Stirling Tartan

History of Stirling's tartan

Stirling tartanA new Stirling Tartan was commissioned to celebrate and mark the Millenium.  The design brief  called for something reflecting the area's historic links with tartan production as well as Stirling's contemporary identity. The finished product needed to incorporate the Council's colours -a deep bottle green and a warm purple

The creation of the new pattern was the ideal opportunity for some research into the important part that Stirling and area played in Scottish tartans, and in particular the major part played by  the famous weaving firm of William Wilson and Sons of Bannockburn.

Wilson and his offspring were the first industrial producers of tartan and the earliest known recorders of tartan manufacturing. The Wilsons "Key Pattern Book" of 1819 documents weaving instructions for more than 200 tartan produced at their Bannockburn dye works and weaving sheds. This meticulously kept record was an excellent starting point for developing a contemporary pattern.

Plants and Flowers

To create the contemporary Stirling tartan designer Stewart Russell set about photographing indigenous plants and flowers in the Stirling area.  Inspiration came from plants at the foot of the Wallace Monument including thistles, fox gloves, wild nettles and heather.

The photos were then scanned into a computer and digitalised to create patterns and individual colour palettes. This visual information was then applied to a computer programme written specifically for designing tartan.

Two sets of images were produced - some symmetrical and some asymmetrical. The asymmetrical patterns were based on original designs found in the Wilson's "Key Pattern Book" of 1819.