Scottish Items NOT Made in China
My surname is Brady, a documented lineage from Ireland (MacBrady). My wife’s is Robertson, which comes to her through a number of Northern European countries such as Norway, Great Britain and of course, Scotland. We have always enjoyed taking our girls to various festivals that celebrate our heritage, whether the Iowa Irish Fest held in Waterloo, Iowa every year, or our local Celtic Festival and Highland Games which not only has vendors, food and beer, but actual competitions in the style of the old Celtic games. If you’ve never seen a live caber toss (log throw for us ‘mericans), then you’re missing out.
There are also great events for the kids, including one of their favorites, an actual sword-and-shield battle-royale! Using foam padded weapons, kids of all ages battle to the ‘death’ by chopping off limbs until their opponent is vulnerable for a “death-blow”. Get hit in one leg and you have to hop around. Both legs and you’re immobile. Lose an arm and now choose between your shield or your sword. Of course the game is played on the honor system, but cheaters quickly learn what it is like to be rushed by an entire medieval army! And you thought video games were violent!
Among the great food booths are clan displays with people on staff to tell you about the surname’s heritage, including the regions they were known to inhabit and any royalty known to come from that clan. Our local festival is very heavy on the Scottish side, so we tend to focus on my wife’s family (Robertson) and introduce our local family to their heritage as well (photo above is our niece).
But if I have one complaint about the event, it has to be about the souvenir vendors. On more than one occasion I found a trinket I would have liked to purchase as a keepsake, only to turn it over and see those dreaded three words, “Made in China”. Why in the world would I want to buy a Scottish souvenir that was made in a country on the other side of the globe? I ended up leaving without making a purchase, vowing to find something online.
In a moment of serendipity, I was introduced to an online retailer that was not only based in Scotland, they also only offered authentic Scotland-made products. Not just trinkets and souvenirs, but everyday clothing and full-on kilt outfits! I spent hours pouring over the offerings from Heritage of Scotland before finally making a purchase of some things that I knew I couldn’t find here in the U.S.
I probably went a little overboard, but since I was shipping it in from another country I wanted to make sure I only had one order to keep the shipping costs reasonable. Take a look at some of the amazing things I ordered:
First I chose something simple, in this case a Robertson bookmark and book. The book recounts the stirring history of our clan from its beginnings in the mists of medieval Caledonian history down to the present time. The bookmark? Well duh, it saves our place in the book!
We also opted for a Tea Towel that we’ll give as a gift. Made from 100% cotton, it not only has the clan name on it, it also has the crest and a wee bit of history.
But what we were most excited about was the tartan-specific scarves and Scottish throw. Heritage of Scotland has a vast library of tartans for every surname, some modern, some ancient. In our case, the red scarf is called “Robertson Red Modern” while the green one mimics the “Robertson Hunting” tartan.
The throw is an amazing product, made of 100% lambswool and is also available in specific tartans. I’m looking forward to letting it keep me warm this winter as I dream of lovely lassies in kilts! I can guarantee there aren’t throws this nice coming out of China!
So as you start making your shopping list this year for the holiday season, if you have a particularly difficult person to buy for that has a wee bit of Scottish heritage in them, definitely consider the line of products offered by Heritage of Scotland. Watch their Facebook page for announcement of regular sales – they usually offer a pretty hefty discount!
And speaking of discounts, to encourage early ordering and planning for the holiday rush, Heritage of Scotland is offering a 11% discount on everything in their catalog by using the exclusive code sahm11discountto30092014! Their inventory changes often with popular items selling out very fast, and do allow a bit of extra time since every order is coming from overseas. I know I’ll be saving up for a kilt of my own to wear to the festival next year. And since I don’t see undergarments offered for sale there, I guess that answers the question as to what the Scots wear under their kilts!
39 thoughts on “Scottish Items NOT Made in China”
I am part Scottish. My dad’s mom was from Scotland and I would love to get over there to visit one day.
I love events like this one that help to teach kids about their heritage and traditional customs. It’s a great event to experience with the whole family.
Oh what fun. What a great way to teach kids. This is something the kids can always remember. Making memories is so important.
That sounds like a really fun festival! Too bad I think that a majority of souvenirs like that are made in China. So glad you found some actual Scottish ones though!
I am part Irish. .. not the same but some similarities.
Interesting, never knew scottish items were ever made in China lol I would love to visit that beautiful place one day.
This looks like such a fun time and what a learning experience for the kids! 🙂
I am 0 parts Scottish, but that battle to the “death” looks like fun. Are adults allowed to participate? 😉
I’m part Scottish as well, and this looks fabulous! I wish we had an event like that local to me. I also love the real Scottish items you purchased! I’m going to have to check out the website. Thanks!
This looks like so much fun! We’ve been to Ireland a few times and loved it, but am really eager to go to Scotland!
My mom’s dad is from Scotland I have the red hair and stubbornness to prove it
Well I hope they went down with a good fight and hope they were not completely taken out in that battle! That sounds like it would be so much fun to attend.
I’ve never seen log throwing, I bet it is an event though. 🙂 I have been to a couple of cities in Scotland, and we made sure our souvenirs were authentic before purchasing them to bring home. I love that you’re considering a kilt for the next event. Your girls will probably get a huge kick out of it. 🙂
This would be amazing! I am part Scottish as well. My Mom’s maiden name is Baird. What fun!
You really got some great stuff. It’s beautiful! Reading your post is making me want to look up my heritage. It would be awesome to see what I can learn about my family.
I love cultural events like this! Those weapons are so cool!
I do too. They are so much fun!
This would be soooo much fun! One day maybe we will come across a Celtic Festival around here or near enough to day trip to.
Looks like a great time with the family. That’s too bad that you had buy trinkets online instead of where you were at. Looks like you bought some very nice stuff online though.
Guess kids would have enjoyed and learned so much
I LOVE the Highland Games and rarely miss them, and I totally agree, this is a great way to teach the kiddos. My kids loved them and now my grandbabies too! We are direct descendants of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth – our royal genes run deep. 🙂
Interesting – I’ve never heard of Heritage of Scotland! I do love their Pewter Candlestick holder though. Gorgeous!
How fun is this?!?! I love it! And the pics!
Those scarves look like they would be perfect for winter! I like the battle royale – looks like fun!
What a fun event! I think you’re doing a wonderful thing, researching the family roots and participating in these cultural events! My folks are all from the same area of the world–Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, and Sweden–we’re probably distantly related!
I could have played with the other! I love the Scotland culture 😉 Beautiful post!
What a wonderful event! I really love learning about my surname’s heritage, too!
Scottish culture is very authentic and the products are quite awesome compared to something made in China. After all, what would you expect? Haha 🙂
I’ve been to several of those events. Probably, if you wanted to buy something not made in china, you’d pay quite a bit more. Not that that is the point.
Great article. It’s hard to find things that arent made in China these days.
Awesome review Scott 🙂 Thank you for the information on the heritage of Scotland 🙂
I love the old traditions. Reading about them interests me too. History has so much to teach us. I’m glad your girls enjoyed the day. As for Made in China–that’s mad.
My family doesn’t have Scottish heritage, but I know we would all really enjoy the festivities. It’s so fun to see how other cultures celebrate, but checking out what they eat is always my favorite!
Love the colors in that throw. So pretty!
How fun! My sister went to Macalester College and they always used to have a Scottish celebration every spring. They had the games of strength, sheep herding, bagpipes and all kinds of fun stuff. I loved it!
That looks like so much fun! My kids would love this
Although my last name is German, I am from the Robertson line also! My kilt is of the hunting variety; I got it in Edinburgh at the Fringe Festival many year ago. I love being Scottish!