I have still to discover the history of the Dowling Tartan. It could have been developed by a Dowling whose ancestors moved to Scotland. Nevertheless, here it is.

The shades may vary according to the weaver but the threads of the Dowling tartan are coloured as follows:


Colour Number of Threads Colour Used
White 6  
Tan (brown) 8  
Black 6  
Tan (brown) 16  
Green 28  
(note that book has a misprint and  accidentally omitted this colour but showed the number of threads)
White 6  
Black 6  
White 6  
Black 16  
Yellow 10  
Blue 40  
White 6 Overlapped with top row

Here, with apologies to tartan makers everywhere, is the electronic development of the tartan.

1 - Horizonal Sett 2 - Vertical Sett 3 - Completed Sett 4 - Pivoted Setts
tartan Dowling sett horiz layer tartan Dowling sett vert layer tartan Dowling Single Sett pre tile tartan Dowling pivoted Sett tile
check against the
numbers above
 Do the same again vertically This square is what
they call a 'sett' 
The completed sett (3)  is mirrored or pivoted 4 times


if you fill a space with the pivoted graphic it acts as a seamless tile!

You can also see how tartans can be different from one another by only one thread!

Of course, it looks better when you make a lot of it with proper wool!  Click on it to enlarge.

tartan Dowling small


"The source is a book called  "Tartans - Abbotsford to Fraser" by William H Johnston and Philip D Smith Jr.

This is a Schiffer Design Book published in 1999 by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA. 19310. USA (ISBN: 0-7643-0961-7)."

(My copy was purchased as Bushwood Books, 6 Marksbury Avenue, Kew Gardens, Surrey TW9 4JF

The book is subject to copyright clear so I cannot produce a scan of the tartan as displayed. I may have some made up in the years to come depending on the price.


Laois Leinster Offaly
tartan laoisl tartan leinster tartan offaly