Hodden or wadmel is a coarse kind of cloth made of undyed wool, formerly much worn by the peasantry of Scotland. It was usually made on small hand-looms by the peasants themselves. Grey hodden was made by mixing black and white fleeces together in the proportion of one to twelve when weaving. The origin of the word is unknown.
In his poem "A Man's a Man for a' That", Robert Burns wrote
- What though on hamely fare we dine,
- Wear hodden grey, an' a that;
- Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
- A Man's a Man for a' that."
Hodden Grey is the name given to the tartan worn by members of the London Scottish Regiment, and the Toronto Scottish Regiment (Canada). It was chosen both to avoid inter-clan rivalry and also because, as Lord Elcho said, "A soldier is a man hunter. As a deer stalker chooses the least visible of colours, so ought a soldier to be clad."
'Hodden Grey' is a registered Trade mark owned by The London Scottish Regimental Trust.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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