thousand years ago. There are still huge gaps in our records because of its diverse range of weavers (from lone croft to clattering mill), its turbulent and largely undocumented progress and the difficulty of separating fact from fiction. One ill-advised word or carelessly examined topic from an early researcher can send future generations down a blind alley that can take a century or more to peter out.
We hope we've documented all the towering researchersand authors of the distant past and included all those modern aficionados who are following in their footsteps - they're identified by their bracketed location (Scotland, USA, Canada etc.).
If you have an interest in getting involved in any area of research - not necessarily just of tartan and Highland dress - then please do let us know. We're very keen to investigate and document the path and the history of Scots who left these shores and settled in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, France, NWillie Scobie was born in Helensburgh. Several generations of his ancestors, on both sides of the family, worked in the textile industry (Paisley weaver, Paton's Mill, Clackmannan, United Turkey Red).