23 February, 2023
The Koala Tartan has woven its way into history with demand from around the world.
The tartan, which was launched by weavers Fred and Marie Lawson of The Crofters Weaving Mill at Spring Ridge alongside Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey in October 2021, has captured the hearts of both lovers and koala lovers.
“The Koala Tartan was used for an Australian wedding party in Scotland,” Marie said.
“It was our second or third wedding all in the tartan. They bought the kilt cloth and had the kilts made in Australia. I made the ties.”
The Koala Tartan has also made its way to Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and has attracted the attention of wildlife groups and sanctuaries. It has also proven to be a favourite at Gunnedah’s own Visitor Information Centre, where Australian-made cuddly koalas featuring tartan scarves have been popular, along with ties and scarves.
It has been The Crofters Weaving Mill’s bestselling tartan.
“The Lawsons have come up with something special with the Koala Tartan,” Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said.
“These are two talented people who have created a beautiful and practical way to celebrate the koala, not only in Gunnedah - the Koala Capital of the World - but across the globe. The tartan has been registered through The Scottish Register of Tartans and is now recognised as the pattern that represents the koala worldwide.
“I congratulate them on this amazing achievement.”
Marie said The Crofters Weaving Mill had been working on expanding the range, with Fred recently successfully weaving a rug from 20-ply merino wool from Nundle. Marie is also working with a different material to make scarves and shawls.
The mill has also proven to be a drawcard for bus tours who stop to watch the world-recognised weavers at work.
To take a look at the Koala Tartan, drop into the Gunnedah Shire Council Visitor Information Centre at 83 Chandos Street, Gunnedah.
- Fred Lawson works on the Koala Tartan.
- Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey (middle) with Marie and Fred Lawson.
- Products featuring the Koala Tartan on sale at the Gunnedah Visitor Information Centre.
For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.