The Clan tartan is MacThomas. It is quite distinct and not to be confused with MacTavish, Thomson or Mackintosh tartans - whatever some shopkeepers may say to the contrary.

the clan tartan

The MacThomas tartan is recorded in the official Scottish Register of Tartans - link

MacThomas Tartan is composed of blue and green divided by narrower bands of black; two adjacent lines of magenta cross over the blue squares and two lines of lilac over the green.

The tartan is produced commercially in two versions - Ancient (19th century) and Modern (20th century). These respectively reproduce the softer shades anciently achieved by the use of the old vegetable dyes and the darker colours made possible by the introduction of chemical dyes.

The two versions are illustrated below and further technical information appears at the foot of this page.

The ancient tartan

The ancient tartan

The modern tartan

The modern tartan

Tartan Specification:

Ancient MacThomas tartan is recorded as follows with the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh:

5 green [pivot], 6 lilac, 64 green, 32 black, 64 blue, 6 magenta, 10 blue, 6 magenta, 64 blue, 32 black, 64 green, 6 lilac, 5 green [pivot].

The thread count rolls over itself at the middle of the small green section between the lilac stripes.

The thread count for the Modern version is identical to that for the Ancient but the colours are darker. The above count is that for the principal use of the tartan fabrics such as kilts or skirts. It can be reduced for smaller items like ties.

When buying MacThomas tartan it is important to ensure that the size of the double over-check is the correct size for the item being purchased. Also that the magenta and lilac colours are correct and clearly different.

The Scottish Register of Tartans records details of all Scottish Tartans. Please click here to visit their website.

The MacThomas Tartan is now registered there as follows:

Threadcount: B10 M6 B64 K32 G64 LP6 G10
Pallet: K=101010 BLACK; M=A00048 MAGENTA; G=003820 GREEN;

the crest badge

The Crest Badge, as illustrated below, consists of the Chief's crest within a buckled strap bearing his motto: 'Deo Juvante Invidiam Superabo' (Latin - "With God's help I will overcome envy"). This crest must not be used without the strap and buckle since it is personal to the chief as are his arms. There is no such thing as 'Clan Arms'.

The crest badge

The crest badge


The badge is normally worn as a bonnet badge or as a brooch for fastening ladies' tartan sashes.

The plant badge of the Clan is Snowberry. 

In common with the rest of the Clan Chattan confederation, clansmen may also wear Red Whortleberry.