Remembering Together: Scottish Borders

Tartan together

As we come towards the end of 2023, we are very pleased to mark a significant moment in the Scottish Borders’ Remembering Together project. We are delighted to present two options for the new tartan design, co-created and co-designed with people from across the Borders.

Since the project began last autumn, over 700 contributions have helped shape the decision to create a new tartan, and what that looks like. Now, there are two designs which draw on the experiences Borderers shared and the particular colour and design ideas they contributed.

Many people spoke about Borders landscapes: the sea, rivers, lochs and reservoirs; the brilliant skies of 2020’s spring and summer; and the brightness of gorse, broom, heather and forests.

There were references to the uniforms of health and care workers, the masks and warning signs of the pandemic.

Emotionally, people shared loss and grief, while others spoke of hope and new-forged community. The challenges of isolation came up often, not just for those living alone but also for those who gave birth or experienced other milestones they couldn’t share. Guilt came up often, too, as people wished they had been able to do more.

Each design draws on colour combinations selected by contributors, and the meaning of those will be different for each person. Both incorporate a reference to the five localities of the Borders, because so many people wanted the tartan to be something that joins us across the region, but they differ in approach to colour and space.

One is predominantly green, drawing mainly from the stories of landscape and place to create a calm reflective tartan which nonetheless thrums with energy.

The other is based on purple -- a colour whose many different meanings to contributors reflected the full range of experiences of the pandemic, from grief to birth and from guilt to hope. More complicated in design, it reflects the tension between constant busyness and enduring uncertainty we faced in the pandemic.

We’re now inviting Borderers to choose which will be woven for distribution to community spaces across the region as a marker for this time -- and also made available for community groups to work with in their own ways. There’s a simple form online, using the button below. Place your vote by 6pm on 31rd December!

Personal projects

The design will be available for anyone to use. You could make a scarf to thank a friend for their support, or a group might make badges or ribbons which mark a person or event significant to them.

If you want to be kept informed once the design is ready...

torn asunder

The new tartan design will be woven into a length of fabric at a Borders mill, and pieces distributed to festivals, village halls and community spaces across the Borders. These are lasting markers of the full range of events and emotions which people experienced, set in the places and events where communities gather.

local projects

There will be creative projects across the Borders which use the new design in some way. These will encourage playful use of the tartan, help embed it across Borders communities, and reach more people.

These projects will be launched shortly.

To learn more about the first phase of Remembering Together in the Scottish Borders, and how this came to be, click here.

Remembering Together: the Scottish Borders is commissioned by greenspace scotland with funding from Scottish Government

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