Edinburgh Zoo have launched their new tartan today, and as you might expect it is largely black and white.
Auspicious timings, to tie in with Burns Night and the Chinese New Year, Edinburgh Zoo have unveiled the exclusive fine wool worsted Edinburgh Zoo Panda Tartan fabric to commemorate the arrival of Tian Tian and Yang Guang to their new home in Scotland.
The unique tartan was commissioned by Edinburgh Zoo with Kinloch Anderson, an Edinburgh based family company renowned for their kits, tartan and highland dress since 1868. The tartan has been approved by the Scottish Registrar of Tartans – emphasising the huge cultural significance of the pandas to Scotland.
Deirdre Kinloch Anderson, Senior Director of Kinloch Anderson, said:
“Tartan is one of Scotland’s greatest icons. Careful attention was given to create a tartan with a meaningful background, with relevance both to the Zoo and also to China – and importantly a tartan that people find attractive. In 1909 the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland was founded by the Edinburgh Lawyer Thomas Gillespie, so the sett is based on the Gillespie tartan. Clearly the tartan was to be black and white, but also with some grey to soften it, just as there is some grey in the Pandas’ fur. The green line is for the Pandas’ favourite food of bamboo. There are three fine red lines to represent China. Number 3 is China’s lucky number and also the red lines are in the heart of the design to indicate that the Pandas are in the hearts and minds of the Scottish and Chinese people.
“We hope that this tartan will “Fly the flag for Scotland” and that tartan merchandise will leave the Zoo gift shop for homes not only in Scotland but all over the world.”
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive for Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“We’re delighted with the panda tartan designed for us by Kinloch Anderson. This significant and highly exciting project symbolically demonstrates the coming together of Scotland and China’s heritage and culture – making it the perfect way to commemorate the gift of two giant pandas that China bestowed upon Scotland. It’s unveiling on the overlap of two separate culturally significant days for both China and Scotland feels very appropriate and auspicious timing.”
Kirsty Franey, Tartan Designer at Kinloch Anderson, said:
“It has been a great pleasure to work with the Edinburgh Zoo on such a culturally significant project and I am very proud to be able to celebrate and showcase the arrival of the Pandas with the exclusive Edinburgh Zoo Panda Tartan.”
The panda tartan was showcased for photographers at Edinburgh Zoo’s panda enclosure, where the tartan’s designer Kirsty Franey from Kinloch Anderson modelled a tartan mini created from the exclusive panda tartan.
The panda tartan will also be showcased to the patrons of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland at a private Burns Supper tonight.
From early April a fine range or Edinburgh Zoo panda tartan merchandise, including silk scarves, leather goods, ties, cufflinks, and hipflasks, will be available at Edinburgh Zoo’s gift shop and online shop www.store.rzss.org.uk
Photos : Jon-Paul Orsi