Apollo 12 tartan

The APOLLO 12 TARTAN has landed!

A brand new “out of this world” tartan was created in honour of astronaut Dick Gordon’s Walk with Destiny visit to Scotland!

Paisley based kilt maker Ken MacDonald designed the Apollo 12 plaid ahead of the arrival of Richard Gordon especially for the occasion. 

Ken, owner of Houston Traditional Kiltmakers in Paisley, was approached by Aileen Malone of Walk with Destiny, who arranged the visit.  


“I got in touch with Ken because I knew that one of Dick’s Apollo 12 crewmates, Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, is of Scottish heritage and took a piece of Macbean tartan to the surface of the moon. There is a small piece of that cloth in the archives of the Scottish Tartan Authority and like many items that have been on the moon it is considered priceless.”

Aileen said: "We were chatting about the upcoming visit and Ken suggested that he design an Apollo 12 tartan and when I told Richard he was absolutely delighted. His grandparents are from Aberdeenshire but the only time he's spent in Scotland has been at airports. He's really looking forward to enjoying a few days here." 


Ken, as well as running the kilt shop is a governor of the Scottish Tartans Authority. He described the new tartan "As his name is Gordon and it's of Aberdeenshire descent, I took elements of the Aberdeen district tartan and an ancient Gordon. "I then combined these with various shades of grey from the moon's surface.” He then added a bit of colour from the mission patch and a bit from Macbean.


He is calling it APOLLO 12 tartan and has permission from Brian Wilton of the SCOTTISH TARTANS AUTHORITY to register the complicated design of 442 stitches in that name.

Ken Macdonald, kilt designer.

Ken discusses his ideas for the new tartan with Apollo 12 Command Module Pilot, Dick Gordon.

Dick Gordon said:

"The Apollo 12 tartan is stunning.

  I am honoured."

The first Apollo 12 Tartan Kilt

Valued by Houston's of Paisley at between £800 and £900, Ken donated a full made to measure kilt made from the first weave of the new Apollo 12 as an auction item at the Dick Gordon speaking event in Glasgow Caledonian University. Coming with a certificate signed by Richard Gordon and the kiltmaker, the auction highest bidder Robert Law became the first person in the world to have an Apollo 12 kilt. 

Ken Macdonald and Dick Gordon sign the certificate for the highest bidder the night before the auction.




Robert Law won the auction and became the first person to own an Apollo 12 kilt.

Alan Bean, Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot

Aileen Malone presented Alan Bean with his own Apollo 12 tie and bowtie as a gift from Ken Macdonald on Ken’s behalf.

Alan Bean with the Apollo 12 tie_edited
Alan Bean with Apollo 12 tie and bow tie.jpg
Alan Bean receives the Apollo 12 tartan.jpg

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