"The Japanese and Taiwanese have always had a taste for tartan but their enthusiasm for Scottish plaids is now amply matched by Korean consumers," says John Kinloch Anderson of the Edinburgh based Kinloch Anderson company.

Last year Kinloch Anderson moved into the Korean market in a big way with the opening of three Scottish fashion boutiques in top Seoul department stores.

On the basis of the success of this first trio of outlets, which helped to boost 2002 earnings from export sales to Korea to more than £5 million, it now has plans to open a further four shops.

Before launching its Korean collection, Kinloch Anderson provided expert advice on traditional patterns and colourways to suit the Korean consumer. "So while customers in cities like Seoul believe the fabrics are authentically Scottish in character, here in Scotland our cloth buying team and their suppliers see the range more as an international collection which makes maximum use of Scottish design and construction know-how," Kinloch Anderson says.

By Sonia Roberts.