Tar­tan talk: Pro­tect the Scot­tish brand

Cam­paign launched

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Mem­bers of the In­ner Wheel Club of Ruther­glen got to grips with their Scot­tish her­itage last month as they learned about a cam­paign to pro­tect the fu­ture of tar­tan.

Ken McDon­ald, of Hous­ton Kilt Mak­ers in Pais­ley and vice chair­man of the Tar­tan As­so­ci­a­tion, at­tended the May meet­ing of the group to share his knowl­edge of the 1,400 tar­tans reg­is­tered with the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Pas­sion­ate about Scot­land’s na­tional dress, Ken told the group about a cam­paign to in­tro­duce the “Tar­tan Mark”, which would see an of­fi­cial icon on cloth­ing to high­light au­then­tic tar­tans made in the UK.

Ex­plain­ing 65 UK tar­tan weavers have been lost in re­cent years due to the mass num­ber of im­ported tar­tans from across the globe, Ken said it had been sug­gested a trade mark, such as that used by Har­ris Tweed, could be adopted to high­light au­then­tic cloth­ing.

Ken in­formed the group that more tar­tan was pro­duced in Italy than Scot­land, stat­ing the High­land weavers were par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to fash­ion trends and to for­eign im­ports.

The cam­paign has al­ready won the sup­port of sev­eral MPs and H. R. H Prince Charles, who is very keen to pro­tect tar­tan and its fu­ture.

Lon­don weavers are be­ing asked to work to pro­mote the cam­paign in Eng­land and Wales, seek­ing sup­port for those weavers who pro­duce tar­tans there, while Euro­pean pro­tec­tion for generic prod­ucts is also be­ing sought.

Ken was thanked for his very in­ter­est­ing and eye-open­ing talk, with the ladies com­ment­ing that although they all thought they had known some­thing about tar­tan, they now re­alised just how lit­tle they knew or un­der­stood.

Ex­pert Ken McDon­ald of the Tar­tan As­so­ci­a­tion with the In­ner Wheel Club’s Jan Dob­son

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