Hi all, Thought I would pass on some information received lately.
The Scottish Tartan Authority (http://www.tartansauthority.com/Web/Site/Tartan/Research/ClansOriginaux.asp) has managed to view the long lost, and infamous, Clans Originaux by J. Claude. The book turned out to be more of a swatch collection than a publication. The book is located at Pendleton Woolen Mills in Portland, Oregon. For years many have tried to see the book and finally the Scottish Tartan Authority was allowed. I'm sure they paid dearly to view the book. You will see at the website that only Scottish tartans were listed in the book. NO IRISH tartans were listed in the book. This disproves the theory that the Irish wore tartans by family.
The Irish traditionally wore only solid colors. Their kilts were various colors depending on their likes and what was available and the cost. I understand that saffron was more expensive than other colors. Any color can be worn be any Irish person and has nothing to do with family.
There were tartan plaids available but usually only the affluent could afford them as their cost was higher than solid colors. This also applies to the so called County tartans. They are also referred to as District tartans. The truth is that these County tartans are labeled as 'Trade' tartans and were designed by Polly Whittering who works for the House of Edgar, a Scottish Mill. These tartan designs were never approved by the individual Counties nor the Irish Government.
As it stands now I wear a saffron kilt at festivals here in California. Clan McMahon has shown an interest in blue kilts and Clan Reagan has an interest in red kilts. Whatever color you choose will be up to you and your clan. I have updated the Dalcassian website to reflect this information also. There is no wrong color!
Regards, Mike O Brien
Webmaster, The Dalcassian Clan