Objects | Art/Craft/Design


Northumbrian Plaid, about 1950

Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, Northumberland

Decorative Art and Design

1946 To Today

This style of tartan is one of the oldest in existence.

Sometimes known as Shepherd’s plaid, Northumbrian tartan or Border Drab, it is much plainer in design than Scottish tartan.

The modern Northumbrian plaid is a black and white check. Older examples are made from sheep’s wool coloured with simple vegetable dyes, resulting in a softly coloured fabric which would have blended in with the northern landscape.

The plaid is worn as a uniform for the Piper to the Duke of Northumberland, a position which dates back to the mid-18th century. The present Ducal Piper is Richard Butler, whose main duty is to play at the Shrove Tuesday football match in Alnwick.

On display at Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum

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