Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: The Mysterious case of the English acrylic tartan from Pakistan.

House of Edgar Carruthers.jpeg

The questions posed here are in response to some false information, which sadly vilifies the suppliers and manufacturers of our official Carruthers Red tartan that it is English, Acrylic and made in Pakistan?.

These are of course, serious allegations and are causing offence to many. They therefore were investigated, addressed here and as we can see, disproved.

The questions are;

  1. Is the Carruthers Red tartan English?No, we are a Scottish Clan and Family and it was designed, registered and is manufactured in Scotland.
  2. Is the Carruthers Red tartan made from pure wool or acrylic?It is 100% pure wool.
  3. Is the Carruthers Red tartan produced in Pakistan? Certainly not! The claims are neither researched, nor accurate. 
  4. Did Carruthers have an Ancient Tartan pre 2017? – No, never, the claims are around ownership of the Bruce tartan, which belongs to Bruce. Carruthers, as borderers never wore kilts and we have never had a tartan registered to our name. However, neither did any other Border family or clan until the early to mid 1800’s. There is therefore no ancient Carruthers tartan.

In order to put the record straight and present the facts, we have produced evidence to follow:

Our Weavers

The House of Edgar is one of the few family-run and independent weavers left in Scotland. It is owned by Macnaughton Holdings Limited and was founded in 1783. Currently, they are the only weavers with a licence from the Clan/Society to weave our tartan.

https://www.houseofedgar.com

Our Kiltmakers in Canada

MacPhail Kiltmakers in BC, Canada, is an outlet for Carruthers Tartan – they buy it directly from the House of Edgar in Scotland, and always have.

https://mcphailkiltmakers.com/collections/clan-carruthers

We therefore present our evidence below for your consideration, based on 9 simple pieces:

Scottish Register of Tartans

  • As Borderers never wore tartan, and definitely with no assigned ‘Name’ tartan prior to the early-mid 1800’s, Carruthers never had a tartan ‘to its Name’ until 2017. If it had, it would have been listed by the Scottish Register of Tartans (STR). The STR is a Scottish government agency, charged with recording all Scottish clan/family tartans past and present.

The STR includes all tartans registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans since its introduction on 5 February 2009. The database also incorporates all tartans formerly recorded by the Scottish Tartans Society (STS), the Scottish Tartans Authority (STA) and/or the Scottish Tartans World Register (STWR). If a tartan is not there, it isn’t registered to a Name (Scottish clan or family).

https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/aboutUs

Carruthers Tartans

Below are the only tartans ever to be listed to the name of Carruthers.

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 18.07.16

https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/qResults?searchString=carruthers

Scottish Clan/Family Tartans

  • This is not unusual as stated above, as there were NO Clan/Family tartans prior to the early – mid 1800’s and most certainly not any to Border ‘Name’. This is clarified by the pre-eminent Tartan Historians Peter Macdonald (on his site) and James Scarlett MBE (on the Tartan Authority website).

http://www.scottishtartans.co.uk/history.htm

http://www.tartansauthority.com/tartan/the-growth-of-tartan/the origin-of-clan-tartans/

Tartan Registration dates of the ’17’

  • Of the ’17 Unruly Clannis’ mentioned in the 1587 Act, there are still a couple without their own tartans. We are not the last Border family to register one by any means.

Some use, as Carruthers did with Bruce, the tartan of another clan they are associated with (sept).

Included below are the dates of the registration of tartans for those who have them. If no tartan, the dates of registration of the tartans of the clans they are associated with.

As you will see, none were registered prior to the early 1800’s and include registrations in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s as well as our own in 2017.

17 Clan tartan reg dates .jpeg

On the colour chart below, the dates of the registration of all the tartans are again shown along with the Chief if there is one, the tartan and clan crest of the families. 

The dates are accurate and referenced from  the Scottish Tartan Register 

https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/index 

1587 17 tartans and crest final

The Bruce Tartan/s

The Family of Bruce tartans are registered to Bruce. They are not and never have belonged to Carruthers, nor have we ever been gifted one for our own use, whether called modern, ancient or anything else. (see a misconception of ownership below)

The 1st and the 3rd are the tartans that have been commonly worn by Carruthers. There are slight variations in colours depending on the source. This allows for descriptive names to be added by commercial outlets ie Modern, Ancient, Weathered etc and even within these, colour variations exit.  Again this is dependent on the dyes the weavers use that the bolts of cloth were bought from. There is no uniformity of colour palette, but there is uniformity of threadcount.

Prior to 2017, Carruthers had no Tartan to our Name and prior to 2019 we had no Chief in place. We were not officially recognised as a clan in our own right so could have no official tartan, but we are and do now.

https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/qResults?searchString=bruce

Listed below are ALL Bruce tartans. These are all registered to Bruce, not Carruthers. 

Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 10.55.09
Bruce page 1
Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 10.55.22
Bruce page 2

Carruthers and Bruce, a misconception of ownership

  • The confusion exists because until last year Carruthers were classed as a sept of Bruce. Having a Chief confirmed by the Lord Lyon in August 2019 after 210 years gave the Clan and Family of Carruthers official status as a Noble Incorporation in Scots law. In January of 2020, the red Carruthers was registered as the official Clan/Family tartan of Carruthers. This does not stop anyone wearing Bruce, but we cannot claim ownership of any of their tartans.

It is interesting to note that when you type ‘Carruthers’ into ‘Find your family or Clan’, ie on the USA Kilts website, the Bruce tartan appears. It takes you to a range of associated Bruce tartans ‘linked’ to the name of Carruthers, but none are in fact Carruthers. This quite clearly shows two important points;

1) The supplier is honest in their dealings with the public.

2) Carruthers simply cannot lay claim to a Bruce tartan otherwise it would carry the name and registration of Carruthers and not Bruce. Obviously, this is not the case.

https://www.usakilts.com/advancedsearch/result/?q=carruthers+

leading to

https://www.usakilts.com/gallery/13-16-oz-wool?keywords=carruthers

or

https://www.usakilts.com/gallery/11-oz-wool?keywords=carruthers

What again is interesting and further proves the point, is that the Ancient and Modern Bruce tartans listed, carry slight variations from each other. This is explained above and is based on the colour palette used by the weavers the tartan is sourced from. However, all carry the exactly the same threadcount as their registered root tartan.

The Clan Chief and the official Tartan

  • Ownership of the Carruthers tartan has been gifted to the Chief, and through him to his clan. As such it is listed and registered as the Carruthers Clan/Family tartan, by the Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh (SCOTLAND).

Without the Chief’s acceptance/adoption, our tartan could not carry the Clan/Family designation. The Carruthers Red, is the only official Carruthers tartan for use by our family and clan. We can of course wear whatever we like, unless the tartan itself carries restrictions.

https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails?ref=11700

Screen-Shot-2020-05-24-at-10.52.21-2606936282-1595666584671.jpeg

Carruthers and the Scottish Weavers

  • The Red Carruthers tartan is currently woven as a private tartan by the House of Edgar, Perth, Scotland. These have been our weavers from the onset. They are one of the oldest family run and independent weavers still left in our country. 

Below, dated July 2020, is an exchange between the Society and our weavers, Macnaughton’s (House of Edgar), regarding the Carruthers Red Tartan.  MacPhails in Canada are mentioned.

On-2-Jul-2020-2.jpg

Carruthers and our Kiltmakers

  • Outside of Scotland the Carruthers tartan is sold through MacPhails Kiltmakers in BC Canada. When questioned by us with regards acrylic tartan from Pakistan, this was their response below. It was no real surprise that Macphails purchase the Carruthers tartan directly from our weaver, the House of Edgar in Scotland.

Below, dated July 2020, is an email from Macphails regarding the Carruthers tartan

MacPhails-re-tartan.jpg

Wool or Acrylic

  • The Carruthers Red tartan, like all House of Edgar tartans is 100% wool, not acrylic as can clearly be seen on the House of Edgars own webpage.

https://www.houseofedgar.com/product-category/tartan-fabrics/


Having spoken to both MacPhails and the House of Edgar, we are all quite bemused regarding the claims that our tartan is a) English b) from Pakistan and c) is acrylic. The conclusion has to be, that the claims being made are both vindictive and totally and utterly false.

We therefore hope that this blog has helped highlight the unscrupulous and resolves any question regarding the integrity of both our tartan and/or our suppliers.

To Summarise

We believe we have proven without any shadow of a doubt, that Carruthers Tartan is 100% Scottish.  The Tartan was designed in Scotland by a Scottish tartan designer, Brian Wilton MBE. It is registered in Scotland on the Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh as STR 11700 and is woven in Scotland with 100% wool, as all good Scottish weaves are. You cannot get any more Scottish than that.

There is an old Scottish saying that springs to mind, which comes from two parents who are watching children march in a parade, one being their own. One parent was heard to exclaim to the other “Oh look, how sweet, everyone’s out of step but our Johnny“.

Makes you think who is actually out of step and the real reasons why?


Clan Carruthers Society WP footnote grey Final to use

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