How to attach a tartan sash

Updated February 21, 2017

Tartan is a type of plaid that is a centuries-old national symbol of Scottish dress. There are now numerous shades and patterns of tartan; in the past, only a few existed. A tartan sash is a piece of traditional Scottish clothing and accessory worn solely by women on special occasions. Tthere are four accepted ways to wear the sash, all approved by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, who is responsible for state ceremonial in Scotland.

Drape the scarf over your right shoulder so that the exact middle of the scarf is at the top of your shoulder. Run the scarf across your chest diagonally and gather both ends at your left hip. Pull both ends up diagonally behind your back and secure at your right shoulder, pinning the ends of the scarf in place with a brooch. This syle is most often worn by Scottish clanswomen. Repeat this process starting on the left shoulder for chieftainesses and heads of companies.

Place a slightly longer scarf on your right shoulder and pull it diagonally across your chest to your left hip. There, tie it in place making a large bow and fasten the bow to your clothing with a brooch or pin. This style is meant for women married out of their clans but who still wish to use their original clan tartan.

Fold the scarf in half and attach it with a brooch to the back of the right shoulder. Wrap a belt around your waist, enveloping one end of the sash behind you and buckle it in the front. The other end of the sash can float behind you. This style is suitable for women who wish to keep the front of the dress clear of the sash.

Things You'll Need

  • Tartan sash
  • Brooch
  • Belt
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."