One of the things I really wanted to do while in Edinburgh was get a proper kilt. One made by master kilt makers from a high quality tartan and sized for me.
Today I picked it up and it is a beauty.
What I really wanted was a Bluebonnet Tartan which is the official tartan of Texas. But that is owned by a woman in Texas and no one else can weave it without her permission.
I asked what the kilt maker suggested and they asked my name. There is on Davis tartan, but the Scots will tell you what line it goes back to. Davis comes from Davies and Davies comes from Davidson, for which there is an official readily available tartan. Actually there are two Davidson tartans, and I picked the Ancient Davidson because I liked it a bit better. By readily available I mean they keep that one around already weaved and can therefore start on your kilt immediately.
Sorry for the crap accessories. I have a very nice kilt belt at home – nicer than any I found in Scotland, even at high end places – so I just bought the cheapest one I could find here. Same for the sporran.
Having done a little research I’d pretty much already decided on Geoffrey the Tailor on the Royal mile.
This video on YouTube on the Evolution of the Kilt is a good introduction to kilt making. They don’t own the weaving place mentioned in the video anymore, though they do still weave their own kilts.
When ordering the kilt I talked to one of their kilt makers who said she’d been with the company since she was 16 and was now in her 40s. They did a great job explaining the different ways the can pleat the back of the kilt. The default proper way to pleat the kilt in the back is so the same pattern shows in the front and the back. The pattern of the tartan is maintained even though there’s probably 5 yards of material making it up. That’s the way my kilt is made.
The little white threads are to hold the pleats in place while the rest of the kilt it worked on. I’ll cut them off before I officially wear the kilt, but I think it will help the kilt survive going into my suitcase for the next part of our trip.
When I ordered the kilt the tailor said “We’ll make matching flashes for it as well.” I expected them to match the tartan, but the Mrs was the first to notice they are actually two different colors on each side.
That is because they show different parts of the tartan pattern. I leave you to play match the patterns.
An Improper Kilt Too
My now thought of as Dress Kilt is big and heavy and so nice I might be reluctant to wear it some times. I decided to get a cheaper kilt as well. I bought this black kilt for casual wear and I may do some wearable electronics stuff to it for WorldCon. (More on that in a later post).