Recently I was accused of illegally charting and selling tartans illegally. I want to publicly say that this accusation is completely and totally false.
I did extensive research and even went and asked the folks at the tartan registry about it.
Here’s the full story. When you make a tartan you can take the plaid you have created and have it registered by the Tartan Registry. This is kind of like recording a copyright for a book. The folks at the Registry require information like the sett (weaving pattern), name, and restrictions on use. If it’s sufficiently different from other tartan, it will be registered.
In addition to new tartans, there are hundreds of older tartans that are registered but are old enough to be in the Public Domain, which means anyone can use them freely.
There are also hundreds of modern tartans that are registered but not restricted, so that they can also be used freely by anyone.
Restricted tartans are a very small sub-class of tartans. Usually they are ones created by a company or school that is closely associated with the company. It’s kind of like a logo in how it can be used.
Every tartan that is available on Needlepoint Plaids as well as every tartan I chart as a custom chart is freely available for use or sale.
I just wanted to take a moment to make this clear.