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SNP chiefs in West Lothian are going into the tartan trade – by producing an official council kilt.

The first ever West Lothian Council tartan – in the local authority's corporate colours of coral and green – is now available.

The design was originally commissioned by the SNP-led council's cultural services department to be used in the uniform of a new West Lothian Schools Pipe Band.

However, council leaders liked it so much they had it registered with the Scottish Tartan Authority and adopted the "Spirit of West Lothian" as their own official tartan.

There are even plans to incorporate it into frontline staff uniforms, but no formal decision has yet been taken.

Council leader Peter Johnston said: "

Tartan is an evocatively Scottish symbol and there is obviously a wider opportunity to use The Spirit of West Lothian tartan as a distinctive trademark."

The Spirit of West Lothian tartan was first worn by the pipe band almost a year ago. It was designed by Robert Mathieson at the Kilt Centre in Hamilton, and woven by House of Edgar.

The tartan will feature at Homecoming Scotland 2009, which takes place next year and celebrates the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth with a year-long programme of events across the country.

The tartan is available in the form of kilts, tartan trousers, waistcoats, ladies skirts, plaids and even upholstery at Kilts by Lindsay, which is based in Deanswood Park, Deans, Livingston.

Owner Lindsay Cross, who has been in the kiltmaking business for five years, said: "I've ordered a full bale from Lochcarron – I've put my money where my mouth is.

"It's quite a nice tartan actually. The colours make it a very striking tartan that will be ideal for all types of events."

A group of youngsters were in Texas this week sporting the Spirit of West Lothian kilts as part of a twinning scheme between West Lothian and the city of Grapevine.

Brian Wilton, director of the Scottish Tartans Authority, said: "Spirit of West Lothian is a nice tartan.

"It's promoting Scotland and West Lothian. Having your own tartan is a great tourism and marketing tool.

"Every year we seem to have more and more designers using tartan."

The Scottish Tartans Authority registers around 120 new tartan designs every year.

In 1998, Edinburgh City Council launched the City of Edinburgh tartan. The design was based on colours from the city's coat of arms.

Last year, Lisa Marie Presley reportedly commissioned an Edinburgh kiltmaker to create an official Elvis tartan.

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