A contemporary tartan designed by a student during a work experience placement has been registered by The Scottish Register of Tartans.

Rachel Evison a fourth year textile and design student at Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels, created ‘Ashers of Nairn’ tartan.

Twenty-one-year-old Rachel, from Ingleton, who was on a summer work experience placement with Bute Fabrics on the Isle of Bute, used the corporate colours for Ashers of Nairn to commemorate the company’s success in the Scottish Baker of the Year 2014 competition.

Rachel won her work placement after taking first prize in an industrial project arranged by Heriot-Watt staff. Working in conjunction with university lecturers and the design team at Bute Fabrics, students were tasked with resolving a design challenge that the company faced.

During her placement, Rachel was briefed by Ashers of Nairn who wanted to modernise their existing tartan using the colours in their company logo.

"Being at Heriot-Watt has really opened my eyes to the whole woven fabrics industry because the university is situated in a place that is rich in Scottish textile history," said Rachel. "I find it so inspiring that our studios are in an old working mill as it makes weaving here feel special and exciting and inspires an interest in tartan.

"There are so many tartan designs with different colours and colour proportions. The different patterns are fascinating to look at and I think it’s really interesting to take a traditional tartan composition like I did with Ashers of Nairn then adjust the colouration to create a new contemporary fabric.

“I’ve always loved textiles and enjoyed making things from a young age. Although I initially wanted to be a fashion designer when I started my degree, I’ve learned so much about the importance of fabrics and its properties and qualities that I’d now like to design fabrics as a career.

Fiona Pankhurst, Lecturer in the School of Textiles, said, “Being named as the designer on an officially registered tartan is a great achievement for an undergraduate student and a wonderful addition to Rachel’s CV.

James Sprint, Managing Director of Bute Fabrics, said, “We like to give younger people the chance to fully express themselves. Giving Rachel a free hand to design what she wanted and putting forward her ideas, undiluted, to our client was highly rewarding for both Rachel and us."