In the textiles industry, nothing is more prestigious than the creation of a new tartan.
The heritage of Derby is woven through the tartan, with each colour signifying a different element of the county.
Green symbolises the vibrant landscape and greenery of the Peaks. In contrast, Derby’s industrial legacy is shown through the colour red, with black depicting the coal and lead mining industries. One of our main natural resources is limestone so a white stripe has been added.
Yellow signifies Derby’s ‘Tudor Rose’ emblem. And our famous ‘Blue John’ stone is also included, merged with a purple hue of heather that often covers the High Peaks in the summer months.
The tartan was created by designers Fiona and Lesley Trotter. The couple have always been passionate about tartan and textiles and have worked in the industry for many years. They moved to Derbyshire three years ago from the Isle of Harris, home of the iconic Harris Tweed.
Their love for Derbyshire grew and they became involved in the ‘Made in Derbyshire 2015’ event that gave them the inspiration to create the tartan.
We caught up with them to discuss Derbyshire Tartan and what its creation means for the people of Derbyshire. Fiona said: “The best thing is that through personal interpretation the Derbyshire Tartan can mean so much to many people.
“The colours could represent your favourite local beauty spot, your firm’s logo, meadow flowers, your school colours or locally manufactured products.”
Lesley added: “Whatever the Derbyshire Tartan means to you, it has been created to reflect and represent the county’s beauty, and we hope everyone enjoys it!”
Keeping it local
Fiona and Lesley wanted to keep Derbyshire at the heart of the project, recruiting only local companies to help in the development of tartan covered products, that will be available to purchase by the end of the year. Lesley explains: “We wanted the tartan to be for the people of Derbyshire, we were passionate about sourcing everything as locally as possible.”
To create their bespoke woven labels, they worked with Derby based specialists GB Labels, a garment branding manufacturers with over 50 years experience in the textiles industry. GB Labels designer Luke was thrilled about the project from the start, saying: “I’m personally very proud to have a tartan associated with the county. This is a high quality product that everyone can embrace.”
Passion for the tartan
When it came to the design process, Luke wanted to design a label that both defined the Derbyshire Tartan brand but didn’t distract from it. With the labels now taking pride of place on Fiona and Lesley’s prototype products, Luke says: “Like most people in Derbyshire, as soon as something is attached to us we automatically become very excited and protective over it. I’m pleased GB Labels could create a label that lets the tartan speak for itself and leaves a lasting impression.”
Derbyshire getting its own tartan is a fantastic cultural event and an indication that the UK textiles industry is going through something of a revival. Luke says: “I believe there has been a shift in culture, people no longer want to find just the cheapest product but want to count on the quality of the product. They want to know that the people producing it have the same knowledge and enthusiasm that the customer has.”
In collaborating with other Derbyshire based companies such as GB Labels, the Trotter family have created a bespoke product that is inspired by Derbyshire and is made in Derbyshire, for everyone in the county to enjoy.
Find out more about GB Labels
or Derbyshire Tartan