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Curious and Unusual Tartans - Weaving of These Tartans

specialty tartans

Tartan envy?  Please read.

Hello, fellow curious tartan aficionados ... should you be interested in a particular tartan and seeing this design realized in a kilt or sash or some other non-virtual manifestation, here is some information about the designs displayed on this site.


Please note that the tartans displayed here are for entertainment purposes only, inspired purely by a love of tartan. This site is not associated with any particular retail store or merchant and is a curated online virtual museum gallery of specialty tartan design.

HOWEVER, for those interested in obtaining fabric in some of these curious and unusual designs, the set of tartans displayed here falls into several different categories:

  1. Some specialty tartans are purely artistic visions and (depending on the geometry) may or may not lend themselves to traditional outerwear such as a kilt, with the necessary considerations for visually aesthetic pleating.

  2. Other designs require permission of the designer to pursue weaving options. Please direct inquiries to this page if you are interested in a particular design, and I can forward you to the appropriate person who can speak to the issues surrounding the weaving or permission to weave of any tartan.

  3. Some designs are currently or have been more readily available from particular weaving houses due to regional or corporate sponsorships, and/or current popularity via association with film or television or ongoing associations with animal conservation organizations.

  4. Many of the designs featured here are the work of master artisans who would be happy to discuss options with you.  Please see the individual page for a reference to the designer or link to the tartan in the tartan registry or designer application.  Please contact this site if you need help.

  5. Other public designs (with permission of the designer if required) can be purchased by commissioning a small batch weave (usually a minimum of 10 yards/metes) through or other weavers.

  6. Often, a group of people with a mutual interest in a specialty design may band together to fund a weave to average out the overall costs.  Posting on social media is a good way to generate interest.

There are also other small batch weavers who may be willing to run a half length of a new design, enough for a single kilt.

Be advised that unless this design has been woven previously or has been reviewed by a master tartan designer, the colors which appear on the computer may or may not translate as expected.

Additionally, the colors used in some of these designs are considered specialty thread colors, which may increase costs.

The tartans shown here which are registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans and/or have been created with certain tartan design tools should have color and sett weaving information necessary for replication.

For those who are interested in other quicker and less costly options, the designs may be “printed” on a variety of fabrics through print houses such as

This can be a solution for those who want a one-side length of fabric for tablecloths or other home or sewing projects. Again, all necessary permissions must be obtained depending on non-personal use.

Note that the depth of color may vary by fabric, and getting samples for review is advised before ordering significant lengths.

From personal experience, using the Spoonflower service, printing on non-cottons such as velvet yields rich colours which better approximate the designs seen here.


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