What is the Scottish Tartans Authority?

The Scottish Tartans Authority (STA) holds the world’s largest archive of recorded tartan patterns. Scotweb is honoured to be authorised to give you access to the full STA collection, which we have combined with our own unrivalled database of weaver-produced tartan fabrics. Together these offer you a unique facility to reliably research your historic tartans, and then find materials and products available in those materials. 

The STA is an independent charitable body, set up to protect and preserve tartan traditions. It is funded by individual and commercial members (including most major tartan weavers) who annually elect a board of governors, including Scotweb’s founder and Managing Director, Nick Fiddes. 

The STA undertakes a range of services, including educational and research activities. But its primary function has always been to record and maintain an archive of all known tartans. This includes a the world’s largest library of rare tartan samples preserved for posterity. It also includes a computerised database, which the STA shares with Scotweb to reach a wider public. This enables Scotweb to offer any recorded tartan to be affordably woven to order (except those restricted by commercial copyright).

The Scottish Government is has now passed a bill to establish a new official Scottish Register of Tartans, launching late in 2008. Our MD, Nick Fiddes, is on the Steering Group deciding how this will operate, as the STA’s nominee governor. This new Register will take over the recording of new tartans. But the STA will continue to provide extended information and support services, plus educational and other functions.