Send In Your Favorite Tartan For Year-Long Scottish Exhibition Honoring the Iconic Fabric

Scotland’s premier design museum is calling all Scots to rummage through their house and find unusual objects made or decorated with that most iconic of Scottish contributions to the world—Tartan.

The result of this nationwide appeal will be Tartan, a year-long museum exhibition on the fabric, celebrating its unique history.

Flannels, plaid, tartan, the fabric has many names, but what started as a textile art to identify family clans has become one of the most widely-used patterns on Earth.

The museum, V&A Dundee, is asking for any object covered in tartan, from Christmas decorations to ceramics, and are being urged to email details of their own “tartan story.”

Tartan will celebrate the story of this unique pattern which has connected communities worldwide, expressed unity and dissent, tradition and rebellion, which has been adored and derided, and inspired diversity, playfulness, and drama.

It was outlawed during the 18th century Jacobite Uprising, but eventually made its way onto the British Army uniforms, and even embraced and worn by the royal family. It decorated the jacket linings and pockets of the UK punk scene, and is now utilizing its multicolored character to express queer identity, according to The Scotsman.

“We will be looking at its history of attachment to tourism, tradition and the clans, how it was used across the Empire, how it has been subverted by punks and fashion designers, and how it has endured from quite simple beginnings to be something that is recognized by everybody,” said V&A Dundee director Leonie Bell.

The exhibition will launch in 2023, and run until 2024. It will even include a tartan festival featuring a performance by Rod Stewart.