Tartan yarn

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IN RESPONSE to Jane Devine’s article (26 January), in any other country in the world the supporters and opponents of an ­independence referendum would campaign with a striking logo and colour identity of their choice. In Scotland, it’s tartan – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s quite a separate issue, however, as to whether the Yes Scotland campaign team tartan should be registered in the public Scottish Register of Tartans.

It should be remembered that this register was set up through an Act of Parliament together with associated terms and conditions. At the time there was significant debate on whether a woven sample was oblig­atory which unfortunately ended with the decision that “proof of weaving” was sufficient. There are already so many instances of tartan represented in paintings and on other non-woven items.

It remains my conviction that no design should be called a ­“tartan” until it is woven, but all tartan images when approved by the SRT should be registered as “tartan designs”. This would be restrictive and inclusive at one and the same time.

Prior to the establishment of the Scottish Register of Tartans in 2010, contrary to general belief, there was no official record of tartans. All tartan records were held privately in differing registers and there was a lack of consensus and co-ordination.

Tartan belongs to the people of Scotland. The weavers and the tartan industries are the ­facilitators of the product, they are not the owners of it. Tartan belongs to culture and not to science. Tartan has always evolved in its own unscheduled way – a wayward Scottish entrepreneur! That is its appeal and its emotional strength. It cannot be harnessed and restrained by stringent new rules and regulations. The genie is out of the bottle.

Deirdre Kinloch

Kings Road

East Lothian