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The Burns Scarf from Johnstons of Elgin

It's almost that time of year when haggis, whisky and poetry take centre stage to celebrate the life and works of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns.


Ahead of the Burns Night festivities, Famously Hawick partner Johnstons of Elgin have introduced their Burns Scarf, a tissue-weight Cashmere design in the great poet's own check. As we look forward to his birthday on January 25th, we think Robert Burns would have approved of this nod to his memory.


Widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns is celebrated worldwide. Even those unfamiliar with his story are likely to have come across his best-known writings, such as Auld Lang Syne and the traditional love song A Red, Red Rose.


Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, in 1759 and died in 1796. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 550 poems, using humour and observation to convey thought-provoking narratives around love, life and nature.


Johnstons of Elgin first made the Burns Check in 1959, collaborating with the late Baron Marchand of Messrs George Harrison & Co. of Edinburgh. The pattern is based on a Shepherd’s Check, featuring the ‘hodden grey’ mentioned in Burns’s work and a touch of green to represent the country fields he held so close to his heart. Their hodden grey shade is inspired by traditional hodden, a coarse cloth made of undyed wool that traditionally combined raw black and white fleeces to achieve its colour.


In his poem ‘A Man's a Man for a' That’, Burns wrote:


‘What though on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hodden grey, an' a that;

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;

A Man's a Man for a' that.’


The Burns Scarf is made in Johnstons of Elgin’s own weaving mill, using the softest, finest Cashmere fibres. The scarf’s feather-light nature makes it ideal for all seasons, holding warmth in the cooler months and never overheating when the sun shines.


Most importantly, this is the perfect accessory for an evening of bagpipes, haggis, neeps and tatties and poetry with friends, celebrating a man whose words unite us. Accompanied by a dram or two of whisky from The Borders Distillery of course!

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