The Scottish Register of Tartans

17 April 2014
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While you can search the Register without having to register and login, you will need to create an account to:

-Register new tartan designs
-Request threadcount information
-Receive notification of all new registered tartan designs and other news updates
-Manage your account details
-Request official amendments
  
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Guidance


Search the Register
Registering a tartan in the Scottish Register of Tartans
Tartan: creating a new design
Completing the tartan registration form
Refusal of application
Fees
Request an official amendment
Further help and assistance

Welcome to the Scottish Register of Tartans Guidance document. This document provides background information and guidance on the facilities and services available for use in the Register.

The Scottish Register of Tartans - Introduction

The Scottish Register of Tartans (hereafter the Register) is the national repository for tartans. The Scottish Register of Tartans Bill received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008. A copy of the Act can be viewed at the Office of Public Sector Information website, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2008/7/contents.

The Scottish Register of Tartans Act has established an independent, accessible and sustainable Register which provides a definitive reference source for existing recorded tartans and a system for recognising new tartans. It also helps to promote and preserve tartan, as well as tourism and general genealogical research.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS), operates and maintains the Register. NRS is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. The Keeper of the Records of Scotland (chief executive of the NRS) is also the Keeper of the Scottish Register of Tartans (hereafter the Keeper).
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Search the Register
The Register contains thousands of tartans, which can be freely searched. It includes all tartans registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans since its introduction on 5 February 2009, and it also incorporates pre-existing tartans formerly recorded by the Scottish Tartans Society, the Scottish Tartans Authority and the Scottish Tartans World Register. The latter two private registers were set up in response to the demise of the Scottish Tartans Society and both their registers incorporated the data formerly collected by the Scottish Tartans Society.

You can search the Register in various ways:

General search:

Tartan name Searches for a matching string of letters within any tartan name
Category Searches for all tartans within that category; can be qualified by using other search fields
Reference Searches the Scottish Register of Tartans reference number. Please note that this is not necessarily the same as the STA or the STWR reference number
Designer Searches for a matching string of letters
STA reference Searches for a reference applied by the Scottish Tartans Authority (STA)
STWR reference Searches for a reference applied by the Scottish Tartans World Register (STWR)
Keywords Searches for a matching string of letters in any field

Advanced search:
Registration date Search for tartans registered between the dates submitted
Registration notes Searches for a matching string of letters in the registration notes field
Restricted Select 'yes' to search restricted tartans, 'no' to search tartans for which no restrictions are currently recorded
Restrictions Searches for a matching string of letters in any of the restriction fields

Colour Search:
Colours Limit the colours to be searched to those selected. You may also choose the order of the colours by checking the box
Exclude colours You may totally exclude certain colours from your search. Alternatively you may choose to exclude certain colours in a certain order by checking the box eg. exclude red, green, blue but not green, blue red
Colour proportions You may estimate the proportion of the sett that you wish to be in (a) predominant colour(s)
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Where tartans have been incorporated from existing registers
The National Records of Scotland has worked with the Scottish Tartans Authority and the Scottish Tartans World Register to amalgamate their former databases into a single dataset for the Register.

It should be noted that the criteria for registration applied by these two individual organisations differed from each other and also from those applied by the official Register. Not all tartans recognised by one organisation were recognised by the other and vice versa. Notes or background information made available for pre-existing tartans may derive from a variety of external sources. Every effort is being made to check and validate this information; however it is acknowledged that inaccuracies or lack of clarity may still exist in some of the records. The National Records of Scotland will continue to work with its tartan industry partners over the coming years to improve this information.

Click here to visit the Scottish Tartans Authority (STA) website to obtain details of the previous STA registration processes and criteria.
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User account
You will need to create a User account to:
  • Apply to register a new tartan;
  • Request threadcount information;
  • Receive notification of all new registered tartans and other news updates;
  • Manage your account details, and
  • Request official amendments.
Use the Sign Up facility to create a user account. Once registered, you can use the Your Account facility to manage your account and contact details. It is free to create a user account with the Register.
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Request news updates
Registered users of the Register may choose to receive notification of all new registered tartans and other relevant news updates. The National Records of Scotland respects your privacy and will not pass or share your contact details with any third-party or send you unnecessary information. You may choose to stop receiving these notifications at any time by altering the settings in Your Account.
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Request threadcount information
Threadcount details are available for all of the tartans contained in the Register. You must login to your User Account to be able to request threadcount details. You will receive these details via an automated e-mail facility. You can request threadcount details free of charge for a maximum of five different tartans per day.

Please note that the pallet selected to illustrate the tartans on the Register should not be considered as 'right' or 'authentic'. In many instances, the colours have been selected without the woven version ever having been seen.

The threadcount received should also be viewed alongside the Tartan Register image to check whether it is a symmetrical or an asymmetrical pattern. If you are in any doubt as to how the threadcount should be used, please contact enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk.
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View your threadcount requests
You can log in and view threadcounts you have requested in the Your Account page.
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Registering a tartan in the Scottish Register of Tartans

Introduction
Anyone can submit an application to register a tartan in the Register. An application fee of £70.00 is charged for this service. The application fee is exempt from VAT. Please refer to the Fees section of the Guidance document for details of charges. Please note that fees are not refundable.

You must be a registered user to submit an application. Once you have logged in to your User Account, you should complete the registration form. If you are unsure what information is required, please refer to the guidance notes to help you. You can also click on the help links where provided, indicated by a question mark [?].

On completion, your application will be submitted to the Keeper of the Register for consideration against the criteria for registration set out in the Scottish Register of Tartans Act. The criteria for registration are:
  • that the tartan meets the definition contained in the Act and is sufficiently different to all other tartans already recorded in the Register
  • that the name of the tartan is unique, acceptable and suitably authorised
  • that the application fee of £70 is paid.
We may contact you during this process, by e-mail, telephone or letter, to clarify and/or discuss your application.

We would strongly advise you to submit your tartan for registration before having it woven to check that it meets the criteria for registration. Please read the guidance notes on What is Tartan? and the criteria for 'sufficiently different' carefully before submitting your application.

You can download and print the application form by clicking on the link below:

Open the hardcopy registration form - Acrobat PDF 157KB new window.


Alternatively you may request a printed form to be sent to you by submitting a written request to:

enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

or

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

Once your application has been checked and accepted it will be entered in the Register and a certificate issued. If your application is refused, you will receive an email explaining how your tartan has failed to meet the criteria for registration and setting forth the procedure for appealing against the Keeper's decision should you wish to do so.
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Your application
The application form must be completed as fully as possible. Failure to provide the required information may result in your application being rejected or delayed. You are therefore advised to read the guidance notes carefully to help you complete and submit your registration request. You will be asked to provide:
  • your name and address (or the name and address of the individual/group registering the tartan)
  • a coloured photograph or coloured pictorial image of the tartan,
  • the threadcount for your tartan and its associated colour codes,
  • a description of the tartan including your reasons for designing it and explaining your choice of colours,
  • the name of the tartan and evidence of your association with that name.
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Tartan: creating a new design
For the purposes of the Register, the definition of 'tartan' is that contained within the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 Section 2: 'A tartan is a design which is capable of being woven consisting of two or more alternating coloured stripes which combine vertically and horizontally to form a repeated chequered pattern.' The tartan pattern is traditionally known as the sett of the tartan.

James D Scarlett, tartan historian and designer, described tartan as 'an art form in which the artist-weaver manipulates a limited range of colours to produce designs of squares and rectangles.' (James D Scarlett 'Tartan the Highland Textile' 1990)

The basis of any tartan is a simple two-colour check to which the designer adds over-checks, bands and stripes in contrasting colours. These should be arranged to result in a balanced and harmonious pattern.

Where two stripes of the same colour cross, a block of solid colour is formed. Where different colours cross, the two colours are mixed in equal proportions to create a new colour. Ideally, neither colour should 'swamp' the other. The two together should make a new intermediate shade.

A tartan pattern is a geometric design, made up of blocks of solid colour which join on the diagonal, radiating across the fabric like spokes, and with each block of colour surrounded by blocks of mixed colours. The blocks form a pattern, reflected or repeated many times across both the warp and weft of the cloth.

Your new tartan must be both unique and 'sufficiently different' to all tartans already recorded in the Register. Sufficiently different means that it must be possible to clearly differentiate your tartan from all the other thousands of tartans already recorded, distinguishable by eye at a distance of approximately 2m (6ft). In practice this means that
  • the geometry of a design must be sufficiently different, ie. the blocks of solid colours and the mixtures used in a design must be arranged in a different pattern to all other designs already recorded.
  • a new tartan will use different colours in substantially different proportions and ordered differently to all tartans already recorded. Changing the shades of the colours used is insufficient to differentiate a new design since tartans are traditionally recorded in the base colours of red, yellow, green, blue, brown, grey, black and white. Any shade of blue will still be recorded as blue, likewise green etc.
  • over-check(s) or additional stripe(s) in contrasting colour(s) can be added to create a new tartan, providing the over-check or stripe is clearly visible when woven.
The following changes to an existing sett will not create a new tartan that is 'sufficiently different':
  • increasing or diminishing the size of the sett (the pattern). Threadcounts are frequently expanded or diminished for use in kilts or ties etc whilst retaining the essential proportions and geometry of the original design.
  • changing the shade of the colours used. Tartan setts are compared according to their base colours as the final shade of the woven fabric will depend on the wools available to the weaver. Therefore, for example, light blue, navy blue and purple are all considered to be blue and changing the shade from light to dark blue will not change the basic pattern.
In reaching a view on whether a design is unique and sufficiently different to all others already recorded, the Keeper may consult such persons as he considers appropriate.

The total number of colours in a tartan (including mixtures) increases rapidly as the number of colours increases: two colours make a total of three colours including mixtures; six base colours make a total of twenty-one including mixtures. The more colours that are used therefore, the more complicated the pattern becomes.

Traditionally a maximum of six colours were used in tartan - and many professional designers still stick to this limit to avoid over-complicating the design. If you choose to use more than six colours, you should be aware that some weavers are limited to a maximum of six colours on their looms. Other looms do exist that can weave more than six colours but you will have less choice of weaver and it may cost more to both weave the fabric and make up a kilt.

The threadcount provides the weaver with the details of the pattern he is to weave: the order of the stripes, their colours and the relative proportions of one to another. In the past this information has sometimes been recorded in actual measurements, nowadays the literal number of threads is usually given. In either case, it is the proportions of the pattern that are being set out and the precise numbers may be scaled up or down according to the required end product.

James Logan was the first to publish tartan patterns in the appendix to his book 'The Scottish Gael' (1831). He measured the width of each stripe from the edge of the cloth in units of one-eighth of an inch, calling a sixteenth of an inch a '½', a quarter of an inch '2' and so on. This method was also adopted by the Lyon Office when it began to register setts after the Second World War. Subsequently the Lyon Office took to giving its counts in threads as a more accurate system of recording.

Long before James Logan, the Bannockburn weavers William Wilson and Son compiled 'true' threadcounts for their own internal purposes. These counts ran from centre to centre of the half sett - it being understood that the count would repeat backwards and forwards across the width of the cloth with a doubling of the number of threads at each turn.

The format for threadcounts used by the Scottish Register of Tartans was developed by Donald C Stewart for his book 'The Setts of the Scottish Tartans' (1950) and was then adopted by the Scottish Tartans Society, the Scottish Tartans World Register and the Scottish Tartans Authority. This system gives the number of threads in each stripe assuming an even number of threads in each and a smallest stripe of two threads. It also gives the end stripes already doubled. It is usual to set out the count horizontally with letters indicating the colours alongside the number of threads. The count at each pivot is usually emphasised by the use of bold type, underlining or the use of a slash '/' between the letter and the number. A non-reversing pattern is indicated by three dots before the first and following the last stripe.

The requirement for the smallest stripe to have at least two threads grew from the necessity to pass the shuttle across the loom and back. Although this is not always technically essential anymore, there is still a general acceptance amongst the tartan industry that a tartan should be created from even numbered threads, and some weavers will not be able to weave odd-numbered threads. A single thread of any colour will be lost in the overall woven design and single threads are therefore inadvisable.

Please ensure that the threadcount you submit on your application form is correct as the threadcount cannot be amended once the tartan has been included on the Register.

The size of a sett will vary according to the proposed tartan product. A three inch sett is more appropriate for a tartan tie, whereas a six inch sett will be more appropriate for a kilt or skirt. For the purposes of registration with the Scottish Register of Tartans, the threadcount for the production of a six inch sett should be provided.

A six inch sett will usually be made up of approximately 240 - 260 threads. A threadcount for a six inch sett given over half a sett with a full count at each pivot should therefore amount to a total of between 140 and 160 threads.

A check is a very simple form of tartan, comprising the blocks of colour without the overchecks, bands and stripes which give tartan its interest. It will generally have a total of less than 100 threads in the threadcount and the stripes and blocks of colour will be fairly evenly proportioned.

The descriptor 'Check' may be added to the name of a design submitted for inclusion on the Scottish Register of Tartans which is considered to be more of a check than a traditional tartan.
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Completing the registration application form

Tartan name
  • Each tartan submitted for registration in the Register must be named and the nature of the applicant's association with the name explained (Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008, section 6(7)(d)).
  • The name chosen must be unique to the Register, i.e. it must differ from the names of all tartans already recorded (Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008, section 6(8)).
  • It must be no more than 200 characters in length.
  • The nature of the applicant's association with the chosen tartan name refers to his/her 'relationship to, connection with or interest in the name' (Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008, section 6(12)(b)). An applicant must therefore explain fully why the name has been chosen.
  • The proposed name for a tartan must not give the impression that the tartan has been approved or officially adopted by any clan/family, corporation, military regiment, district or place unless such authority can be demonstrated.
  • Applicants are advised to avoid using the preposition 'of' in their tartan name unless they can demonstrate a legal right of ownership of the lands so described, as recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon.
  • Applicants should only use titles which are recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon.
  • Types of names:
Tartan Names Description Authority Required
Scottish Clan/Family names A tartan to be worn by a particular Scottish clan or family. The applicant must be the head or chief of the family or clan, or have the written authority of the head or chief. Where there is no chief or head, the authority of the Clan Society will be acceptable to register a Clan Society tartan.

Applications to register Clan/Family tartans will be submitted to the Court of the Lord Lyon for checking.
Name A tartan for anyone of that surname to wear. The applicant will be expected to have the backing of a substantial number of people who bear that name, eg. the backing of a Name Society, as evidence that those who share that surname like and approve of the tartan to be registered on their behalf.
Personal Name A tartan designed by an individual but available for anyone sharing that name to wear. The name of the tartan must be qualified by the addition of a given name and a geographical location. The rationale should include detail on whether the owner is happy for others sharing the same surname to wear the tartan.
District and place names A tartan associated with a particular geographical area, including towns, parishes, counties or countries. Where a tartan is named after a country, a state, a district, a town or a city, giving the impression of an association with any local or central authority, public or private initiative, the application must be accompanied by a letter of authority from a prominent office-bearer in the appropriate body.

If there is no such appropriate authority then the applicant will be expected to confirm that fact in writing.
Corporate and group names A tartan for a company, an organisation or an informal group of individuals. Where a tartan is named for a formal company or organisation, giving the impression of an association with it, by use of the official title or commonly used nickname, then the application must be accompanied by a letter of authority from a prominent office-bearer in the appropriate body e.g. the Chief Executive.

An informal group of individuals will be expected to provide background information on the group, its nature and its approval of the tartan.
Military names A tartan associated with any branch of the armed forces, including volunteer regiments. The applicant will be expected to submit evidence that the tartan has been endorsed by the Commanding Officer (or equivalent) of the regiment concerned.
Royal names A tartan with a direct Royal connection. The applicant must submit written authority of a senior official from within the relevant royal household.
Commemorative names A tartan designed to commemorate a particular person or event. If a commemorative tartan name gives the impression that it has 'official' approval, then evidence of authority to use that name will be requested.
Artefact names A tartan copied from an artefact or painting If the threadcount for a tartan has been taken from an existing artefact or painting, historical or modern, the name should record its origin.
Fashion or fancy names A 'fancy' tartan for the fashion trade Generally the names proposed for fashion tartans will have little or no meaning.


Tartan descriptors - Hunting, Dress etc
The addition of traditional tartan descriptors to a tartan name e.g. 'Hunting', 'Dress' etc. will be accepted as unique names for the purposes of registration. However, the applicant will still be required to offer proof of his/her association with the original tartan name and appropriate authority to register a further version of it, as indicated in the table above.

The Keeper may add the descriptor 'Check' to the name of a tartan which he deems to be more of a check than a tartan.
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Designer
The designer of a tartan is the person who has created the sett [pattern]. This might be an individual or a company name. If the designer is unknown, please enter 'Unknown' in the appropriate box.
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Tartan Date
Please use the drop down boxes to enter the date when the tartan was created, as far as you are aware:

  • if a new design, the date when the tartan was designed
  • if an historical tartan, please give the date when the tartan was first worn, used or recorded (as far as you are aware) and record as much information as possible in the Notes box.
Provision of a date is mandatory - you will need to make an informed guess for historical tartans.
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Background, rationale and history of the tartan
Tartans are created for many reasons, usually to celebrate an individual or family's Scottish heritage or connections, and the colours used are often of particular significance. Please provide as much information as possible about your tartan:
  • Why has it been created?
  • How do you intend to use the tartan?
  • Why have you chosen these colours?
  • If you have used online tartan design software to create your design, please include detail of which site you have used.
  • Please include the name and contact details of the holder of intellectual property rights associated with this tartan and who should be approached should someone wish to seek permission to use or weave it. This name and contact details will not be published on the Register unless you specifically ask for it to be made available.
The information provided here will be used to support the proposed name and category for your tartan, and edited to provide the rationale published on your tartan's web-page once it has been included on the Register.
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Tartan Category
All tartans recorded in the Register must be allocated to one of nine categories. Please select a category for your tartan and support your application with detailed information in the Rationale. The Keeper reserves the right to re-categorise your tartan if it is considered necessary.

Tartan Categories Description
Clan/Family A tartan to be worn by a recognised Scottish clan or family.
Name A tartan named for an individual or family. (Please see the Tartan Name notes above for detailed advice as to the format of the tartan name.)
District A tartan associated with a particular geographical area, including towns, parishes, counties or countries.
Portrait/Artefact A tartan taken from an illustration or an artefact.
Corporate A tartan for a company, organisation or an informal group of individuals
Commemorative A tartan to be worn to commemorate a particular event or person.
Fashion A 'fancy' tartan for the fashion trade.
Military A tartan associated with any branch of the armed forces, including volunteer regiments.
Royal A tartan with a direct Royal connection.

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Coloured Photograph or other pictorial representation
Your application to register a tartan must be accompanied by a coloured photograph or other coloured pictorial representation of the tartan (Scottish Register of Tartan Act 2008 Section 6(7)).

The image you submit is compared against the threadcount included in your application and it therefore needs to be as clear as possible.

It may be submitted in electronic form with your application by using the browse facility on the application form to select and attach the appropriate image from your files.

If you wish to submit an image which is not electronic, you will need to submit a hardcopy registration form. Please write your name and address and the name of the tartan on the reverse of the image and send it with your registration form to:

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

Open the hardcopy registration form - Acrobat PDF 157KB new window

Coloured photographs or other pictorial representations submitted with applications to register a tartan will be kept and preserved in the National Records of Scotland (Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 Section 4(2)(b)) and may be made available for inspection by members of the public (Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 Section 4(3)(a)).
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A woven sample
We advise you to submit an application for registration before having your tartan woven, to check that it meets the criteria for registration.

After registration we would strongly encourage you to have your tartan woven and to send a sample for permanent preservation in the National Records of Scotland. The sample should be a minimum of 18cms x 23cms (7 inches x 9 inches) or of sufficient size to show half a sett if that exceeds these measurements. If you do not have any spare woven fabric, please send an image of the tartan in use eg. made up into a kilt.

The National Records of Scotland ensures all tartan samples are stored using high quality materials so as to ensure long term preservation of this important collection.

Once your tartan has been registered and a woven sample or proof of weaving received, the entry for your tartan on the Register will be highlighted to show that it has been woven and that a sample or image can be viewed on request in the Historical Search Room at the National Records of Scotland.

The Keeper may, when sending a certificate of registration to an applicant or at any later time, request you to submit a woven sample (Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 Section 9(6)).

If you do not weave your design but use it for other commercial purposes, eg. on stationery or for graphic illustration, please send a sample or an image of its use to the Keeper for permanent preservation.

If you have already had your tartan woven, please submit a woven sample with your application. The sample should be a minimum of 18cms x 23cms (7 inches x 9 inches) or of sufficient size to show half a sett if that exceeds these measurements. If you do not have any spare woven fabric, please send an image of the tartan in use eg. made up into a kilt.
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Threadcount
The threadcount indicates the colour stripes of the warp and weft in sequence and the number of threads in each stripe. It has been described as the DNA of a tartan.

Most tartan setts (patterns) are symmetrical or reflective. The threadcount indicates the sequence of colours and the number of threads of each colour required to make the pattern, starting from one pivot point and counting the solid blocks of colour across the diagonal of the sett until the second pivot point is reached. Having reached the second pivot point, the pattern is reflected. Therefore, only half the threadcount for a symmetrical pattern needs recorded - from the first to the second pivot point.

The threadcount is usually formatted as in the following example, with a capital letter representing the colour required and the number of threads listed beside. The pivot points are indicated by the addition of a slash '/' between the letter and the number.

G/24 K24 R2 B24 W4 B24 R2 K24 G24 K/4 (where K=Black; G=Green; R=Red; B=Blue; W=White;)

[Threadcount over half a sett with full count at the pivots for Mitchell tartan from The Tartan Weaver's Guide, J D Scarlett (1985)]

Where a pattern does not reverse it is known as an asymmetrical or repeating pattern. There are no pivot points in an asymmetrical pattern: when reaching the end of the pattern, it repeats from the beginning again. This is indicated by the addition of three dots before and after the threadcount.

Tartan cloth is usually woven in 2/2 (or 'plain') twill, which produces fine diagonal ribs in the fabric. Traditionally even numbers of threads were used to allow the shuttle to cross the loom and return for each colour. Using odd numbers of threads can still cause difficulty for some weavers and can lead to additional costs in weaving. A single thread of any colour will be lost in the overall woven design and single threads are therefore inadvisable.

When submitting an application for registration, please include a threadcount in one of the following formats, indicating clearly which format is being used:

  • For a symmetrical or reflecting sett (pattern), please provide the threadcount over half a sett with a full count at the pivot points.
  • For an asymmetrical or repeating sett, please provide the full threadcount.
Where warp and weft are identical, only one threadcount is required for inclusion on the Scottish Register of Tartans. If the warp and weft of your tartan are not identical, you will need to provide a separate threadcount for each.

The designer of your tartan should be able to provide you with the necessary threadcount(s). A threadcount can also be counted from a woven sample, providing the sample is large enough to include the full sett.

Please ensure that the threadcount you submit on your application form is correct as the threadcount cannot be amended once the tartan has been registered.
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Colour Codes
Traditionally tartans have been described using a basic colour pallet:

Letter Colour Hex code Letter Colour Hex code
B BLUE #0000CD N GREY #666666
G GREEN #008B00 R RED #FF0000
K BLACK #101010 T TAN #603311
Y YELLOW #FFE600 W WHITE #FFFFFF
L LIGHT (+ colour)   D DARK (+ colour)  


With the advent of computer graphics and pantone shades, many tartan designers specify the shade of colour which they wish to be used. No more than three letters should be used to indicate a colour shade, and these codes should be explained in the space provided using capital letters throughout and separating colours with a semi-colon e.g. LG=LIGHT GREEN; OW=OFF WHITE; DOG=DIRTY OLD GOLD;

Please provide a detailed description of the shades you have used so that the graphic created for the Scottish Register of Tartans is as accurate as possible. If you can provide hexadecimal or RGB codes, please do so. The colour shades used in the graphic on the Register can also be matched to a woven sample where this is supplied.
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Design right
The creator of a design i.e. the designer, is the first owner of the design right, except where the design was created during the course of employment, in which case the employer is the first owner, or where it has been commissioned, in which case the commissioner is the first owner.

If you register your design with the UK or any other Intellectual Property Office, please provide the Keeper with the registration number and the date of registration (this information can be found on your registered design certificate). If you register your design after your tartan has been added to the Scottish Register of Tartans, you may submit an amendment to have the design registration number and date of registration added to your tartan details. See Request official amendment guidance below.

Inclusion of a tartan in the Register indicates that the tartan and its name are unique to the Register and meet the registration criteria of the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008. No other rights are conferred. For further information on UK design right or to register your design, please visit the UK Intellectual Property Office at www.ipo.gov.uk.
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Do you have the authority to register this tartan?
Please select the 'yes' or 'no' button. By selecting the 'yes' button you are certifying that you have the authority to authorise the Keeper to include this tartan in the Register.

Authority to register
Under the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 section 6(3)(b) you must certify that you, the applicant, have the right to authorise the Keeper to register this tartan.

  • If you are the owner of the tartan, then you will have the right to authorise the Keeper to register it;
  • If you are registering the tartan on behalf of a third party (an individual or a group) who is the owner of the tartan, then you must have the written consent of that third party to the inclusion of their name and address on the Register, and documentary evidence of their authority for you to register the tartan on their behalf;
  • You may need to supply documentary evidence of your authority to use a particular name for your tartan. For further information please read the guidance on Tartan Name.
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Absence of authority to register
If you are not the owner/designer of the tartan and/or do not have the authority to register it, then you must clearly state that this is the case by selecting the 'no' option. However if, as far as you can reasonably ascertain, there is no other person who has the right to authorise the Keeper to register the tartan, then you may still proceed with your application. Please submit documentary evidence of your search to identify a possible owner. The Keeper reserves the right to request further information.
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Indemnity
On applying to register a tartan you are deemed to indemnify the Keeper from any liability to meet any damages or expenses incurred as a result of or in connection with the proposed registration.

Inclusion of a tartan in the Scottish Register of Tartans indicates that the tartan and its name are unique to the Register and meet the registration criteria of the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008. No other rights can be conferred. For further information on UK design right or to register your design, please visit the UK Intellectual Property Office at www.ipo.gov.uk.
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Appropriate documentary proof
Please use the facility provided to attach documentation which proves your authority to register the tartan according to the criteria above.
  • written consent from a third party authorising you to register the tartan on their behalf and for the inclusion of their name and address on the Register, and/or
  • documentary evidence of your authority to use a particular name for the tartan, and/or
  • documentary evidence of research you have undertaken to identify the owner of the tartan you wish to register.
If you wish to submit evidence which is not electronic, you will need to submit a hardcopy registration form. Please attach supporting documentation to your registration form, and send it to:

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY
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Restrictions
Some tartans are for the use of certain groups of people only eg. a clan or family tartan, a personal or a corporate tartan. You may record here any restrictions you wish to impose on the wearing, the use and re-use or production of your tartan, however the Keeper is not responsible for enforcing any such restrictions and has no authority to do so. For further information on designs or to register a design in the UK, please visit the UK Intellectual Property Office at www.ipo.gov.uk.
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Refusal of application
Under the terms of the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 Section 7(2)(a), the Keeper must refuse to register a tartan (a) if the applicant's association with the name of the tartan is insufficient or insubstantial, or (b) if the name of the tartan is undesirable i.e. in the view of the Keeper the name is likely to mislead the public as to the true nature of the purposes of the person/body registering it, or is deemed to be frivolous or offensive. It is not possible to register a tartan name which is greater than 200 characters in length.
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Fees
The following charges apply to the services available from the Register. These fees are set out in the Scottish Registers of Tartans Act 2008 and in the related Fees Order. Fees are not refundable.


VAT
Please note that the registration application fee of £70 is exempt from VAT. Fees for other services include VAT as appropriate.

Payments can be submitted electronically using the facilities available via the website. The Register uses the services of the on-line payments provider, WorldPay, to manage its on-line payments. Payments may also be made by cheque or bank draft, in sterling and drawn on a UK bank, or by cash (in person at the National Records of Scotland). Payments by cheque are likely to result in a delay in processing requests to allow funds to clear etc. Cheques should be made payable to: The Scottish Government.


Registration Fees:

Description Cost
Application to register a tartan (includes provision of unframed certificate). Please note that the registration fee is exempt from VAT. £70*
Request to reconsider refused application. £40
Provision of copy of certificate of registration (only available for tartans registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans since 5 February 2009). £15
Request to amend the Register (replacement certificate not included) £25
Provision of amended certificate of registration. £15
A4 Frame for certificate, copy certificate, amended certificate or certificate of inclusion. £30
Provision of certificate of inclusion in the Register (only available for tartans recorded by the Scottish Tartans Society, the Scottish Tartans Authority or the Scottish Tartans World Register before 5 February 2009). £25

Fees for other services:

Description Cost
Inspection of any document or other physical thing, provided that handling will not physically harm the document or other physical thing. £6
Make copies of any document Up to 5 sheets: £2.50;
additional sheets over a multiple of 5: £2.50
Provision of information in relation to the Register by the Keeper. £40
Carrying out research in relation to the Register by the Keeper. £40 per hour

* VAT exempt
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Returns Policy
The fees applicable to the Scottish Register of Tartans are specified in the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 and in the related Fees Order. Fees are non refundable, unless where specified in the Act. If you have any queries regarding this policy, please contact us at: 

Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

E-mail: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 535 1388 (Scottish Register of Tartans helpline)
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Request official amendments
You can request the Keeper to consider the amendment or correction of information published in the Register. The full text concerning amendments can be read in the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008 Sections 10, 11, 12 and 13, available online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2008/7/contents.

Please submit any such requests in writing to the address below. There is a charge for this service. Please refer to the Fees section of the Guidance document for details of charges.

To request an amendment you must certify that you have the right to amend an entry according to the following criteria:
  • If you are the original applicant for the entry which you are seeking to amend, then you are assumed to have the right to authorise the Keeper to amend the entry. You may be asked to produce a copy of your original certificate of registration as evidence.
  • If you are seeking to amend an entry to the Register made by yourself on behalf of a third party (individual or group), then you must have the written consent of that third party to the proposed amendment, and you may be asked to submit evidence of this consent.
  • If you were not the original applicant then you must clearly state that this is the case. If your amendment is acceptable to the original applicant or if there is no other person who has the right to authorise the amendment, then your request may still be accepted.
You must indemnify the Keeper of any liability to meet any damages or expenses incurred as a result of or in connection with the amendment.
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The amendment
Where a request for an amendment is accepted, the Keeper must determine whether and how the entry is to be amended and amend it accordingly. An additional image or pictorial representation of the tartan is not required unless specifically requested by the Keeper.

You may not request an amendment to the threadcount of a tartan unless there has been an error in the original recording.

The Keeper may also, at any time, amend an entry in the Register to correct any typographical, clerical or other administrative error(s). Where such an amendment is made, the Keeper may notify such persons as the Keepers considers appropriate as to the amendment. Where such an amendment relates to a tartan design in which a certificate has been issued, the Keeper may issue an amended certificate of registration.


Refusal of a request to amend the Register
The Keeper must refuse to accept a request for an amendment:
  • if any of the above requirements have not been met
  • if the amendment requested will change the threadcount and therefore result in a new tartan design
  • if the amendment will result in the tartan name or design failing to meet the criteria for registration, or
  • if the request gives rise to a question that should be resolved or clarified elsewhere (e.g. in a court of law).
If a request is refused, the Keeper will notify you of his decision in writing, including the reason(s) for the refusal.

Submit requests in writing to:

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

E-mail: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 535 1388
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Reconsider a rejected application
If an application has been refused, you can request the Keeper to reconsider it. Any such request must be made in writing within two months of the date on which the applicant is notified of the refusal, and must state why the request is being made. There is a charge for this service. Please refer to the Fees Section of the Guidance Document for details of charges.

Submit requests in writing to:

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

E-mail: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 535 1388
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Certificates
Certificates of registration are issued for all new tartans registered in the Register.
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Certificates of inclusion
Certificates of inclusion can be issued for all tartans originally recorded by the Scottish Tartans Society, the Scottish Tartans Authority or the Scottish Tartans World Register and now included in the Register. There is a charge for this service. Please refer to the Fees Section of the Guidance Document for details of charges.

Submit requests in writing to:

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

E-mail: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 535 1388
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Framed certificates
You may choose to receive a framed certificate of registration for an additional fee. Click here to see an image of the frames provided. The frames are sourced and manufactured in Scotland. Please refer to the Fees section of the Guidance document for details of charges.
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Request a duplicate registration certificate
You can request a duplicate certificate on payment of the appropriate fee. You may choose to receive a framed duplicate certificate of registration for an additional fee. Please refer to the Fees Section of the Guidance Document for details of charges.

The duplicate certificate will include reference to the fact that it is not the original certificate.

Submit requests in writing to:

The Administrator
Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

E-mail: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 535 1388
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Use of 'Cookies'
When you log in to the Scottish Register of Tartans website, we automatically send your computer a tiny text file called a 'cookie'. A cookie is a piece of information placed on your computer's hard disk that identifies your preferences and user status. As the website evolves, we will be able to provide you with additional levels of service based on our ability to recognise you via. your cookie.

Our use of the cookie is limited to your activities within the website and does not have any other effect on your computer or your other activities on the Internet. The Scottish Register of Tartans does not disclose information stored in your cookie to third parties. You do of course have the option to set your computer to accept all cookies, to notify you when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. The last of these means that certain facilities may be unavailable to you.


Further help and assistance
If you require further help or assistance in submitting a registration application, or if you have any queries regarding the content or the operation of the Register, you can contact the Scottish Register of Tartans by e-mail, telephone or by letter at the address below.

The Scottish Register of Tartans also provides a telephone helpline facility. The helpline, which is operated by the National Records of Scotland, is available Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00hrs, and Friday 08:30 - 16:30hrs.

Customers should note that the front-line helpline staff receiving your calls for advice or assistance may not always be able to provide a response to detailed or complex enquiries during the initial telephone call. In these instances, the helpline operators will request your contact details and a brief summary of your enquiry; these details will then be passed to the Scottish Register of Tartans administrator for further consideration and response. The Scottish Register of Tartans may provide a response to your enquiry by e-mail, by telephone or letter.

Scottish Register of Tartans
The National Records of Scotland
HM General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY

E-mail: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 535 1388
(Helpline available Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00hrs, and Friday 08:30 - 16:30hrs)
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National Records of Scotland, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY
tel +44 (0) 131 535 1375 or 1395 email: enquiries@tartanregister.gov.uk.

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