Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Center in Inverness is not just a destination but an experience that takes you through the rich tapestry of Scotland's Highland heritage. It's an intriguing window into the nation's soul, where the vibrancy of tartan meets the history of clans, showcased in a manner unparalleled in quality, diversity, and education. Here's what makes it the best place in Scotland to understand Scottish wool, cloth, national dress, tartans, and clans.
The centre delves into the history of the Highland dress and the regulations that once surrounded it. An act dated 1747, for instance, proscribed the wearing of Highland clothes in Scotland, affecting garments like the plaid, philabeg (little kilt), trowse, and shoulder belts. It was a move that attempted to suppress the traditional Highland garb, making it illegal for anyone other than officers and soldiers in His Majesty's Forces to wear them. Offenders risked transportation to distant plantations for seven years.
This prohibition lasted until 1782, when the act was repealed, allowing the unrestricted use of traditional attire. The joy and celebration that followed in the north were profound, symbolising the reinstatement of national pride and identity.
The centre showcases the medal dated 1746, a significant artefact in the collection of the Museum of Scottish Tartans. It was struck to commemorate the victory of the Duke of Cumberland over the Highland army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Culloden. This battle marked a turning point, and the peace ensued is beautifully represented in the faithfully reproduced drinking cruse known as "Tappit Hen." It symbolised man's everyday needs and was used by both Highlanders and Lowlanders alike.
But the visitor centre is more than a historical archive. It is pleased to offer an immersive experience commemorating and celebrating the 200th anniversary of the last battle on British soil. From intricately designed tartans representing various clans to authentic reproductions of traditional attire, the centre is a living repository of Scotland's cultural heritage.
What sets the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Center apart is its unparalleled quality, diversity, and educational value. It is undoubtedly the best place in Scotland to delve into Scottish wool, cloth, and national dress. Whether you are drawn to the aesthetic appeal of tartans or the intricate history of clans, the centre provides a comprehensive and engaging exploration.
With expert guides and meticulously curated exhibits, it celebrates everything that makes Scotland unique. A visit to this centre is not just a journey through time but an opportunity to touch, feel, and understand the very fabric of Scottish identity. The connection to the Highland dress, the understanding of the tartans, and the tales of clans await, ready to be explored and cherished.