Scottish rockers Runrig create tartan for farewell shows

Scottish Celtic rockers Runrig have finally created their own tartan - just in time for their farewell shows this summer.

The band said the tartan had at “long last” been made after years of requests by fans.

The tartan is being released to coincide with the band’s 45th anniversary and its final concert, which will be performed in Stirling in August.

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Who wore Scotland's oldest piece of tartan?
The new Runrig tartan. PIC: Contributed.

The black, russet red and charcoal tartan has been designed by Prickly Thistle, a textile design studio and weavers on the Black Isle.

The colours are said to have particular significance for the band.

A statement from Runrig said: “After decades of being asked by fans and associates when were we going to create a Runrig Tartan, we have now, at long last, finally done it!

Clare Campbell, founder of textile design house Prickly Thistle, with the Runrig tartan. PIC: Contributed.

“And at an appropriate time to mark the 45th Anniversary and the final concerts. No one could accuse us of being in a hurry, that’s for sure!

“Probably the main reason we resisted, over the years, was that we felt uncomfortable being associated with such an obvious Scottish cliché and one with such a dubious history of design sense and quality values - the tourist shops on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, for example, reinforce that stereotype.

“However, our reticence was turned on its head when we heard about a young, tartan design company called Prickly Thistle, with a passion to restore tartan to its rightful position as a true icon.”

The band described the company as one of a “new breed of exciting Highland companies committed to restoring a sense of pride and value in long neglected areas of heritage.”

Rinrig, who played Edinburgh Castle in 2013 (pictured), are set to release a tartan after 45 years together. PIC: TSPL.

Details on how to buy the first Runrig tartan products will be released later this week.

A statement from Prickly Thistle, posted on their Facebook page, said the company was “thrilled” to have been chosen to design the Runrig tartan.

The cloth is now registered with The Scottish Register of Tartans.

A statement from the register said the tartan has been designed for exclusive use of Runrig and permission must be approved by the band to weave it.

The tartan must also be woven in Scotland, the statement added.

Runrig announced they were bringing their long career to an end last September.

The band said it wanted a “positive and celebratory conclusion” to their time together and will perform to around 25,000 people in Stirling at The Last Dance show this summer, with dates also planned for Denmark and Germany.

Runrig formed in 1973 on the Isle of Skye and reached chart success in the 1990s with a number of Gaelic songs. Their song An Ubhal as Airde reached number 18 in the charts in 1995.