Cladich kilt garter flashes and their journey to the 21st Century

Cladich kilt garter flashes and their journey to the 21st Century

Cladich kilt garter flashes and their journey to the 21st Century  - There had been a community of McIntyres living at Cladich on Loch Awe and weaving the distinctive garter flashes. The garters were woven on a special hand loom called a gartane leem.  This was used for weaving narrow strips of fabric mainly in red and white and much admired by pipers who often won them as prizes.The original Cladich garters were about a metre long and ended in a special knot called the Sniomh Gartain ( pronounced: snaime garshtan ) - The McIntyres wove the garters at Cladich for several hundred years, but the last weaver died in the 19th century. Today the village of Cladich on Loch Awe has all but disappeared and is now just a series of small farms and crofts on the eastern bank of the loch.

In the 1950's John McIntyre revived the tradition to weave Cladich garter flashes. John McIntyre wove his Cladich garters on the Inkle Loom he had specially made to the old original specifications. Behind him you can see his wifes large loom on which she wove superb tweed. John McIntyre did a lot of research to ensure the loom and the wool confirmed as exactly as possible to the originals. He would tell of the old Highland Gaelic saying which went (in English) “No Highland chief is worthy of the name whose garters are not from the McIntyres of Cladich.”  During his time weaving on Loch Awe he gifted a set of his Cladich garters to Queen Elizabeth II that should be still in the royal collection.  A few of his garters still exist today and we are very thankful to his son Archie McIntyre still wears a set of his father hand woven Cladich garters, as Gentleman Piper to the Chief of Macdonald of Clanranald and to the High Council of Clan Donald Chiefs.

In the mid 19th century Queen Victoria's ghillie John Brown and other members of staff wore a pairs of fine top pleated Cladich garters as did her piper William Ross. The regimental pipers of the Scots Guards started to wear a similar pattern flash that was attached to a garter and The Seaforth Highlanders the green version.

This tradition continues today with the Scots Guards pipers wearing a traditional red version and The Highlanders ( 4 Scots ) pipers wearing a green version.

Kilt garter flashes available in the shop - follow the link

With tanks to Archie McIntyre for the extra photos and information on his father's work weaving garters on Loch Awe.

 

Cladich kilt garter flashes and their journey to the 21st Century
Cladich garter weaving Loch Awe
John McIntyre the last Claddich garter weaver on Loch Awe circa 1953-54
John McIntyre the last Claddich garter weaver on Loch Awe cirac 1953-54
John McIntyre's hand woven Cladich garter tape woven on Loch Awe circa 1953-54
John McIntyre Cladich garter weaver and his wife
John McIntyre Cladich garter weaver and his wife Elspeth ( nee Drummond, who was also a fine tweed weaver ) in later life in Barcaldine on Loch Creran
great great grandfather who came from Cladich.
Weaver John McIntyre's great grandfather who also John McIntyre from Cladich.

Scots Guards Regimental Pattern Pipers Garter Flashes

Scots Guards Regimental Pattern Pipers Garter Flashes – Hand crafted in regimental pattern worsted tape as worn by pipers of the Scots Guards since the 19th Century.

The Scots Guards (SG), part of the Guards Division, is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. Their origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland. Its lineage can be traced back to 1642, although it was only placed on the English Establishment (thus becoming part of what is now the British Army) in 1686. The Regiment is the oldest formed Regiment in the Regular Army in service today.

The pipes of the Scots Guards are fully trained soldiers and in addition to their piping duties they provide a wide range of front line military duties.

Kilt garter flashes available in the shop - follow the link

Scots Guards Regimental Pattern Pipers Garter Flashes
Scots Guards kilt garter flashes

The Highlanders Regimental Pattern Pipers Garter Flashes

Green  - Seaforth Highlanders - The Queens Own Highlanders – The Highlanders Regimental Pattern Pipers Garter Flashes – Hand crafted in regimental pattern worsted tape as worn by pipers of the The Highlanders – 4 Scots. Supplied with adjustable elastic garters

Sold as a pair. We have pairs in stock – Larger pipe band orders are hand made to order. Approx 7-10 days

The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Prior to 28 March 2006, the Highlanders was an infantry regiment in its own right; The Highlanders ( Seaforth Highlanders , Gordon Highlanders and Cameron Highlanders ), part of the Scottish Division. The regiment was one of only two in the British Army with a Gaelic motto – Cuidich ‘n Righ which means “Help the King”.

Kilt garter flashes available in the shop - follow the link

Highlanders Green Regimental Pattern Pipers Garter Flashes
Highlanders kilt garter flashes
Archie McIntyre Gentleman Piper to the Chief of Macdonald (headed by the Clan Donald Herald) head onto the field at Holyrood. Wearing his father's original hand woven Cladich garters.
Archie McIntyre Gentleman Piper to the Chief of Macdonald (headed by the Clan Donald Herald) piping onto the field at Holyrood. Wearing his father's original hand woven Cladich garters.

6 Responses

  1. Richard Everill
    | Reply

    The motto was the Seaforth Highlanders, carried through to the Queens Own Highlanders ( Seaforth & Cameron) and continued after amalgamation with the Gordon’s as The Highlanders (Seaforth Gordon & Cameron). That’s three Regiments if you are classing them as separate Regiments. In essence it is the motto of the Seaforth Highlanders. The garter flashes worn by the Pipers are Seaforth Highlanders worn throughout the amalgamations to this day by Pipers of 4SCOTS. Incidentally, what price are they please.
    PS Find your Facebook page informative and interesting, thank you.

    • House of Labhran
      | Reply

      That is true, but we have to limit the information we use in blog posts. If we add all the regimental history it could risk becoming too long a post as the subject was really about how the garters use developed over the years from the weavers of Cladich. The prices are shown in the online shop. You can click on the photos to take you to the shop pages.

  2. Valerie
    | Reply

    Our ancestor Archibald McIntyre is associated with the Cladich garter.Dies after 1841 census.

    • House of Labhran
      | Reply

      Excellent detail. It would be wonderful if he could have left us details of his work.

  3. Archie McIntyre
    | Reply

    My father was the John McIntyre to whom you refer as reviving Cladich Garter weaving on Loch Awe (I am now 78). A pair were presented to HM Queen Elizabeth II.

    I have photos of his original garters (which I wear to this day with the kilt); and a black & white photo of him working on his Inkle Loom (which he had specially made for him to the old specifications) weaving garters, dated 1953 or 1954.

    I have not been able to copy them to this comment section unfortunately, but if you are interested, email me and I will send them to you.

    • House of Labhran
      | Reply

      Thank you for the message. If you have some photos and any information we would love to see them and share them on the blog post. That would be wonderful! It would be keeping his work and memory alive. Please email us at houseoflabhran@gmail.com

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