Each clan has a visual identity through their personal tartan, this makes them distinct at gatherings and is something we can all wear with pride. To date we have, with their permission, used the Bruce Tartan which that family own and have registered to them, also wrongly called by some; the Ancient Bruce. However, as we headed for official clan status through the confirmation of a Carruthers Chief by the Lord Lyon; Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers (19 August 2019), we felt that as a society and clan we needed our own.
In 2017, two Carruthers tartans were registered, the Red and the Blue Carruthers. The former is the official tartan of the Society and now recognised as the Carruthers clan tartan, the latter was a private tartan, which is now available through the Clan Society for our use. Both are registered with the Scottish Tartan Register in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Scottish Tartan Register is a Scottish government agency to record all tartans worldwide. Both tartans were designed by Brian Wilton MBE, tartan historian and designer, the Red to reflect our Reiver past and the blood we spilt in protecting our family, our homes and our country and the Blue for our historic links through our Chief’s Seraphim crest and the heavenly hosts it represents. Both are available through the Society Shop.
Red Carruthers is also available from a small family business dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture. McPhail kiltmakers, based in Penticton BC, will now take your orders, see contact details below. Their kilts are of the highest quality made from the best materials directly from the weavers in Perth, Scotland. Kilts are 100% hand stitched, using traditional methods that were perfected with the help and guidance of industry professionals in Scotland.
They can access the Red Carruthers directly from source: House of Edgar, Perth, Scotland to provide the best pure new will tartan fabric. Each kilt is expertly hand stitched. Come check out their Scottish store in the beautiful Okanagan valley.
Their ability to produce a kilt or trews that you can be proud to wear at any formal occasion is second to none. If you are attending a special family event, a Burns Dinner, whisky tasting, or clan gathering. Pipebands can contact for group rates.
Trained in Scotland, they have settled in Penticton BC to produce the next kilts for you.
Paul McPhail first came to Canada when he was 15. At the time, he was thinking a lot about hockey, and very little about kilts. The co-owner of McPhail Kilt Makers moved to Penticton from Ayr, Scotland when he was just 15 years old, to study at the Okanagan Hockey Academy. A talented player, he hoped to one day reach the big leagues. Instead, he and his wife Amanda now run one of the only authentic kilt-making shops in all of Canada.
You could argue it all started when Paul and Amanda met, while attending Pen-High. They fell in love, and when they eventually got married Paul wore a suit. “The kilt making thing kind of started when we got married. Basically, I got married in a suit because I couldn’t afford the kilt,” he said recently, his Scottish accent still pronounced. After the pair were married and had kids, Paul says he “got really into Scottish culture.” He started learning more about Scottish art and music, and he and Amanda joined a bagpipe band.
Then, one day while he was at work, Paul says he just started to I wonder what it would take a make a kilt. He found “the most boring book you’ve ever seen in your life,” did some reading, and got to work. “So after about 170 hours of messing around with some material and this book I made something that resembled a kilt,” he said.
Then, he, Amanda and their kids moved briefly to Scotland, and while there Paul and Amanda learned more of the art from traditional Scottish kilt makers. They brought those skills back to Canada, started hand-stitching kilts for various pipe bands out of their home, and things just grew from there. “I was sitting in the house on day and I said ‘we can’t have this in our house anymore. We need to find somewhere to make these things,” Paul recalled.
The started by leasing a small space on Main Street, but just last weekend opened up a brand new storefront in the Cannery Trade Centre. The shop is complete with vibrant bolts of tartan fabric, a workspace for the pair to custom-make kilts, and a fridge full of “the Scottish national drink,” Irn Bru.
Nearly everything in McPhail Kilt Makers comes straight from Scotland, and Paul says he likes to think it’s about as close to an authentic Scottish kilt making shop as possible. “I want people to walk in and say ‘ya, this is what it’s like to be in a kilt-making shop in Scotland,’” he says. “I think we’re as close to authentic as we can get.”
However, regardless of how the shop looks, the McPhail’s kilts are by all accounts top notch, and the pair ships them all over the world—in some cases as far as New Zealand and South Africa. To make them, Paul or Amanda start with eight yards of fabric, which they rip by hand to their customer’s exact measurements.
From there it’s 20 hours of hand-stitching everything from pleats in the back to the band at the top and the buckles and straps.Paul prides himself on his attention to detail, and points out how he perfectly lines up the patterns in the tartan, “pleating the set” for extra quality.
“There’s not very many in Canada that make kilts the way we do, trying to be as traditional as possible,” Paul says. It can be stressful and tedious work, but Paul says he loves it. He gets to meet all kinds of different people, and in many cases create for them an authentic, high-quality garment they can pass from generation to generation.
Highland Wear, Kilt Makers and Scottish Shop,
Unit 204-1475, Fairview Road, (The Cannery),
See McPhail Kiltmakers on youtube: https://youtu.be/B6GDnzZ-F5w
The Clan Carruthers Society International (CCSI) was founded in January 2017 and is officially recognised by the Chief of Carruthers as representing the worldwide Carruthers family. It is non-commercial, apolitical and non-partisan and is open to any member of the international Carruthers family and derivatives of that name. The Society is based in the United Kingdom, but is represented by an international Executive Council.