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Tartan is one of the most recognisable symbols of Scotland. With historical roots in the display culture of medieval Gaelic society, this living tradition has constantly evolved to suit the social and cultural landscapes of the moment.

Through our contemporary collecting programme, we have acquired a rich selection of material from the 21st century, extending our unrivalled historical collections into the present.

In these pages you can explore some of our contemporary collections of tartan and Highland dress, with 360° spins and image galleries. You’ll also find a film series, Tartan Today, documenting tartan design, weaving, and kiltmaking in the contemporary Highland dress industry.

Designing Tartan

Tartan has always been a cloth of identity. Its grid can be used to tell all manner of stories. How are today’s designers crafting these stories?

Weaving Tartan

Textiles are a major industry in Scotland. From small batch producers to large commercial mills, how do different mills approach the production of the nation’s most recognisable cloth?

Making Kilts

In contemporary Scotland, kiltmaking remains a rich and varied industry. How are different makers bringing their own styles, methods, and meanings to the craft?

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