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  1. #1
    Join Date
    14th January 08
    Location
    Pataskala Ohio and Grayson Kentucky
    Posts
    8

    Cheap...or shall i say, inexpensive tartans

    Hey X Mark, I am new to kilts (just a couple months) and i was wanting to buy a tartan and make my own kilt. thankfully i'm going to receive some help from my good friend Yeti. anyway, i was wondering if anybody knew where to buy some inexpensive tartans. i would prefer to not have to buy something over the internet but i will if i have to.
    so my 2 questions are:
    if i'm wanting to buy fabric, what should i expect to pay?
    and
    where can i find some more inexpensive material?

    thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    18th December 06
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,999
    Walmart is usually a good place to find tartan. Are you looking for a specific tartan though or material? Fraser & Kirkbright usually have some good deals in their remnants section (sorry online) they are the weavers of the X Marks tartan.

    Welcome from Ontario, Canada.
    The Grant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    13th September 04
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    11,279
    Yeti and String seem to have this wonderful place nearby called Hancock Fabric. I would bug them for a field trip there, next opportunity.

    JoAnne's fabric never has anything tartan, all they have is leightweight shirting flannel, at least around here. If you want to make a contemporary kilt, you can buy mediumweight cotton/poly cloth and camouflage there.

    Aside from that I'm afraid you're going to be buying over the internet.

    Check fraser and kirkbrights specials as well as http://www.thescottishweaver.com

    Craigslist might score something

    and ebay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    3rd January 06
    Location
    Dorset, on the South coast of England
    Posts
    3,622
    I started out making kilts out of anything heavy enough to stand the treatment I hand out to them - light canvas and that sort of stuff.

    Recently I have achieved enough kilts for everyday, and have started to make some for lighter/cleaner wear, and spotted some real tartan fabric on eBay.

    Having purchased a couple of kilts worth of it I have to say that it is a totally different experience to work with the real stuff, and I am only sorry that I can't justify wearing heavy worsted kilts every day. The way the fabric reacts to pressing and shaping is wonderful - only wool does that.

    If you can, I'd say wait to find a bargain in wool - or if you have to buy now look around all the possibilities. I have got some really wonderful fabrics from eBay auctions and eBay shops, but I do read the feedback and the description and conditions carefully before considering buying. I never go past a fabric shop without venturing inside in the hope of finding something kilt worthy, I know all the charity shops which have a section for fabrics.

    Heavy cottons, poly cotton mixtures, wool polyester mixtures are all good enough in the right weights and weaves, you can make a perfectly wearable kilt whilst waiting for the opportunity to buy the good stuff.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    3rd December 07
    Location
    America's Hometown
    Posts
    2,852
    Hello and a warm from Boston, Massachusetts

    I only have Jo-Ann's for fabrics around here. My first homemade kilt is a 13 oz Cotton denim (Black) that was on sale for $2.99/yd. I also scored some in a dark green. In the clearance area I have scored enough 12 oz Wool/Acrylic blend to make a kilt in tartan. Please check the material carefully as a lot if it is in plaids (weft & wane not the same). I will let you learn from my mistake. Get Barb T's book, and read it through. It is where I found all the mistakes I made on the first one. Ref: Tewksbury, Barbara: The Art of Kilt Making.
    ---- Steve
    The Great Highland Bagpipe is giving me great pleasure and my neighbours great annoyance, very loudly. Veteran U.S.A.F. From County Down to Boston Town a descendant of MacNeil of Barra. Member: New Hampshire Highland Games (Sept 20,21,22, 2013) http://www.nhscot.org Life Member: Scottish Tartans Authority, College of Piping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    26th January 05
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    5,717
    If you want to know what the normal retail price per yard of Scottish kilt weight wool tartans, check this listing:
    http://giftshop.scottishtartans.org/material.html

    Admitedly, it is not cheap fabric, but then again kilts are not cheap garments. Remember, this is specialty fabric in the extreme, and really fine quality stuff.

    That being said, I will echo Pleater's sentiment. As a kiltmaker, I can tell you that it is a much more rewarding and enjoyable experiment to work with the "real deal." People are often tempted to try making their first kilt with some cheap bargain basement material from their local fabric store, the idea being that if they mess it up, it won't ruin the expensive good stuff.

    I actually advise the opposite. If you are just beginning and want to make things easier on yourself, get the good wool. It will be worth it. It's so much easier to work with, and just makes a much better looking kilt that will really give you more pride and satisfaction in your work.

    I will put it this way. A really experienced kiltmaker can make a kilt from cheap fabric and probably make it look half-way decent. But it will still look like a kilt made from cheap fabric. On the other hand, a beginning or mediocre kiltmaker can make a kilt from good quality kilting wool, and even if the construction is not perfect, will still end up with a decent looking kilt, because good quality fabric was used. In other words, it is much easier to make a good looking kilt if you begin with good fabric.

    All that being said, it is possible to find good quality kilt cloth on sale at good prices, if you keep your eyes open and don't mind getting whatever tartan might be available. Check Ebay listings. And check this forum.

    For instance, I have a 5 yard length of single width County Clare tartan, in 13 oz wool, from House of Edgar, that I need to find a home for. This would be perfect for a casual kilt. I'll sell it for $125 if anyone is interested. Just PM or email me.

    Aye,
    Matt
    Matthew A. C. Newsome, GTS
    Kiltmaker & Tartan Scholar
    US Distributor for House of Cheviot kilt hose
    Visit www.NewHouseHighland.com for custom kilts & knitwear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    28th October 07
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    480
    Why not bite the bullet and get a very reasonable quality kilt to start of with, at the prices quoted on this website I don't think you will have any regrets, and what's more if you don't find kilt wearing to your liking, then you should be able to sell on again at no loss to your pocket.

    http://www.vintagekilts.com/

    This is a very reliable vendor, he is also a very good customer at Redshank Scotland, if you choose to buy from him, tell him Redshank sent you, you may be able to get a better deal, I cant promise though.

    Be aware, shipping will cost about 60 in addition to the kilt purchase cost's.

    Chris


    www.redshankkilts.co.uk
    www.inveraraytweed.co.uk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
    Posts
    4,173
    Another option no one has mentioned is Marton Mills. Their Poly/viscous fabric is wonderful for kilts. The price won't break the bank.

    Right now the P/V section of their website is being worked on but a kilt length will be less than $100.00
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    31st May 06
    Location
    Clinton, South Carolina (USA)-> Atlanta native
    Posts
    1,786
    Steve,

    Does Marton Mills sell through their site now?
    I've not seen pricing in the past (haven't looked in a while). I know a few kiltmakers use the (it is a main source for many P/V kiltmakers).

    I'd be interested in some of their heavier wools.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    23rd January 04
    Posts
    4,676
    Quote Originally Posted by MacWage View Post
    Steve,

    Does Marton Mills sell through their site now?
    I've not seen pricing in the past (haven't looked in a while). I know a few kiltmakers use the (it is a main source for many P/V kiltmakers).

    I'd be interested in some of their heavier wools.
    You'd probably be best to email Marton Mills directly, Macwage.

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