Kilts and Kiltmaking
Of all the traditional dress in the world, Scottish Highland dress is the most worn. Kilts are the most worn in ceremonies, Highland games, Highland Dances, and in parades. Since the first use of tartans in the 18th century, Nations, States, Colleges, and even Corporations have registered tartans for private or public use in ceremonies. Individuals have registered tartans for personal or family use. Today, families and individuals do not have to be Scottish to register their own tartan. This lens was posted to help kilt wearers and kilt makers find the resources they need.
This lens will not go into too much detail about kiltmaking. It will point the kilt wearer and kilt maker to the right resources. Children, and mainly teenagers, who are interested in Highland dancing do not realize the initial cost of a full Scottish Highland dress for dances. Though it is more expensive to purchase clan, or Highland dance, related tartan the steps to making a kilt for your beloved Highland dancer is fairly simple. Most of the cost in making a kilt is in the tartan fabric and in the kilt maker's (your) patience. Once the kilt maker gets the hang of [engineering] a kilt, it should take about 20 hours to finish the kilt.
The advantage of kiltmaking over making any other garment is that most other garments must follow a pattern and involves a lot of cutting and trimming. Conversely, a kilt uses no pattern and involves very little cutting of the fabric. The kilt is always sewn by hand unlike a skirt or dress. How the kilt will look will depend on the number of pleats in the rear and measurements of the kilt wearer.
As for me, my first kilt may be made from cotton denim twill fabric. The fabric is about $5, or so, per yard and I do not need to worry about pleating to the stripe or the sett. My first kilt will be for casual and outdoor use. If I can make my first kilt from denim I will be able to make a kilt from any fabric.
Why Men Should Wear A Kilt
Many of the reasons lead me to at least two answers for perspective kilt wearers. A kilt will keep you cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months. A kilt wearing man always wears his kilt for the ladies. To be sure, if the argument whether a kilt makes a man gay comes up remember, the knife in his sock says he is not.
An article at Kiltmen.com gives a good reason for men to wear kilts. I concur.
Recommended: Free Kilts & Tartan e-book
"Buying your Kilt - Made Easy"
An Expert Insider's Frank Views and Simple Tips by Dr Nicholas J Fiddes
(Governor, Scottish Tartans Authority)
- Why you should wear a kilt, and what kind of kilt to get
- How to source true quality, and avoid the swindlers
- Find your own tartans, and get the best materials
- Know the outfit for any occasion, and understand accessories
Kilts for Every Occasion
How do you wear your kilt?
Why Women Love Men In Kilts
Because men who wear women's clothing are pathetic. More to come.
A Question for the Ladies
Ladies, which is sexier for men to wear?
Mohawk Valley Living #177 Kilt Maker Barb Tewksbury
Clips from local tv show.
How to make a kilt
Bonnie Heather Greene, the kiltmaker, demonstrates the art of knitting a kilt during the Celtic Fest at Graeme Park Saturday. Greene knits and repairs kits for her shop in Mahopac, N.Y. For more go to www.bonniekilts.com.
How a kilt is made
This is a 7 minute small insight into the normal 8 hours spent making a kilt. This is one of our best kilt makers at work, she has 30 years of experience & makes one of Edinburgh's finest kilts. We hope you enjoy, if you would like a kilt made up, take a look at www.thekiltstore.com or give us a call on 00 44 131 660 3451
Tartan Designs for Weavers
Custom Tartan Designs - By John Orr
Yesterday, I posted my new book for sale through Lulu.com. The book is a 74 page collection of tartan designs I have created over the course of 3 years. I decided to compile and publish some of my tartan designs and their respective details so weavers who are interested may weave them. Questions and comments are always welcome. This book is my first major publication.
The Brotherhood of Dirk Tartan
Over the past two months, I have entertained the thought of designing a tartan to commemorate the life of Dirk Smiler. There are two tartans which are now up for review by Dirk's friends and family. I assume that a (dress) tartan will be chosen for registration. I also hope the chosen tartan will be registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans soon.
When I designed the tartan for Dirk, I wanted it's design to represent how I saw Dirk's persona and show honor and respect for a Titan who left too soon. The chosen tartan will be worn in some fashion, I hope, by Dirk's family and friends on his Birthday and to events that Dirk Smiler may attend.
Once Dirk's family chooses a tartan to honor the life of Dirk and has it registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans, I will no longer have control over its design and modification. All other tartans baring Dirk Smiler's name will be deleted from my Scotweb account. Any tartan commemorating the life of Dirk belongs to the Smiler family, not me.
01.14.2011 - UPDATE!
The Brotherhood of Dirk tartan has been approved by the Scottish Register of Tartans and the registration fee has been paid. By the end of next week friends and family of Dirk Smiler will be able to order garments in his tartan.
01.31.2011 - UPDATE!
The Brotherhood of Dirk tartan is now permanently recorded in the Scottish Register of Tartans. Tartan details can be found at the following webpage. My contact information is publicly listed should anyone have questions regarding Dirk's tartan.
07.27.2011 - UPDATE!
I have deposited $50.00 toward the weaving of a sample of Dirk Smiler's tartan. The sample, to be ordered, is 24" x 24" in size and is woven out of worsted wool. The total cost of the tartan sample is $115.00. Once the Brotherhood of Dirk has been woven into a tartan sample, it will be photographed and posted on this lens.
The tartan sample will be split up and part (12" x 24") will be sent to Dirk's mother. Another part (12" x 12") will be sent to Skot Braunfeld, and the last part ( 7" x 9" minimum) will be sent to the Scottish Register of Tartans. Once the tartan sample is permanently archived in the Scottish Register of Tartans I may finally have my rest.
08.18.2011 - UPDATE!
Molly, a tartan weaver in Fairbanks AK, is sending yarn color samples for Dirk Smiler's tartan design. I should see the yarn colors, first, before the weaving continues. I want to make sure the colors chosen are as close to the "Brotherhood of Dirk" tartan colors as possible. After all, part of the 24" x 24" sample is being sent to the Scottish Registry of Tartans to be permanently archived. Once Dirk Smiler's tartan is archived, he will live forever.
Photos of the sample will be posted to this lens as well as my facebook profile. Friends and family (and their descendants) of Dirk Smiler may still request the thread count and color code for the "Brotherhood of Dirk" tartan at anytime. I have both printed and so does Dirk's mother. Both are also available, upon request, from the Scottish Registry of Tartans.
09.12.2011 - UPDATE!
The "Brotherhood of Dirk" tartan sample is now off the loom and finished. It will be shipped later today or tomorrow. One thing I must do when I receive the sample is photograph it. People will want to see the finished product and I hope they all approve. I will put it on a side table in the living room and away from direct sunlight so the colors do not fade.
09.18.2011 - UPDATE!
I received the tartan sample on Friday. The"Brotherhood of Dirk" tartan sample has been woven for the first time. After a year of designing, registering, and weaving I can finally have my rest. 2010 was a horrible year for me and about 600 others. Now that Dirk's tartan has finally been woven his friends and family can see the finished product. They may, someday, purchase a garment in the "Brotherhood of Dirk" tartan.
'Humanitarian Mission (Dress)' Tartan
This tartan is designed to honour all Red Cross/Red Crescent volunteers. The colours have been chosen to reflect the designer's particular appreciation and respect for the international humanitarian mission of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement. Red Cross/Red Crescent volunteers past and present, are welcome to wear this design. Colours: red represents the Red Cross/Red Crescent; white represents its humanitarian mission; grey represents man-made and natural disasters worldwide, to which volunteers respond everyday; black represents those volunteers who have lost their lives while participating in the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement. Comments are always welcome.
A New Tartan Design for My Immediate Family.
A new tartan is being designed for my immediate family. I wanted to design a tartan using colors taken from my family crest. The surname, "Orr" has no proper tartan but I wanted to design one to represent the family of LTC Gerald W. Orr Sr., U.S. Army (Retired) and his descendants.
12.29.2011 - UPDATE: My immediate family, now, has a new tartan. The pattern was entered into the archives at the Scottish Register of Tartans this afternoon. The registered name of our new tartan is "Orr Senior, Gerald William (San Francisco) (Personal)." I consider this new tartan to be much like a lifetime achievement award in my father's honor. After spending 20 years of service in the U.S. Army and for two tours of Duty in Vietnam; he has earned it. The next step is to submit a sample swatch of fabric to the register to be permanently recorded.
03.18.2012 - UPDATE: I put a lot of thought into the pattern I designed for my immediate family. After ordering and receiving a table runner in that tartan I have decided to reduce the size of the pattern so it can be used on other items such as place mats, bags, shirts, dresses, etc. I basically reduced the threadcount, for each color yarn, by about half and repeated the threadcount in reverse order. This way my family, and anyone else who asks to use and wear our tartan, can use one for kilts and the other pattern for both kilts and other things. Tartan details are available at: http://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartandesign/details/4136...
Anyone who wants to use and/or wear my immediate family's tartan may do so with prior written permission. I may grant permission simply because a person asked. That is, provided I can have a photo of the garment or other product. I also have a variation with Black on either side of the White saltire. In lieu of Red I have other variations that are Maroon, Corn Flower Blue, and one in "Nandor" Green. Now I understand why tartans were traditionally designed on the loom!
02.20.2013 - UPDATE: I have recently lifted the restrictions on my immediate family's new tartan. It just does not make any sense for me to keep my family's tartan to myself. Questions and comments are welcome.
A New Tartan Registration from John Orr
Last week I finished designing, and had registered, a new tartan. The "Common Ground (Dress)" tartan is an interpretation of the War of 1812. The new tartan is not intended to be restricted in its use and wear. It may be used and worn by anyone and may be woven commercially and non-commercially.
All I ask is that I may have a photo of its use and/or wear so I may post is to my website and them to this lens. The thread count and color palette, in PDF format, may also be purchased from on eBay for $25 USD. Hey, I have to eat too!
03.13.2012 - UPDATE! I have decided to offer the Common Ground (Dress) tartan as a PDF, at auction, until June 19Th, 2012. Weavers may use and wear this tartan commercially and non-commercially. Send a photo of the Common Ground (Dress) tartan in use and wear. The "Common Ground (Dress)" tartan details are also available, upon request, for $5.00 to cover shipping. Questions and comments may be addressed to John Orr at: email@example.com.
05.05.2012 - UPDATE! For historical reasons, I am offering up the 'Common Ground (Dress)' tartan to the public for use and wear during the year. The tartan design may be used and produced commercially and non-commercially. Go to the J Orr Tartan Design website to download the thread count and color palette details:
Squires of Saint Andrews "The Whole Nine Yards"
The making of the "Great Kilt"! making of the Great Kilt back in the day.. The Commander of the Squires for the new group for children in Southern California, brought his father, (one of the Adults for the group) Floyd Ferguson,, to help show the Making of the Great Kilt back in the day. These Kilts would be unfolded and and used as a blanket at night and then folded again and worn the next day... 2nd Lt. Commander of Squires James Ferguson displays "The Great Kilt" with father Floyd Ferguson.
Squires of Saint Andrews-Queen Mary Scottish Festival 2011
Difference between 5 and 8 yard kilts - KiltRentalUSA.com
Wheaton explains the difference between a 5 yard and an 8 yard kilt.
Highland Dress and Tartan Resources
If there is not a kilt resource listed here I probably overlooked it. If so, send me an email with a Web address and I will post it. When I have the opportunity, I will alphabetize this list.
- The Kilt Company
Specialise in kilt making, kilt hire, bespoke highland outfits, morningwear hire and eveningwear hire
- Kilt Making Kit by Scotweb Kilts & Tartan Store
I found this kilt making kit at Scotweb. The kit is a bit pricey but a descent way to learn kilt making. For a first kilt, it is easier to buy the two books listed and pick up denim fabric and materials from a fabric store. I'm just saying . . .
- Scotweb Tartan Mill
Scotweb was the world's first company to market kilts, bagpipes, tartans, and other Scottish specialty goods online. We still offer the world's largest choice of tartan products, plus an unrivaled range of superb Scottish cashmere, authentic knitwear
- The Celtic Croft
The Celtic Croft has a complete line of Kilts and tartans! Kilts to fit any period or budget! Six different styles to choose from, from ancient to modern. Whether you're looking for the "Braveheart" look, a classic Great Kilt, or a modern formal or C
- License to Kilt LLC
As a piper and a drummer, my wife and I became frustrated with the lack of good quality pipe and drum supplies available. We started carrying supplies for ourselves, and the bands we play with began to ask "Can you get this?". Alas, a company was bor
- Kilts for Troops
The Brotherhood of the Kilt supports all of our servicemen and women who give their lives so we can live free. For this act of selflessness we cannot offer enough thanks. Hopefully this small token of our appreciation will help those in far away land
- Celtic Dragon Press
Kiltmaker and award-winning educator Barbara Tewksbury has teamed up with legendary kiltmaker Elsie Stuehmeyer to bring you a book that teaches the traditional kiltmaking methods that Elsie learned 50 years ago as an apprentice and kiltmaker with the
- Strathmore Woolen Company
Tartans of Distinction by Strathmore
Tartankilts.com - Quality Highland Wear - Wide selection of Kilts, Jackets, Sporrans, Tartan and Accessories.
- Hector Russel
With over 50 years of experience specialising in Highland Dress and Tartan, Hector Russell offers Scottish domestic, tourist and worldwide customers the finest service and best quality Highland dress, tartan clothing, cashmere knitwear, gifts and muc
- Scottish Register of Tartans
Welcome to the Scottish Register of Tartans The Scottish Register of Tartans (the Register) is a national repository of tartan designs. It is an on-line website database facility maintained by the National Archives of Scotland, an executive agency of
- Brotherhood of the Kilt!
The Brotherhood of the Kilt is a global co-ed organization dedicated to the kilt and the people who wear it. We strive to positively impact the affordability and variety of kilted products available by providing an open venue for small and large Celt
- The Tartan Site
The Tartan Site brings to you a huge selection of Scottish Tartan Fabrics woven here in Scotland which we will cut to your required length. All our fabric is made from 100% Worsted Woolen yarn manufactured to the highest quality and craftsmanship. We
- The Kilted Nation
Traditional and modern kilts and kilt accessories. We offer full dress, wool, formal kilts, made in Scotland, as well as low cost tartan kilts off the rack. We also offer one of the largest selection of Utilikilts.
buyakilt.com is one of three retail websites run by MacDonald Sporrans Ltd. We have been trading online since June 2004 and are owned and operated by Fergus MacDonald. Fergus started trading while studying for his degree in Business Studies at The Un
- USA Kilts & Celtic Traditions
Now recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the industry, USA Kilts is ever-evolving to meet the needs of the kilt wearing public. From casual to wool kilts, we are still producing custom-made garments on a made-to-order basis. Come on
- Sport Kilt
Enjoy the Freedom, Comfort and Style of a Sport Kilt! Sport Kilt is a modernized and distilled version of the centuries old Scottish kilts. Each of our kilts features the look of the ancient and traditional kilts of the Scottish Highlands, but made w
- Heritage of Scotland
Welcome to www.HeritageOfScotland.com! We offer Scotish kilts, kilt outfits, sporrans, tartan dresses, jewellery and many other Scotish items. Free Worldwide Shipping.
- The Scottish Trading Company
At the Scottish Trading Company, we strive to provide you with an enjoyable shopping experience while providing top quality Scottish goods and apparel for nearly every price range. From full formal kilt outfits to more casual settings, we are sure th
- Scotch Corner - The Heart of Scotland
Welcome To the Worlds Largest and Most Comprehensive Tartan, Highland Wear and Quality Gift Collection on the Internet.
- Cullinn Craft
Cullinn Craft Home Page
- Scottish Tartans Authority
Scottish Tartans Authority Website
- Tartan Web
Tartanweb has been at the forefront of web retailing for 20 years and we always strive to provide the very best quality products and services at competitive prices. We have access to an unrivaled manufacturing and wholesale structure because of our e
- McAllans Highland Wear
Welcome to the home page of www.mcallans.com, the highland wear & kilts specialist from the heart of the highlands. Based in Wick, Caithness, McAllans are a well established family firm with a long tradition of wearing and supplying kilts, sporra
- Kinloch Anderson - Scotland
Superior Quality Highland Dress & Kilt Manufacturers Corporate Identity & Brand Licensing Kinloch Anderson, renowned for high quality clothing, kilts and textiles since 1868, is now a varied business of high repute with a strong brand name a
- Balmoral Kilts & Highland Dress
Balmoral Kilts & Highland Dress Website
- McCallum Bagpipes
McCallum Bagpipes is one of the best known and most advanced bagpipe manufacturers in the world today. We produce the highest quality bagpipes, small pipes, chanters and piping products.
- The Plaid Place
Scottish Kilts and Highland Dress
Matthew A. C. Newsome, Tartan researcher & Highland Dress historian.
- New House Highland
Welcome! We are a family owned and operated business dedicated to bringing you the best quality hand crafted kilts and knitwear. We believe in tradition, old world skills, and long-lasting value.
- Ian Grant of Edinburgh
Finest kilt accessories, heraldic & ornamental hand engraving
- The Grand Lodge of Scotland
Welcome to the Grand Lodge of Scotland Online shop. The Grand Lodge of Scotland has two sites online, this one: www.grandlodgeshop.com which will offers a choice of items relating to Freemasonry and in particular Scottish Freemasonry.
- The Highland House of Fraser
Ceud MÃ¬le FÃ ilte! a traditional Gaelic greeting which means "a hundred thousand welcomes". A family business, Highland House of Fraser is steeped in the tradition of Highland Dress. Situated on the west bank of the River Ness, we enjoy a pleasant
- House of Scotland home page
We are Highland Dress Suppliers, based in Scotland, UK so whether you want a full Highland Dress outfit , a Kilt in your tartan made for a special occasion, a Sporran that's a little bit different or some Clan Tartan Cloth for tartan cushions or tart
- MacGregor and MacDuff
MacGregor and MacDuff are Scottish Outfitters based throughout Glasgow and also in Prestwick, Ayrshire.
- Gran Chain - the Scottish Dance Resource
Grand Chain is a set of resources for Scottish Dancers the world over, based in Edinburgh. If you do some form of Scottish Dance - be it Scottish Country Dance, Ceilidh, Highland, Step, Reeling, or even Scottish Music, I hope you'll find something us
- Edinburgh Castle Scottish Imports - Salt Lake Cty, Utah
Everything you need to bring a wee bit of the Highlands home.
- E Kilts of Edinburgh
kilts, Highland Dress, Bagpipes, and Dance Wear from Tartanweb.
- The kilt Center
Highland Dress worldwide - direct from Scotland
- Scottish Design - Highland Dress and Artwork
A Meeting Place for Scots, People Of Scottish Ancestry And Those With An Interest In Scotland.
- Tartans of Scotland
Scotland on Line have teamed up with the Scottish Tartans World Register to bring you the complete Register of all Publicly Known Tartans online, which includes details and images of over 2800 tartans. You'll also find a wealth of information here o
- Scotland's People - Connecting Generations
Welcome to ScotlandsPeople, one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. With almost 80 million records to access, we hope your visit will be enjoyable and that you are successful in connecting generations.
- Stillwater Kilts
Please take some time to explore our website and online store. First-time kilt purchases are our specialty- we will do our best to help make your purchase a positive experience.
- House of Edgar
For many years, The House of Edgar has been the world leader in the Highland and Celtic Wear markets offering an excellent value for money service. To provide the speedy delivery for which we are renowned, we stock over 800 Clan, District and Irish C
- The Kilt and Thistle
The first name in North America for kilts and highland clothing for men & women!
- Tartans Collection
Tartans Collection, , Varying, 1800-2005? Miscellaneous Tartans, setts provided by Thomas Insel
- Griswold Tartans
Griswold Tartans, Ralph Griswold, 2005 This is a collection of modern tartans by Ralph Griswold. A few plaids are also included.
- Your Kilt
The Kilt, Scotland's national dress is recognized around the world.
- CAD Card for Custom Design Tartans
This CAD (Computer Aided Design) Card service is for new tartans created in our unique online Tartan Designer, to give you total peace of mind when commissioning a length of woven fabric or tartan products. We try to show you colours on screen as acc
- Bonnie Heather Greene - Kiltmaker
All of my kilts are hand pleated and hand sewn in the time honored tradition. My stitches are very tiny and nearly invisible. Thousands of stitches go into the hand sewing of an eight yard kilt.
- The Tartan Artisan
Collectible Arbroath Teddy Bears, Angus McLichtie & Belle McRock. Limited edition Arbroath teddies - Selling out fast! The Perfect Christmas Gift! Win a free full 8 yard Red Lichtie or Bell Rock Kilt! Arbroath tartans by Scottish designer Steven
Weaving Looms and Weaving Supply Sources
For those who weave their own fabric and want to weave tartan as well, I have added a list of resources to consider. More to come.
'Southern Cross' Tartan
The Birth of the Kilt - Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow - BBC One
This is about right.
How to make a Kilt - Part 1
STV's show "Made In Scotland" shows the process of designing and making a tartan kilt.
How to make a Kilt - Part 2
Part 2 of STV's 'Made in Scotland' episode about the making of the kilt.
How to Measure for A Traditional 8 Yard kilt
How to Wear A Full Formal Kilt Outfit with All Accessories
Kilts and Kiltmaking
The Gael - Albannach
A tribute to all the brave Scots who rose up and fought against tyranny!