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  1. #1
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    Clan.com (Scotweb) Balmoral Traditional 8 Yard Kilt Review

    The aim of this post is to review my recent purchase (delivered Feb. 2020) of the Clan.com (Scotweb) Balmoral traditional 8 yard kilt so that prospective customers might make an informed decision.

    I will focus on details which are different from or are not clear from the vendor’s website.

    The kilt has a very loose (possibly cotton) black lining along the top. The lining is loose enough that it is possible to determine by touch that there is no structural canvas stretching from the inner apron strap to its corresponding buckle. The pleats under the lining also seem to only be cut back near the buckle. There is a two-inch rise from the top strap to the top band of the kilt, but there is no flare, so the narrowest part of the kilt is at the top band, rather than at the top straps. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to cinch the top straps at the natural waist (just below the ribcage and above the ilium crest of the pelvis). Despite this, the bottom of the fell would fall two inches below the seat (i.e., the widest part of the hips) unless worn with the top straps at the natural waist. There is a 3.5-inch difference between the width of the rear pleated portion and the front apron at the height of the bottom of the fell which results in the front apron pulling away at the hip and the rear pleats not laying flat (sometimes called a “curtain effect”). (For reference, according to the author of The Art of Kiltmaking, Barbara Tewksbury, there should be almost no difference in these widths.) Finally, the bottom-left corner of the front apron does not lay flat but sticks out instead. This may be in part due to the reverse pleat being less deep than the rear pleats, the taper of the front apron, or the uneven rear-front ratio.

    Given the characteristics of the fell and front apron as described above, the vendor’s measurement instructions for their “traditional kilts” are unclear at best. The instructions say to measure “tightly around waist at the navel,” “around the widest part of the buttocks,” and “from the line used for the waist measurement to mid-knee, or top of knee.” If a customer follows these instructions literally, as I did, that person will in fact be measuring the kilt drop from the top strap, not the total kilt length. This means that the kilt will be two inches shorter than expected if worn with the top straps at the natural waist as the length of the fell dictates. Conversely, if one wears the kilt with the top band at the natural waist, then the fell will be too long, the straps too short, and the kilt shape will be distorted. Following their instructions literally will also likely result, as it did for me, in the seat measurement being too small, as it does not allow for the kilt to hang down straight from the belly. The kiltmaker did not seem to account for these aspects when interpreting the measurements, and the result is an ill-fitting kilt. Had the kilt instructions instead said to measure tightly around the waist just below the ribcage, around the widest part of the buttocks over a towel or cloth hanging straight down from the belly for the seat measurement, and to add two inches to the distance from the waist to mid-knee, or top of knee, the kilt would fit better, though not perfectly, as there would still be problems from the lack of a flare in the rise and an uneven front-rear ratio.

    I have contacted the vendor about these issues and will update this post with their response when I receive it.
    Last edited by Dreaghann; 23rd February 20 at 12:53 AM. Reason: Formatting, typo correction, clarity

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  3. #2
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    Thumbs down

    The vendor's almost comically inadequate response was:
    "From what I can see, you appear to have tied it too tightly."

    This does not even begin to address the issues about the length, tapered rise, fell, kicking pleat, and uneven front-rear splits ratio.

    Here are photos of the kilt worn tightly (front apron pulls away and kicks out; tapered rise too tight on ribs pushing the kilt down and causing top straps to angle out instead of laying flat; rear pleats do not lie flat; kilt length too short):

    Worn loosely (front apron crumples, pulls away, and kicks out; fell falls below seat; rear pleats do not lie flat):


    And in between (front apron crumples slightly, pulls away, and kicks out; fell falls below seat; rear pleats do not lie flat):


    As you can see, it doesn't fit well in any state. (These photos and the fit of the kilt are discussed in more detail in this thread.)
    Last edited by Dreaghann; 3rd March 20 at 02:55 PM.

  4. #3
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    It would help if you posted pictures....
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
    well, that comes from poor judgement."
    A. A. Milne

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    It would help if you posted pictures....
    Good point. I've edited my post above.

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  8. #5
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    Thumbs down Scotweb/Clan's Final Response

    After corresponding for 2 weeks with Scotweb/Clan, they continue to deny that there is any problem with the kilt.

    When asked specifically if the photos below show how the front apron, rear pleats, fell, and front pleat are designed to appear in their kilts, their head kiltmaker said that the kilt is hanging correctly in the photos:


    (Expert kiltmakers on this forum have a very different assessment of this kilt's design and fit in this thread.)

    Thus, based on the Scotweb/Clan head kiltmaker's assessment, it appears that one should expect Scotweb/Clan's Balmoral traditional 8 yard kilt to have a crumpled front apron, rear pleats and a front pleat that do not lie flat, and a too-long fell falling below the seat.

    I also asked specifically at what height it is designed to be worn, and the head kiltmaker said it could be worn at any height that is comfortable but should not be worn as high as the ribs.

    They also maintain that there is no problem with the measurement instructions. They have confirmed that the length measurement can be taken from either the navel or 2 inches above the navel to the knees and that the seat measurement can be taken snugly over jeans at the widest part of the hips. This is how my spouse took the measurements, so apparently there is nothing I could have done to prevent receiving this ill-fitting kilt which they refuse to fix or replace. Buyer beware!
    Last edited by Dreaghann; 3rd March 20 at 03:02 PM.

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