In my council, the Wood Badge Scoutmasters have a small table that they use during the course to display a small course log and ax and plush Wood Badge critters. This table and display is then taken to all the course beadings ceremonies. Another important item in that display is the table cloth. Years ago a bolt of MacLaren tartan fabric was purchased and each Scoutmaster was able to take enough to make their table cloth. There was enough fabric to cover many tables. Unfortunately, the fabric has run out, leaving Scoutmasters to come up with other options.
As Scoutmaster for the 2019 course in the Greater Alabama Council, I wanted to find the MacLaren tartan pattern for my own table cloth. During my search, I found that traditional U.S. fabric stores seemed to be no help. While they had a lot of plaid fabric, I never could find the correct MacLaren tartan pattern. Their patterns seemed to be generic enough for a wider audience, not the specific pattern that I wanted.
There are plenty of online stores to purchase tartan fabric from in the United Kingdom. They have many fabric options and due to the exchange rate and quality of woven fabric, the price was more than I wanted to spend. Especially for a table cloth. I had just about given up when I discovered print on demand.
All the products at Critter-Life.com are print on demand items. Instead of spending a lot of money stocking a warehouse full of shirts and mugs, each one of my products is printed and shipped directly to my customer. My printer uses a machine that is not much different than the inkjet printer you may have at home. It’s just more sophisticated with inks designed for specific tasks such as printing shirts and fabric by the yard.
I found the MacLaren pattern I was looking for at Spoonflower.com. Spoonflower lets designers print their own designs on fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap paper. The designers can also offer their designs for sale in the Spoonflower store. And that is where I found my pattern by Weaving Major. I ordered two yards on a cotton poplin ultra fabric at $20 a yard plus shipping. I was very pleased with the quality of the printing and the fabric. So much so that I may offer my own designs in the Spoonflower store in the future. Spoonflower is not the only place to get print on demand fabric by the yard. A quick search found options at Zazzle.com and RipStopByTheRoll.com.
If you are looking for a digital MacLaren pattern for your website or for your courses Gilwell Gazette, then I recommend you purchase either the MFC MyTartanPlaid Photoshop smart layer kit to make your own or a high-resolution jpeg file by Cornucopia Designs on Etsy which is pretty close to the Wood Badge training neckerchief.
So there you have it, an option to purchase MacLaren fabric, wallpaper and gift wrapping at Spoonflower.com and a couple of options to purchase the pattern digitally. When you are looking for Wood Badge critter gifts, you can find original shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, iPhone covers and other items here in the critter-life.com store.
Other Tartan Fabric from Scotland: