As a Scottish border Clan and Family who, like all others of that ilk, Carruthers never had a tartan of their own. In fact family tartans rather than regional/district tartans or military tartans only came into being in the early part of the 19th century and only after the visit of King George IV in 1822. This induced the Scottish culture and all that went with it, to become in vogue.
However, as borderers our clothing was historically far more suited to riding and reiving than wearing a tartan kilt and although a district weave may have been used in some forms of attire, it definitely did not lead to the wearing of it in the same vein as our highland cousins. As times changed and Scots and those descended from the same wished to celebrate their culture by wearing their ‘national dress’, kilts and in some cases trews in the tartan of one’s own clan or family can be often seen at cultural events as well as celebrations such as weddings.
As tartan has become ever more popular and synonymous with Scottish culture and heritage, it has become a defined visual signature associated with a specific clan or family. Because Carruthers never had tartan of their own listed, two tartans were registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans in 2017 by Dr George Carruthers of Fife, an armiger of the clan. One, the red (STR 11700), he gifted to the Clan Chief on his confirmation and through him the clan. This was then formally adopted by the Chief leading to a change in the categorisation of its registration, which in turn reflected its status as the official Clan/family tartan of Carruthers.
The Tartan carries the following restrictions: Recognised by the Clan Chief, Dr Simon Peter Carruthers of Holmains, Chief of The Name & Arms of Carruthers and is intended for members of Clan Carruthers & other spellings of the Name. The other, the blue, was kept as a private tartan for Dr Carruthers’ own family.
It was designed for us, taking into account our Border history, by a renowned Scottish tartan designer Mr Brian Wilton MBE and is woven from 100% wool by our Scottish weavers, House of Edgar in Scotland.
This ensures that Carruthers, as a Scottish clan and family is anchored firmly to Scotland and retains its own visual identity and individuality rather than using the tartan of another clan or family.
Carruthers Tartan itself was designed to offer a visual story of our family, depicting just who and what we are.
THE TARTAN DESIGN AND ITS MEANINGS
- The green, purple and lilac represents the lands of our family’s origins in Annandale, Dumfriesshire, South West Scotland.
- The reds, represents the blood we spilt throughout history for our country, our lands and our family, both at home and abroad.
- Finally, but no less important, the subtle white stripe is in recognition of our family’s historic support for the Jacobite cause and the Royal House of Stuart.
Red Carruthers is also available from two family businesses: McPhails in BC Canada and Andersons in Dumfries Scotland. Both are 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
Anderson Kilts of Dumfries
Carruthers tartan is now available in Dumfrieshire, Scotland.
It is our pleasure to announce that Anderson Kilts, the noted kiltmakers in Dumfries and Galloway, have agreed to become a stockist of the official Carruthers clan/family tartan (STR 1170 on the Scottish Tartan Register).
As all who follow our blog will know, Carruthers is an ancient Scottish Border name deriving from Caer Rydderch (the fort of Ruthers), an area which progressively become known as Carruthers in southern Annandale, in Dumfriesshire. It is from this area that our family takes its name.
The good news is that Anderson Kilts already deal directly with our weavers, the House of Edgar in Perth, therefore access to the material will continue to be a smooth process.
The House of Edgar’s manufacturing process is fully based in Scotland. The design process takes place in Perth, with an expert team of designers. Within the scenic Scottish Highlands lies a traditional textile mill in Keith, where the fabrics using 100% Scottish wool, are skilfully woven. Once woven, the fabric is finished in Galashiels, in the Scottish Borders. They are a truly Scottish company from beginning top end, dating back to 1783.
Andersons themselves, are a well-known Scottish retailer of kilts, trews (tartan trousers) and traditional Highland dress and accessories in the borderlands of Scotland. Their family business, which started in 1854 is now in its sixth generation. They are therefore a very well established and highly experienced kiltmaker, sitting squarely in the region of our family’s origins, surely we can’t get much closer to home than that.
As the leading specialists in Scottish Highland dress in the South of Scotland, Andersons will ensure you are properly dressed, whatever the occasion.
All of their kilts are handmade using 8 yards of 100% pure wool from the top Scottish weavers, one of which is the House of Edgar in Perthshire, weavers of the Carruthers Tartan.
Please be aware that as the Carruthers kilt or trews have to be made to order, it will take several weeks to complete. If you need the item for a certain date, please let them know and they will do their best to have it ready for your function.
When selecting Anderson’s to purchase your new highland outfit from, you can rest assure that your Carruthers garments will be made using the finest quality materials by first class Scottish craftsmen and women. Their staff are there to assist you through each stage of the buying process. They will listen to your ideas and guide you in your purchases, using their many years of expertise.
With over 150 years in the kiltmaking business, a personal and friendly experience (and the Carruthers Tartan!) awaits you at Anderson Kilts.
Please contact Anderson Kilts by email or phone to confirm your request. They shall be in touch regarding cost and measurement requirements.
Name: Andersons Kilts
Address: 5, CHURCH CRESCENT
Postcode/City: DG1 1DF Dumfries
County: Dumfries and Galloway
Phone: 01387 250250
Fax: 01387 250150