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, as such tartan was not a mode of dress of Scottish Border Riding Families. 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, hogmanay etc.
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), was 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 own traditional relationship with Bruce and our rich 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.
Carruthers’ relationship with Bruce
Like other armigerous (chiefless) clans and families prior to the early 1800’s, Carruthers had been traditionally listed as a sept under Bruce and although proud of the link, we had always been a clan and family in our own right, with a chief/heidsman of our own.
Although we wore the Bruce tartan with pride, it was never going to be ours, whether called; ancient, modern, waethered or otherwise and rrelevent who wove it. the wearing of the Bruce tartan, copyrighted to their name whatever the prefix or suffix, was always going to define the wearer as being of Bruce and not Carruthers. Therefore, in order to have our own distinct visual identity in preparation for a chief, a registered tartan of our own was needed as mentioned above.
Bruce have 14 tartans officially registered on the Scottish Register of Tartans to their Name. These include personal and district tartans and of course the most common clan/family tartans they use. In particular and on their website, they have highlighted four of them: Bruce Modern, Bruce Ancient, Bruce Waethered and Bruce of Kincaid, this in itself puts to bed the concept the Ancient Bruce is in some shape or form, owned by Carruthers, it simply is not.
Colours of these tartans can and do vary depending on the thread palette of the weavers, yet because of their distinct thread count and sett, they remain the same tartan with the same ‘DNA’. As tartans are registered legally to a name, they do not simply ‘give one away’ and only the Chief, in this case the Earl of Elgin, would have the right to do so.
Accepting that we had traditionally been linked to Bruce as a sept, prior to finding the senior of our line, a conversation regarding our goal was held with Charles, Lord Bruce, eldest son and heir to the Earl of Elgin at their ancestral home of Broomhall House, in Fife. He was quite happy that we were following the correct and official path to clan recognition through the confirmation of our own Clan Chief by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and was supportive of the prospect.
In 2019, after his confirmation by the Lord Lyon as Chief of the Name and Arms of Carruthers, Peter Carruthers of Holmains officially adopted the Red Carruthers tartan as the clan/family tartan of Carruthers and it was changed to reflect that official status on the register.
Based on this confirmation, the International Family of Bruce, has since made this statement at the bottom of their ‘About Us’ page regarding the list of traditional Bruce Septs and we thank them for their continued support:-
Including Bruce Septs
Carlisle, Carruthers**, Crosby, Randolph, Stenhouse
(** Carruthers has been a traditional Bruce sept, but now has its own chief and is its own clan. See http://www.clancarrutherssociety.org)
Weavers of Carruthers Tartan: the House of Edgar
Video here: https://vimeo.com/464955628
The tartan has been woven by the House of Edgar, in Perth, Scotland since 2017, but until now suppliers and the public had to go through the Society. However, although their may be a lag time for this to be reflected on their website, this has just changed and the weavers have kindly agreed to list our tartan and to hold a supply of it for sale directly to kiltmakers and/or the public.
The House of Edgar is one of the oldest remaining family run and independent weavers in Scotland. They have been weaving the finest tartan since 1783, 37 years after the Battle of Culloden.
They are recognised as the world leader in the Highland and Celtic Wear markets offering an excellent value for money service. To provide the speedy delivery for which they are renowned, they stock over 1000 Clan, District and Irish County tartans in a variety of weights and compositions, together with a range of supporting products. These include a wide selection of highland dress items such as jackets, ties and scarves.
Their tartans are made from 100% Scottish wool, using in-house design expertise, traditional and bespoke manufacturing techniques and all to provide the finest quality Scottish fabrics to their customers.
CLAN CARRUTHERS PREFERRED KILTMAKER LIST
So you want a kilt, dress or trews?
- Firstly, Carruthers tartan can only be purchased through the House of Edgar, Perth Scotland.
- Find a kiltmaker of repute and your choice.
- Have them measure you for your chosen piece, remembering that if a kilt, Carruthers flashes can be lovely accessory for the socks.
- Have the makers contact the House of Edgar to buy the required length of material.
- Await the manufacture of the garment and attend a fitting.
- Wear with pride.
Although, the tartan is available directly from the House of Edgar in Scotland to all of our name and derivations of the same through any kiltmaker, listed below are our preferred kiltmakers:-
5 Church Crescent, Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, DG1 1DF
Tel: 01387 250250
*Geoffrey (Tailor) Kiltmaker
59 High Street, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Tel: 0131 557 0256
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
3389 Schuylkill Rd, spring City PA 19475
Tel: 601-948-4110 800-368-8633
email: sales@USA kilts.com
1275 Buford Hwt, Unit 105, Sawanee, GA 30024, USA
Tel: (678) 652-3559/373-337 Toll Free: (877) 411-KLT(5458)
103-1475 Fairview Road, Penticton, British Columbia, V2A7W5, Canada.
*Scottish Highland Kilts and Costumes
28 Comstock Way, Woodvale, Perth, WA 6026, AU
Tel: 0412 511 639