It's almost that time of year again when haggis, whisky and poetry take centre stage to celebrate the life and works of Scotland's national bard. Ahead of January’s festivities, we are delighted to introduce our 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.

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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 the New Year favourite 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 covey thought-provoking narratives around love, life and nature. He visited the area surrounding our Elgin mill in 1787, ten years before our mill’s inception, even penning a poem for the Duke and Duchess of Gordon about their castle home.

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Give me the stream that sweetly laves, the banks by Castle Gordon.
- Robert Burns


We 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. 

Our 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.’

Discover Johnstons of Elgin
Discover Johnstons of Elgin


The Burns Scarf is made in our 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, traditional food and the warmth of good friends, celebrating a man whose words unite us.

Discover Johnstons of Elgin
Discover Johnstons of Elgin
Discover Johnstons of Elgin