Brother and sister Fred and Marie Lawson collaborate to produce some of the best tartan weaves outside Scotland.

Story By Angela Zujic

A few years ago, Fred and Marie Lawson, of Spring Ridge, NSW, were given a commission to produce a tartan that would be suitable for a diplomatic gift from the then Victorian premier John Brumby. It was only when the news of it being presented appeared in the media that Fred and Marie knew it had gone to Queen Elizabeth II. “I remember Her Majesty saying [on television] about the tartan rug, ‘I don’t have one of these’,” Marie says.

“A tartan is like a painting,” Fred says. “I start with what I am wanting to represent. Colours are chosen and then I choose the depth of colour. Complementary colours are added. Just as if it was a painting, I visualise the subject. Finally we weave samples to get the right balance in the design. Sometimes we have to weave up to five samples to get it right. The sample is sent to Scotland. After approval, the sample is lodged in the tartan register in Edinburgh.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #106

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2016