Chinese tartan yet to catch on among Scotland's kilt buyers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 11:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 11:40pm

The Chinese Scottish tartan is among thousands of varieties of the distinctive patterned cloth sold in Scotland.

It was inspired by the former Chinese consul general Madame Guo Guifang, and unveiled in April 2006 to strengthen links between the two countries.

Strathmore Woollen, a weaving firm in Forfar, Angus, designed the distinctive horizontal and vertical scheme in conjunction with the Scottish Tartans Authority.

It is one of 6,879 tartans on the Scottish Tartan Register.

The design incorporates blue and white from the Scottish Saltire and the red and yellow featured in the Chinese flag.

When it was launched, Angus provost Bill Middleton said the tartan symbolised the harmony between Chinese people and Scots everywhere.

China's link with tartan goes back 3,000 year - an explorer in Xinjiang found the burial place of a group of ancient Caucasian travellers wearing perfectly preserved tartan.

To date, though, the official pattern hasn't proved a huge hit on the high street.

Sean Proverbs, general manager at Hector Russell Kiltmakers in Edinburgh, said his store stocked the pattern, but it was not a great seller. "I have heard, though, that there has been a much bigger interest in it in Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland. I'm not sure why that is."