Heraldic Wreaths

Heraldic wreaths, as part of a coat of arms, can be used in planning a Scottish theme wedding ~ for wedding dresses, decorations, and invitations.

Also called a Torse, in heraldry a wreath represents one made of two silk cords. One is colored like the main metal and one like the main tincture [color] in the arms. Usually they are twisted together to reveal three twists of each color. Straight wreaths were usually shown, but they could appear circular as well.

Here’s an example of a diapered wreath from the 1914 edition of The Handbook to English Heraldry, by Charles Butell. This book is reproduced at Gutenberg Press, where it may be viewed in its entirety.

Image courtesy Charles Boutell

The fretty (overlapping diagonal lines) is decorated with rosettes and dots. Fretty symbolizes persuasion, while rosettes represent hope, joy, grace and beauty. If the rosettes were colored, the color also had significance.

These three examples of wreaths are each wrapped differently. The first has one cord of each color, wrapped twice in a row, yielding a design that appears to be one color divided in two. The second example is a simple wreath. The third illustration shows a double cord of each color, wrapped together loosely to form an open-braid wreath.

Image courtesy Charles Boutell

Any style of braiding, knotwork, or macrame could be used to form a wreath for your Scottish wedding theme.
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