From the plaids of William Wallace to the fashion runways of Chanel, tartan and tweed are two of Scotland’s biggest exports, but how can you incorporate them into your Scottish corporate incentive trip?
Using tartan in your incentive
Tartan plaids (tartan cloth slung over the shoulder) were a key part of Scottish culture centuries ago, until a government act in 1746 tried to outlaw this along with other aspects of gaelic culture in an attempt to bring the warrior clans under government rule. It didn’t work for very long, and in 1782 the law was repealed and tartan was no longer ordinary highland dress, but instead became the symbol of our national dress. Clans and regions have their own tartans, historically based on the natural dyes available in their area.
kilted gala dinners and a beat retreat
The men of the group will be shown how to wear our traditional dress, with special focus on the kilt and sporran. This is usually enjoyed with a glass of fine whisky and camaraderie. Meanwhile, the ladies of the group enjoy some cocktails and champagne, where they are presented with tartan sashes and beautiful pins. At the end of the evening your incentive group could be treated to a spectacular performance by a traditional pipe band as they ' beat the retreat'.
Casual kilts or plaids for Highlands Games
Kilts can be worn casually too, and will bring an extra element of fun, plus a sense of occasion to Highland Clan Games. Clan leaders can also be given plaids to distinguish them as important chiefs.
Create your own tartan
Yes, you can create your own tartan! This is something for the most special and unique groups to do. We can help you create and register a bespoke tartan with the Scottish Register of Tartans, who manage and maintain the registry of all tartans, globally. Perfect for a special occasion and a lasting connection with Scotland!
Using tweed for your incentive group
Tweed on the other hand, has a less turbulent history than tartan. Originally called twill, this hand woven fabric was traditionally used for upper-class country clothing, like shooting jackets and so became associated with the middle class elite, including royalty like Queen Victoria.
Probably the most famous Scottish tweed is Harris Tweed. Handwoven by islanders in the Outer Hebrides it was used to protect families from the cold weather and exchanged as currency for things like rent and flour. It’s made from pure virgin wool, dyed and spun by hand. By the end of the 18th Century, tweed production was a staple export industry for island crofters, growing to a peak of 7.6 million yards in 1966. Harris Tweed became protected by law in 1993.
The gift of Harris Tweed
Tweed is a versatile fabric that's used functionally and decoratively for many products. You could commission tweed gifts as room drops for the group, for example tweed hip flasks, bags, phone covers, purses, wallets or note books.
Shooting and Scottish field sports
Taking part in traditional Scottish field sports like archery and clay-shooting are a real throw back to our history and the gentry who enjoy tweed so much. Or, for the more 'adventurous' group, go stalking and shooting on one of Scotland's most dramatic estates.