Page last updated at 00:35 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Bid to make London tartan begins

Each tartan relates to a specific clan, family or institution

A competition has begun to give members of the public the chance to design London's first official tartan.

The contest is being started at arts venue Kings Place in Kings Cross, north London, later to mark St Andrew's Day.

The Scottish Tartans Authority (STA) wants the pattern's colour scheme to reflect the character of the city.

STA operations director Brian Wilton said: "It is fantastic that tartan is getting recognised beyond the borders of Scotland."

Each tartan is a fabric pattern relating to a specific clan, family or institution.

We look forward to seeing what inspires the residents of London
Brian Wilton,
Scottish Tartans Authority

While most originate in Scotland, traditionally appearing on kilts, tartans have also been created to represent global regions and institutions - including 30 US states, Russia, Sri Lanka, the Arctic and Antarctic.

London does not yet have its own tartan and the winning entry will be registered with the official Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh.

Mr Wilton said: "Every tartan is unique and we look forward to seeing what inspires the residents of London and the different ways that they will approach Scotland's most traditional textile."

A Kings Place spokesman said: "Entrants could choose to include elements such as the pillar box red of the city's buses and the green of Hyde Park in a bid to make it essentially London."

The judging panel will include the Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane and his compatriot, the poet Jackie Kay.

London's winning tartan is due to be revealed on 25 January, Burns Night.

Kings Place launched the initiative to mark a Burns poetry event being held on Monday.

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