Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Grassmarket Tartans began in 2011 as part of the Grassmarket Community Project. A talented member of the team took inspiration from the famous local story of Greyfriars Bobby and designed the Greyfriars Tartan. Discover more about Grassmarket Tartans, Greyfriars Tartan and the Grassmarket Community Project.
Greyfriars Tartan Scotty Dog in Greyfriars Kirk Yard ©MDHarding
Grassmarket Community Project
Grassmarket Community Project is a social enterprise born from a century old partnership between Greyfriars Kirk and the Grassmarket Mission in Edinburgh. It has transformed from a humble soup kitchen into a vibrant and inclusive community hub. Providing a safe and nurturing space for disadvantaged and vulnerable people where they can attend workshops, meet others and build up their skills and confidence.
Grassmarket Community project provides shelter and structure for those who need it. It is a sanctuary, with many regular members for whom it "feels like home".
Grassmarket Community Centre ©MDHarding
In 2011, a talented member of the Grassmarket Community Project's sewing group designed Greyfriars Tartan. In 2014 a tartan textile group was launched, where an in house tailor equips members with the skills required to create a range of beautiful handmade products.
Alongside making the products, members are undergoing a comprehensive textiles training program and working towards becoming more employable, while gaining valuable life skills such as improved communication and team work.
The tartan colours represent:
Blue - Scotland's saltire flag.
Green - Greyfriars monks'tended the herb garden (resurrected by Grassmarket Community Project 10 years ago).
Brown - Greyfriars monks' tunics.
Purple - Ecclesiastical celebrations and royal connections to the area.
Terracotta: Lady Yester, connected to Greyfriars, was born in Yester, celebrated for its terracotta roofs, rare in the UK.
Gold - Inspired by the William Blake poem 'Jerusalem': "I give you the end of a golden string, only wind in into a ball, it will lead you in at Heaven's gate".
Grassmarket Tartan Scottie Dog ©MDHarding
As well as the Greyfriars Tartan there is now a wide range of tartans used to make items to order.
All profits go to the Grassmarket Community Project registered charity.
Visit the Grassmarket Community centre in person to view and order the beautiful handmade products. The cafe also serves delicious homemade soup and a variety of sweet home bakes.