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Stewart Tartan KiltsANTA Stewart collection is based on the asymmetrical Stewart sett. Ballone, which is the home of the ANTA Stewart family, Belle, Stella, Archie, Donina and Lachie Stewart, named after the family, are all re-colourings of traditional Stewart tartan.  Historically it was always the sett of tartans that remained the same in district tartans and the colour came from vegetable dyes, therefore changed over time and throughout Scotland.  It wasn't until Wilson’s of Bannockburn, a weaver in Stirling in the 18th century, mechanised weaving tartan for the military to distinguish rank and regiment and used chemical dyes to colour tartan when they became brighter and consistent for mass production.

After the fleeing of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746 after his defeat at Culloden with the Jacobites, tartan was banned from the Highlands. It therefore became associated with the rebellious - this was then revived in the 1970s with Punk. Stewart became particularly popular with the rise of the Punk era. Vivienne Westwood and other British designers began to use the tartan on the catwalk and soon it was seen on the streets in London.  Rockstar Rod Stewart is still often seen in bright Royal Stewart tartan, usually in the form of a three piece suit, open shirt or tight trousers.

Today the dress Stewart tartan is the most recognised around the world. The bright red Stewart is usually found on shortbread tins, mini kilts and blankets in souvenir shops. However it is also known as Royal Stewart as it is the official tartan of Queen Elizabeth II.  She wears it socially in Scotland and wears the Hunting version, a toned down colouring, when stalking or shooting in Deeside. You will see pipe bands and school children all over the world wearing Stewart tartan, but perhaps more famously on the top of Jackie Stewart’s racing helmet…

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