How We Created the Fabulous Spey Tartan

How We Created the Fabulous Spey Tartan

This wintry season, we at Spey are staying particularly warm and cozy. That’s because for the first time, we have expanded beyond our collection of fine pearl jewelry and are proud to introduce a range of “little luxuries” – heirloom quality pieces handcrafted with signature Spey tailoring and style. Just in time to be wrapped and nestled under the tree, Spey presents a classic silk scarf (pictured) and traditional wool shepherd’s plaid hand-woven in the bespoke Spey tartan.

What is tartan?

We’re so very glad you asked. A tartan is a plaid chiefly associated with the clans of Scotland – each having a distinct design representing their family or lands. A true tartan is a pattern of criss-crossed, repeating horizontal and vertical bands. This creates blocks known as a sett. Individual colors, sett sizes and designs identify one clan from another. Ever seen a kilt? You’ll have some concept of the tartan in action.

To create the Spey tartan, we turned to the last remaining dedicated handcrafted tartan mill, deep in the Scottish borderlands: DC Dalgliesh. Though connected only in name to our beloved Washington, DC (and in fact named after their founder, Dixon Colton Dalgliesh) the company is indisputably the world’s finest at their craft. And those who know Spey know that we take craftsmanship very seriously. So we set to work.

The Spey Tartan

Our bespoke tartan is described in this way by the Scottish Register of Tartans, with whom we and all tartan owners record their unique designs:

A tartan for the Spey fine pearl company based in Washington, DC which takes its name from the Scottish river. Spey works to preserve and protect the threatened habitats of native pearl mussels throughout Scotland, particularly within the River Spey. These mussels, now one of the most critically endangered mollusks in the world, are key indicators of water purity and river health. The design takes its inspiration from the traditional estate checks from the Speyside region.

How delightful that description rings. Together with the talented Ms. Fiona Whitson, Spey produced a sumptuous check in our signature color mélange of midnight, scarlet, grey, sky and pearl. These colors, woven together in the Spey tartan, represent the interconnectedness of our company and our mission. Spey creates fabulous goods for the woman of distinction, and lends a helping hand where we see a need. It is our pledged duty and our pride to be a champion of the River Spey.

So this holiday, if you’re looking to give a gift that also gives back, consider an expression of the Spey tartan in silk or wool. Cheers to a perfectly lustrous holiday!