Lots of fascinating projects wing their way through to me by
phone or email and one current one concerns the Russian Scottish
tartan. In the wake of the great success of the Chinese Scottish
tartan (designed and produced by Strathmore Woollen Company of
Forfar) I set about designing a Russian Scottish equivalent and
after many, many months toing and froing with the Russian
Consul General in Edinburgh (who became a good friend) and getting
permission from the Russian Ambassador in London, the tartan was
woven by Strathmore.
The one problem with it was that whilst as designer, I chose the
colours, we let the Russians choose the exact shades and the result
was a bright tartan that would light up the darkest Russian
Tonight I'm invited to talk to a group of senior Russian
businessmen and women who're over in Scotland for a business break
and the organisers have gifted each of them some products made in
the Russian Scottish tartan - ties, scarves and shawls. I'm
interested to see how they're received.
Included in my brief presentation to them will be a
piece of MacBean tartan gifted to us by Commander Alan Bean (lunar
module pilot, Apollo 12, 1969) that he took down onto the surface
of the moon and then brought back to earth. That's usually a great
hit with audiences.
At the other end of the scale I'm also taking some 'See you Jimmy'
hats (those jokey tartan tammies with bright red hair sprouting out
of them) to show them that we Scots can have a good laugh at
ourselves. If you want to spread the word that we're not all old
sober-sides, you can buy these in our shop (we keep them hidden under
By the way - we've added a new page to the weaving
section which we think you'll enjoy - a fascinating taste of
history about the old hand-loom weaving industry in