Clan Kitty

Cloyingly cute Japanese character Hello Kitty may be a British citizen only in fiction -- but she now has her own official tartan.

In advance of Kitty's 35th birthday this fall, toymaker Sanrio contacted the well-known tartan manufacturer Lochcarron of Scotland, which has presumably never before run so much pink thread through its mills.  The resulting pink plaid confection has not only been copyrighted but also officially registered as the "Hello Kitty" tartan.

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Hello Kitty with designer Yuko Yamaguchi and tartan registration certificate.

Who knew it was that easy to go mad for plaid?  As it turns out, only since February has there been one official, central tartan registry.  Late last year legislation established a Scottish Register of Tartans under the auspices of the National Archives of Scotland, which has incorporated the preexisting databases of the nonprofit Scottish Tartans Authority and Scottish Tartans World Register.  Anyone can register a unique tartan, in categories ranging from the traditional clan/family to corporate, though the Keeper of the registry may reject "undesirable" names.

Hmmm.  While a Scafidi tartan somehow seems culturally inapposite, a Counterfeit Chic design certainly has possibilities.  Primarily black, I think, with charcoal grey for contrast and subtle white and shocking pink accents.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to work out the threadcounts. 

In the meantime, check out designer Jeffrey Banks book, Tartan: Romancing the Plaid, for an expertly guided tour of tartan.