We use tartans within many of our designs and Ruth has designed two tartans which are exclusive to us. Each of these tartans have been recorded with the Scottish Register of Tartan.
A tartan reflecting the landscape and heritage of the Scottish Highlands
Taking as a starting point, a clan map of Scotland, Ruth identified clans whose traditional territory covered large parts of the Highlands. The design of this tartan takes inspiration from the tartans of the MacKays of the north, the Mackenzies in the west, the Campbells in the south, the Gordons in east and the Frasers in the centre of the Highlands. All of these tartans have a blue “window pane” feature though with different colours for the over-check. This feature has been incorporated into the tartan but with a white over-check to represent the Saltire of Scotland, the snow-capped mountains and the Jacobite rose.
The wide black check on the green represents the mountains and moors of the Highlands, and the purple is for the heather that brings rich colour to our moors. Looking back at our heritage, the red streaks with their black tramline borders represent the blood and scars from the Battle of Culloden of 1746 when so many brave Highlanders fought for their cause of restoring the Stuart monarchy but lost their lives in the process. We may have lost that battle, but in the Highlands of Scotland we have a rich heritage, lovely, welcoming residents and such spectacular landscape that we have plenty to celebrate.
A tartan of the Outer Hebrides from Barra to the Butt of Lewis
This tartan has been designed by Ruth as a tartan to celebrate the colours and peoples of the Outer Hebrides.
When the sun shines, the islands come alive with vibrant colours from the green moors cut through with black streaks of peat which the islanders use to warm their homes, through swathes of purple heather and wild thyme down to the coast where Atlantic waves crash on the shore with white foam atop the deep blue of the ocean. As summer fades to autumn, the moors turn to a warm russet.
All these colours are reflected in this tartan but the design also draws on the history of the people of the islands. In the past, their location on the main highway (the sea) meant they were visited by the Vikings and the Scots and there is a mix of clans and cultures. In the south of the chain, Barra was the stronghold of the clan MacNeil and many people have this surname. The blue square with its white overcheck represents the sea with its white wave crests but is also a component of the Macneil tartan. At the north end on the Isle of Lewis there are more people and more surnames. A common one of these is Morrison and the green and black section of the tartan, although chosen to represent the moors with their peat cuttings, also reflects the Morrison (Hunting) tartan.
Ruth's mother is of Macneil decent (hence the name of this business - see "Who We Are") and her father a Morrison. She works as a textile artist, mostly working with embroidery, felt making and tweed weaving. The tartan was designed to enable it to be woven on a traditional Hattersley Domestic loom which is the kind of loom used for weaving single width Harris Tweed, the world famous hand-woven tweed which can only be made in the Outer Hebrides.