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Make History! Design your own unique tartan - free!

It’s not often we can claim something historic, but this time it’s true. Tartan is one of Scotland’s iconic treasures. But it’s always been the preserve of experts. The recording and weaving of family tartans has long been mostly for those who could afford expert tartan design fees, and expensive weaving in large volumes.

But now Scotweb is putting tartan design into anyone’s hands. We’re inviting a wave of creative possibility. And we’re making it affordable for any family, business, club, or other group to design and produce their own unique and distinctive tartan, and have it produced in short lengths even for individual garments. Just how great is that!

Or else just play and have fun. (It’s all free!) There’s no better way to understand the principles of tartan design than to look at existing designs and see how they work. Our tools make this easy, letting you change any tartan’s colours or arrangement in an instant.

Before you start, it may help to read the rest of this posting. There are a lot of nice features to the new facility. You should work most out for yourself, but have a quick look now to see the sorts of thing you can do…

Modify Historic Tartans or Create from Scratch

You can create a tartan from a blank sheet. Or load any recorded tartan from the Scottish Tartans Authority official records, with thousands to choose from.

This is how many new tartan variants are created. So, for example, if your name is Cameron and you want a tartan to celebrate your wedding, load the Cameron Clan tartan, modify a colour to represent your bride’s family, and perhaps add a band of white for the event. The possibilities are limitless.

This is also a great way to explore the tools. See how historic tartans are created, and see the effect of changing a colour or two, moving lines, or adjusting colour bands. Don’t worry - you won’t affect the original!

Of course there’s a full search facility, which lets you find tartans by name and by colour. You can even find tartans designed by your friends in the Advanced Search.

Use Actual Weaver’s Yarns, or Any Colours

You’ll find three colour palettes in the Design screen. The first are Simple shades, ideal for designing - and for recording as tartans are traditionally recorded only with broad definitions (light green, etc.)

Our Weaver’s palette is special. We’ve photographed the yarns our weavers keep in stock. You can click on each sample for a full-scale enlargement of the yarn cone! This palette ensures any fabric will be pretty close to what you’ve seen on screen. (But do read our terms of trade, because this is a craft, not an industrial science!)

The third Pro palette is for designers who need precise shades, or for specialist uses needing more than six colours. The other two palettes restrict you to six colours, as tartans usually use fewer. If you want fabric woven using the Pro palette we may surcharge.

Beautifully Simple and Intuitive Tools

It’s not been easy making such a complex process easy to use. But we think we’ve done well. Everything in the Design screen works by clicking and dragging.

Click or drag colours from any Palette to a selection shelf. Then use your colours as often as you like by clicking or dragging them into your Arrange panel.

You can adjust any colour band in your pattern, just by dragging the sliders up and down or left and right. Or key in exact numbers, representing actual threads on the loom. (That’s why it moves in pairs of threads at a time.)

Oh, and if you’re not sure which slider… just hover over the Preview, and it will show you!

Tto change colours in your design just drop a shade from the colour Palettes onto any existing shade.

As soon as you make a change, you’ll see the effect - with Undo and Redo buttons to check the difference. And if you don’t like the result, Revert to your last Saved design.

Instant Previews and Fabric Mock-ups

Our preview feature is so clever that we’ve patented it! No waiting while an image is generated to see the effect of changes. It just works.

But if you want a high quality image, you can get that too. Click Enlarge and this time we generate a special image of your design - it looks almost like real fabric.

On-the-Spot Help and Expert Critiques

Wherever you look you will find advice, text-links or extended advice and information, or visual feedback (especially when you first visit).

A nice feature in the Design view gives feedback on how suitable for kiltmaking your design is. Kilt pleating looks best with a sett size in the right range. Keep an eye on this and you won’t go wrong.

But we’re particularly proud of our Expert Critique facility. We’ve assembled a panel of authorities to examine and comment on your design, with unrivalled knowledge and expertise. Each has their own special field of interest. Which you choose may depend on whether your main aim is kiltmaking, weaving, or recording.

There’s a fee for this service of course. But compare this against the costs you’d be paying fo professional design from scratch. And you can have a far more direct hand in the creation of your design, with professional results!

Optional Sharing, and Discussion

We hope you’ll use the Share tab! (Click on the Details link for any tartan to see it.) You can share your design with friends and family. Or you can email directly from there to tell friends about our Tartan Designer.

But especially, please do us a favour, and help spread the word on your own web site, blog, or newsletter. You’ll find html code ready-to-use in the Share tab. And you’re welcome to include our copyright image provided it’s for linking to us. Go on, we’re giving you all this for free… please do this for us in return. :-)

Your Rights… and Royalties!

Our prices for weaving in your own designs is so competitive (especially at our introductory pricing!) that it’s actually lower priced than some off-the-shelf fabrics of the same quality. So we think it’s only fair that we ask that you let us weave any tartans you design in our system, rather than use our facilities then take the work elsewhere. So that’s part of our terms.

The design is recorded as yours as soon as you weave it. And we think it’s only fair that you earn a share if anyone else wants to buy fabric or a product in your tartans. So we’ll automatically credit your member’s account with Scotweb Points to the value of 10% of the value of fabric woven in your design.

This should especially interest anyone designing for a club or social enterprise. Whenever your members order something, you’ll be clicking up credits for free goods! Maybe you can auction these at your next fundraiser.

Buy Fabrics, Kilts, Skirts, Furnishings…

You can order a huge range of fabrics in your designs. And you can have these made into practically any tartan product from our vast range. Kilts. Skirts. Ties. Vests. Furnishings. Cuddly Toys. You name it.

And notice how tartans you’ve designed appear as another option in our main Tartan and Fabric Finder whenever you’re logged into the Store. They’ll always be there when you next visit.

There’s a minimum weaving length of course, that varies from fabric to fabric. But this starts at scarcely more than a traditional kilt length. And you can either have the extra sent as fabric, or else why not order another item or two to use the remnant?

We also offer incredible bulk discounts for larger volumes. So if you’re a corporate company, or perhaps a club with a group of members who can band together to order at once, please enquire. Much of the cost of weaving lies in setting up a loom. So our always-low pricing really does tumble as the volumes increase.

So now you know what to do. Now the only limit is your imagination. Here’s the link. Have fun:

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