There is nothing "run of the mill" about my standard kilts. I obtain my fabric only from Scotland's best tartan weavers. Some "Scottish" kilt makers today actually obtain much of their cloth from mills outwith Scotland! I believe that by using only Scottish-woven cloth I am not only guaranteeing a superior garment for my clients, I am also helping to keep Scottish weavers in business. There are only a handfull of tartan weavers remaining in Scotland. I believe it is very important to keep the venerable Scottish tradition of tartan weaving alive in the Scottish homeland.
My standard kilts are made from heavy weight worsted wool in stock tartans woven by Lochcarron of Scotland and The House of Edgar.
Lochcarron is located in Selkirk, Scotland, and The House of Edgar in Perthshire. Both companies produce high quality, authentic tartan material. Lochcarron has the largest selection of heavy weight tartans stock supported by any mill. The House of Edgar has a smaller selection of heavy weight tartans, but offers many woven with a traditional selvage.
A NOTE ABOUT SELVAGE
Selvage (or selvedge) comes from "self-edge" and refers to a traditional way of weaving tartan cloth on a flying shuttle loom, in which the warp (sideways) threads of the cloth are passed back and forth, in both directions, with no need to cut the thread. Weaving in this manner produces a clean, finished edge to the cloth. Kilts are traditionally made with the selvage of the cloth at the bottom of the kilt -- no need for a hem!
Most woolen mills today no longer use the old fashioned flying shuttle looms to weave their cloth. Modern industrial looms, called "rapier" looms, are now the industry standard.
These computer controlled looms rapidly inject the warp yarns from one direction only. This is a fast, and very effecient form of weaving. However, it does require that each warp thread be individually cut. This would ordinarily leave a fringed edge to the cloth, but to imitate the traditional closed selvage of kilt material, the tartan mills of today have developed a technique of tucking each thread end back into the weave of the fabric, creating a "tuck" selvage. This results in a good selvage for kilt making, but it does yeild a thicker, and somewhat more rough looking edge to the cloth.
The House of Edgar has in recent years invested in specialized machinery which allows their modern rapier looms to weave tartan cloth with a traditional selvage. Their standard heavy weight tartan line is woven with such equipment. Lochcarron's range of heavy weight tartan is woven with a tucked selvage.
Click on any image below to see a close-up view of that fabric's selvage.
|Lochcarron (tuck selvage)
||House of Edgar (true selvage)
Most of this cloth is woven 54" wide, meaning the width of the cloth will be split and joined to create your kilt. There will be a hidden seam in the center rear pleats. This is a common practice on most modern day kilts, but if you want to avoid it, House of Edgar's heavyweight range is woven single width (30" wide), as is the cloth for our Heirloom kilts. These kilts will not require the cloth to be cut and joined, so there will be no hidden seam in your kilt.
The order page will show you what tartans are stocked in the individual ranges by both mills. Click here to open a comprehensive master list of all heavy and regimental weight cloth stocked by the Scottish mills.
Lochcarron calls their 16 oz heavy weight tartan "Strome," named for Strome Castle on the shores of Loch Carron in North West Scotland, where the woolen mill originally wove their tartan. Their strome material is known as premiere kilting cloth, and they stock the widest range of heavy weight tartans of any Scottish mill.
HOUSE OF EDGAR
A smaller selection of tartans woven in 16 oz weight worsted wool. This fabric is woven with a traditional kilting selvage, and is also woven single width, so there will be no seam in your kilt.
The below images are only some of the standard kilts I have made for my clients over the years. Please feel free to contact me with questions about your kilt.
Scottish Tartans Authority