How To Find Your Perfect Kilt
Posted on September 13 2016
Which Kilt Suits You Best?
This really depends on your needs. What tartan do you want, what is your budget, how quickly do you need it, what kind of event are you likely to wear it to, how long do you want it to remain in the family?
Taking these points into consideration before your purchase will help you get the perfect kilt for the occasion. Whatever your decision, remember that when you purchase a kilt from Kilt Society, you’re getting a great value kilt, whether you pay £50 or £500!
Lots of Kilts Available
There are a wide range of kilts on the market today, and a lot of different names are used to describe them: casual kilts, budget kilts, 5 yard kilts, football kilts, luxury kilts, handmade kilts and real kilts, to name a few.
Without going into every kilt available, in general there are two main types of kilt available. Those which are pre-made to stock, and those which are custom made to order. I’ll briefly explain both types of kilt, before outlining how our kilts compare.
Pre-made kilts are usually more casual and tend to be cheaper due to the mass production methods which can be utilised in their manufacture. They tend to be made from lower quality fabrics, or made from less material than a standard 8 yard kilt.
Custom Made Kilts
There are many kilt makers in the market, selling a variety of kilts with vastly differing prices - how can you tell the difference between them all?
Firstly, many kilt makers are independent so their manufacturing skill is based on their individual expertise and experience, and their prices vary accordingly. If you have a good relationship with your local kilt maker, then you’ll probably get a level of service second to none, and that’s a good option if you want a kilt made if it fits your budget.
Secondly, some independent kilt makers may be restricted to their particular manufacturing methods, or the range of mills that they work with. For example, they may only offer a bespoke hand stitched kilt at £500 made from cloth from the Lochcarron Mill. While this is likely to be a fantastic kilt, it may not suit your needs or budget.
Our Stock Kilts
We have compromised on the quality of the fabric used in our stock kilts, and use a synthetic blend of poly/viscose. It is starched for production, so tends to be a little stiff initially, but after it’s worn a few times and had a wash (they are machine washable), it softens out.
We have not compromised on the amount of fabric used, and all our stock kilts are made with between 7 and 8 yards of fabric (depending on the size). This ensures that they give a good ‘swing’, and don’t end up looking like a skirt! At present they are available in 15 different tartans, including plain black.
Why did we make this choice? We believe that it’s better to have a synthetic material which looks and feel similar to wool, rather than 2-4 yards of fabric which makes the kilt look like a ladies pleated skirt for a similar price. When you use less material, the pleats at the rear of the kilt are fewer and more shallow, resulting in a very different look and hang.
Our Custom Made Kilts
We use a very experienced kilt making company in the west of Scotland to manufacture all our custom made kilts, and offer a wide range of fabrics from many of the UK's largest tartan making mills. Some of the larger mills such as Lochcarron and House of Edgar are also expert kilt makers, and from time to time we may use them to make your kilt (usually for rush orders).
We make our kilts in this way because it means that we are not restricted by a particular mill’s range of fabrics, or their manufacturing style. We use a long established kilt maker that specialises in kilt making and tailoring, so can offer a wide range of manufacturing options. From casual 5 yard kilts, to hand stitched box pleated 8 yard kilts – they have experience in them all and always deliver a high quality product.
By working directly with the cloth weavers, and one of the largest kilt manufacturers in Scotland, we are able to offer a wide range of kilts in a huge range of tartans, at very competitive prices.
Our custom kilts are perfect for those of you looking for something that bit more personal. They are perfect as part of a wedding outfit or for a special occassion.
If you’ve chosen your tartan, measured yourself and finalised your budget then you’re nearly there! We'd thoroughly recommend checking out a few alternatives before you make your final purchase – there’s nothing worse than receiving a new purchase, only to find out that another store sells the same thing for half the price! Unfortunately, when you’re buying a kilt, it’s unlikely you’ll find the exact same product from more than one store. The finished product may be very similar, but not exactly the same. Therefore, what should you look for when comparing alternatives?
- Manufacturer: who actually makes the kilt? Is it in-house, is it outsourced?
- Manufacturing Quality: if it’s in-house, what kind of reputation do they have, if it’s outsourced, why is it outsourced, and who is it outsourced to?
- Cloth: who is the cloth made by? There are a number of mills which produce tartan cloth, with very different prices and different qualities – lower priced cloths are likely to be lower quality, although may offer better value for money depending on your requirements.
- Lead time: how soon do you need it, and how quickly can the manufacturer deliver? Making a kilt takes time, so watch out for unusually fast delivery times (unless there are special circumstances).
- Service: possibly the most important aspect – does the manufacturer provide quality, friendly, helpful and timely customer service? If there is a problem (and there could be with any firm, for any number of reasons), what will they do to ensure you’re a happy customer.
For more information on anything in this guide, or if you just want to have a chat about kilts, please don’t hesitate to contact us.