THE textile firm behind the costumes and merchandise for time-travel TV drama Outlander has sewn up a deal worth £50,000.

The series, which is screened all over the world, stars Dumfriesshire actor Sam Heughan as kilted hero Jamie Fraser and tells the story of a Second World War nurse transported to Jacobite-era Scotland, played by Caitriona Balfe.

Ingles Buchan, the Scottish firm which makes all the show’s tartan costumes and merchandise, says the increasing popularity of the series has boosted turnover by £50,000 in the past year. Managing director Colin Brown told The National: “This year has been very successful.”

The company, which has offices in Glasgow and a mill in Selkirk, tied up the TV deal with Sony after a referral from a Canadian costume designer who drew up the tartans for the show. Ingles Buchan is now working with Canadian merchandise firm Abbyshot to provide lambswool scarves, rugs and other items for fans.

The products are sold worldwide, including in key Scots tourism locations including Doune, Stirling, Urquhart and Edinburgh castles and Linlithgow Palace.

The bestselling scarf sells for £28, while shawls have a price tag of £110.

Brown said: “They are retailing at a premium price mainly because of the royalties that Sony have put on to that, but you are getting a premium product.

“A lot of woven tartan comes from outside the UK and it is a lot cheaper – you only have to look down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh or Union Street in Glasgow to see [this] – but it is a quality product.

“Customers and tourists appreciate that it’s tartan that is made in Scotland. They are becoming more aware.

“There is a market for people wanting a £20 kilt for a stag night – that’s fine, but your tourists from North America don’t want to buy a scarf or a cowl that is woven in China, they want something that is woven in Scotland.”

While the merchandise collection is made to be as soft as possible for wearers, the cloth for the actors’ costumes puts authenticity before comfort.

The result is something much tougher than today’s customers are used to, but is a realistic reproduction of historic fabrics.The National:

Brown said: “They wanted it to be as close as possible to the quality of fabric as it would have been in the 17th and 18th centuries.

"A lot now goes into the finishing. It goes through about seven or eight processes now, but the fabric for the costumes doesn’t go through any of them so that it can be as realistic as possible.”

The deal with Abbyshot runs out in 2018 and Brown says Ingles Buchan aim to continue working with the firm, which also produces Doctor Who merchandise.

The contract saw the company take on two apprentices to cope with orders and Brown says it has helped the business thrive in a “very competitive industry”.

Filming on the third series, which will also star Irish woman Balfe in the central role as nurse Claire, is currently under way.

Brown added: “We are in a very competitive industry and it’s a very small industry. There were 30 or 40 mills right up to the 1980s, now there are about eight weaving tartan commercially.

“This has been good for Scottish weaving and Outlander has been good for Scotland more generally.

“There are specific tours you can book now to go around the locations, even horse-riding tours where you can visit the trails used.

“Everybody in the States, Canada, Japan knows Outlander and it’s very popular in Europe – Germany, Italy, Switzerland. It’s less well known here because it is on Amazon Prime, but I think the audience will continue to grow.

“Look at Doune Castle and the amount of people still going to visit because of Monty Python. There is a tourism boom to be had for years to come.”