Scottish Tartans Authority
The Scottish Tartans Authority (STA) is a Scottish based organisation dedicated to promoting the knowledge of Scottish tartans. It was first formed in 1995 by former members of the Scottish Tartans Society. The Scottish Tartans Authority maintains a database, called the International Tartan Index, with about 6,000 entries (though the number of different tartans is about 3,500). Membership of the Scottish Tartans Authority is mostly made up of parties in the tartan industry, such as weavers and retailers, yet membership may be purchased by anyone. The Scottish Tartans Authority is a recognised as a charity in Scotland. Funding for the Scottish Tartans Authority is provided by member companies involved in the weaving and tartan industry in Scotland.
The Scottish Tartans Authority was first formed in 1995, by former members of the now-defunct Scottish Tartans Society. The membership of the Scottish Tartans Authority is largely made up of members of the Scottish weaving industry. About 75 percent of tartan production in Scotland is thus represented. The Scottish Tartans Authority is also a recognised charity in Scotland. The database of the Scottish Tartans Authority is known as the International Tartan Index (ITI). The purpose of the ITI is to record all known tartan designs, and to provide a "register" for people to register their own designs. This database is very similar to, and was originally based on, the Register of All Publicly Known Tartans of the Scottish Tartans Society, but contains twice as many entries – about 6,000, though this number is inflated by mistakes and duplicated designs; accordingly the STA's website lists about only 3,500 different tartans as of 2004. STA is affiliated with the merged International Association of Tartan Studies and Tartan Educational and Cultural Association (IATS/TECA), based in the United States, whose TartanArt database also formed part of the basis of the ITI.
The Scottish Tartans Authority, like the Scottish Tartans Society, was granted a coat of arms by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The arms, granted in 2004, contain a shuttle, an ell measure, and a book. Also included upon the arms is a white fret on a blue background. This symbolises the weaving process in making a tartan, and alludes to St Andrew's cross which appears upon Scotland's national flag, the Saltire. The heraldic motto, "Weave truth with trust", is borrowed from The Worshipful Company of Weavers, a London livery company first awarded a Royal Charter in 1155.
Membership in the Scottish Tartans Authority is open to anyone, with fees ranging from £30 yearly to £275 for a lifetime membership as of 2008. The Scottish Tartans Authority maintains a website which lists about 3,500 different tartans, though detailed information of each design is limited to subscribing members.
- "Consultation on the Creation of A Register of Tartan" (pdf). The Scottish Parliament (www.scottish.parliament.uk). Retrieved 2008-09-09.
- Newsome, Matthew A. C. (December 2004). "What’s the 'Official' Word About Tartans?". Albanach.org. Clemmons, NC: self-published. Retrieved May 21, 2010.[dead link]