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Thread: Knockabout kilt

  1. #1
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    Knockabout kilt

    Good evening, I'm looking for advice on a yard work/knockabout kilt. I prefer the look and feel of wool, but I'm concerned about the maintenance and cleaning. I have several UTkilts (weathered black watch being my favorite) that would fit the bill, and not break the bank.

    The other option is an acrylic material (I've been looking at USAkilts). The problem I'm having is that
    1. The cost of acrylic is nearly that of a beater wool kilt (from UT), and I like the one's I already have
    2. I don't see a tartan that is appealing (and either universal or clan specific) that I would wear to fit this purpose.

    Is wearing a "beater" wool kilt a reasonable idea, or am I just asking for problems?

  2. #2
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    I don't believe USAKilts carries acrylic kilts. They are either PV from Marton Mills or wool from Uk mills.

    Many retailers use the term PV to describe acrylic and other materials but they are different fabrics with different characteristics. The Marton Mills PV is generally regarded as THE alternative to wool for use in kilts.

    Is your idea of a knockabout kilt for gardening? pubbing? hanging out on the front porch? Intended use will help determine which material and style is most suitable.

    Cheers!

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  4. #3
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    Stillwater offers their "economy" line of wool kilts. These are wool, but not very expensive and not designed with all the traditional bells and whistles. If you want a wool kilt to knock around in, they might be a reasonable alternative.

    Tartans are limited, usually Black Watch and Black Stewart. But those are certainly nice universal tartans that look attractive.

    Andrew

  5. #4
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    Bodhran4me: Thank you for the correction, I meant PV. The main purpose is everything from lawn work to running around town. I have a tank on the way (Dutch Friendship tartan purchased from Riverkilt and modified by the original tailor, Kathy Lare) that will be set aside for less strenuous activities. The real question is, will wool stand up to the rigors of yard work, or should I consider the PV option? If PV, any suggestions on a muted universal tartan sililar to weathered Black Watch that USAkilts offers in PV?

    KingAndrew: Ive looked at the Stillwater offerings, and the limited tartans keeps putting me off. The only one Stillwater has that Ive put in my cart (3 or 4 times now!) is the Weathered Mackenzie in the Standard kilt (acrylic). Im concerened that the acrylic will be a loose weave similar to the UTkilts (I have one that I really dont like).

  6. #5
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    OK, you say that the reason you have passed on the Stillwater is that you can't find the Tartan you want.
    You say the same about the Poly/Rayon offered by USA Kilts.

    Perhaps you could say what tartan you are looking for to narrow things down a little.

    I also notice that you have not mentioned any specific design parameters that you consider important.
    Is machine wasability important to you?
    Are you perhaps looking at the synthetics for their machine washability or is price the more important factor?

    How about manufacturing considerations? Are you looking for the internal construction elements of an Iconic kilt or are you looking for the less structured construction of the casual or pub styles?

    Can you be just a bit more specific about what you want to do in your kilt?
    For example a kilt for yard work would lend me to point you towards a different kilt than one for "around town". (Which is a pretty vague description of what the activity is. )

    We may be able to help better if we had more specifics of what you are looking for.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  8. #6
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    I would think wool might develop pulls and wear from too much rough work.

    My biggest concern, though, would be cleaning. If you're doing yard work in it, you're going to want to clean it often. For me that would mean I would want something I could throw in the washer with no fuss. Second consideration would be practicality; if you're just mowing the lawn and raking, a kilt would be fine. If you have to be up and down off the ground, bending over, possibly climbing up on things, trousers may be more comfortable.
    Here's tae us - / Wha's like us - / Damn few - / And they're a' deid - /
    Mair's the pity!

  9. #7
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    Knockabout kilt clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    OK, you say that the reason you have passed on the Stillwater is that you can't find the Tartan you want.
    You say the same about the Poly/Rayon offered by USA Kilts.

    Perhaps you could say what tartan you are looking for to narrow things down a little.

    I like the muted colors of the weathered Black Watch, so something that is in that vein would be ideal.

    I also notice that you have not mentioned any specific design parameters that you consider important.
    Is machine wasability important to you?
    Are you perhaps looking at the synthetics for their machine washability or is price the more important factor?

    Machine washable would be nice, and while the price is certainly a factor, I'm more concerned about buying the right one the first time (to avoid buying twice).

    How about manufacturing considerations? Are you looking for the internal construction elements of an Iconic kilt or are you looking for the less structured construction of the casual or pub styles?

    I'd like something that will stand up to rigorous use, and my understanding of th PV material is that it doesn't need internal elements to preserve the fabric the way wool does- is this correct?

    Can you be just a bit more specific about what you want to do in your kilt?
    For example a kilt for yard work would lend me to point you towards a different kilt than one for "around town". (Which is a pretty vague description of what the activity is. )

    Let's focus on a yard work kilt, with activities such as mowing, edging, tree trimming, weeding gardens, etc...

    We may be able to help better if we had more specifics of what you are looking for.
    Thank you in advance!

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katia View Post
    I would think wool might develop pulls and wear from too much rough work.

    My biggest concern, though, would be cleaning. If you're doing yard work in it, you're going to want to clean it often. For me that would mean I would want something I could throw in the washer with no fuss. Second consideration would be practicality; if you're just mowing the lawn and raking, a kilt would be fine. If you have to be up and down off the ground, bending over, possibly climbing up on things, trousers may be more comfortable.
    Thank you for your input- the wool standing up to wear is my biggest concern. As for trousers, in the summer here (Central Valley of CA) it is MUCH more comfortable to wear the kilt.

  11. #9
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    OK, I assume that a fabric that is machine washable would be preferable to one that must be dry cleaned. So - this leaves you with Acrylic or Poly/Rayon.

    Of those two the Acrylic is for those who price is the primary consideration like Highland Games Heavy Athletes who will destroy a kilt and need to buy a new one each season.
    or those who may not wear the kilt very often or who are not sure this kilt thing is for them.

    The Poly/Rayon fabrics are for those who want a machine washable kilt that will still look good after many washings.

    These two kilts are right off my rental rack. Both have been machine washed multiple times. The Wallace kilt has been washed at least 26 times and not been touched by an iron since the day it was made.



    Now to the Tartan. While the weathered color version of Black Watch is not available in the Poly/Rayon line there are others that you may like.

    This Gray Highlaner is very close to the same in color tone.


    Buccleuch is nice


    Heck, even Black Watch in the modern version is nice.


    And there are many more that will give you a very nice look.

    But your statment "PV material is that it doesn't need internal elements to preserve the fabric the way wool does" is, I'm sorry, not correct.

    It has to do with how the kilt is constructed that makes the difference. The Casual style kilts are not made with the internal elements to save time and money.
    But a synthetic kilt can be made exactly the same as a wool kilt with all the internal elements and will be very close to the look, swish, and longevity of the wool kilt.

    But, when we machine sew a kilt we sew though all the layers of the fabric in the Fell. This stiffens the back of the kilt in a similar manner that the interfacing of a wool kilt does. So we can leave out the interfacting on a machine sewn kilt without loosing that vertical stiffness. But we still need to give the kilt horizontal strength where the straps and buckles are. The fabric is not strong enough. This is the main difference between the Iconic style, the Contemporary style and the Casual style of construction.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  13. #10
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    Thank you for the correction and the great options! Would the semi-traditional from USAkilts be made like a traditional kilt with internal strengthening elements?

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