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  1. #91
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    3rd August 13
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    Lanark Highlands, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calgacus View Post
    Well said Steve.

    When buying items of Highland dress, my ethos is first of all to attempt to buy a Scottish made item from a Scottish supplier. If this is not possible, then a western made item from a western supplier. If this is not possible, then an eastern made item from a western supplier. Price to me is secondary to quality and place of origin. If there are two Scottish items from two Scottish suppliers I will decide what level of quality I am prepared to pay for, and it will generally be the highest. If the two items are identical I will obviously choose the lowest priced, unless the cheaper one is a rip-off.

    When I buy my next kilt (and any/all future kilts) it will be a heavyweight wool kilt hand-stitched in Scotland and made from Scottish cloth. The cloth will probably come from D.C. Dalgleish because they are the last artisan weaver.

    If I need to buy a new tweed jacket it will be made in Scotland from Scottish tweed, preferably Harris tweed. Accessories will be western, if at all possible, which in practice means Scottish, British or North American.

    Will these decisions cost me money? Yes, at least at the outset. I am having to save and justify the expenditure to myself for a new kilt when there are other pressures on my finances, but I will do that to support local companies making quality products. In the longer term I believe that I am actually saving money. A kilt is not a fashion item that will need thrown away in a year or so. I still have the first kilt and tweed jacket that I ever bought, and that was over twenty years ago. They are timeless and have stayed in fashion, and are in as good condition today as they were then. Do you think you could say the same of a cheap knock-off?

    I would urge all X-Markers to think about their purchasing choices and the consequences these choices have.

    Thank you, Steve, for doing as you have done.
    My mother would love you. It seems that you were raised with exactly the same ethic I was. It is very important to understand who and what you are supporting with your expenditure. For most of us, money represents our time and efforts, so by implication how and where you spend your money, reflects what the efforts of your life will contribute to. I also prefer to support good honest artisan craft. On the subject of Tweed, my mother would only let me wear Harris Tweed that has been tailored in Scotland.

  2. #92
    Join Date
    24th September 04
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    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
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    Perhaps I'm just a bit touchy about the tone of this thread. It was started because I was faced with a distasteful decision and I really did not want to make a mistake.

    It was never my intention to start a thread that compared one kiltmaker or supplier to another. And I never intended this thread to go into the old question of made in Scotland vs made elsewhere.

    It is a fact of life that there are some very good kiltmakers in Scotland. There are also some very poor ones. It really is the individual that counts more than where that individual lives.

    A lot of what this thread was intended for was to dis-spell the advertising. Such as, and I'm sorry to say, Dalgliesh is not the only or the last artisan weaver. There are four more that I personally know of and one of them is in the exact same industrial park as Dalgliesh. Lochcarron is in the same industrial park and just a few doors away.

    I'm sorry but the Harris Tweed label in a garment does not state its quality. Only that it was made by a group based in the islands on looms that are not powered by an outside source. Tweed is named for the Tweed river and started in Hawich. There is also Donegal Tweed which is another group, just like the Harris group, but based in Ireland. Same idea of home weavers banding together to sell their products. There are many Tweed weavers and some are truly excellent.

    But advertising is powerful. It was a Scottish firm that first introduced the pure White hose to the kilt world just as it was a Scottish firm that gave us the cookie cutter "full outfit at one time, including Ruche tie, your clan crest on every accessory and matching Tartan flashes at no extra charge" way of buying a kilt.

    So what this thread was about, was getting you to think about your next purchase. To get you beyond the flashy websites and beyond the advertising phrases. To get you to start looking at the product and the person offering it?

    The World Wide Web is truly like the Wild West. You can say almost anything, promise anything, imply anything, and there is no one that is capable of stopping you.


    Has anyone ever noticed that advertising here, on X Marks, is different that almost anywhere else? Each advertiser has their own forum section. They also participate here as individuals and not by their company names. There is a very real and valid reason for this. If one of our members wants to ask a question of one of our advertisers all they have to do is post in that person's section. That person immediately gets an email telling them that you posted. You will get a response from a real person. You will get to know that person. Advertising on an on-line forum truly is one of the only places on the WWW where there is this one-to-one, very personal communication.

    This thread was started about trust. It was started about ethics and the person selling you an item. It was not started about where that item was made. May we please not turn this thread into some sort of "If it's not Scottish, it's Crap" thread.

    Let's keep this thread about this very unique and special place we have here. On X Marks, if you choose to approach one of our advertisers for your next purchase, you will be able to trust in the person.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 31st January 14 at 03:00 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  4. #93
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    30th June 13
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    When I was looking at getting a kilt and was lost on the large number of sellers, I came here and lurked. The Forum sections for each of the advertisers and the recomendations from the members of who to get a kilt from for a certain price (almost always an advertiser) led me to buy from our advertisers, and I will continue to buy from them. From the response existing members had and the advice they gave about who has provided good service and, to me a key word, HONEST advertizing led me to join.

    I wouldn't want to see that go anywhere. Whether a new member is buying from Stillwater Kilts or USA Kilts, the members here trust both companies as honest and solid, which is what we should be looking for in advertisers.


    A web comic I read has just started having advertisements from other webcomics. These are labled "Currated Ads" because the writer is making sure the ads are for comics that are good, not just in art and story, but in all the little things that make a webcomic worth visiting, consistant updates, communication with readers, honesty in what happened if an update was missed. That is how I think of the Advertisers here, and I hope to keep doing so.
    Homebrewer * Family Historian

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  6. #94
    Join Date
    19th July 13
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    Aberdeenshire, Scotland
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    Hi Steve,

    I think what I was trying to put across is that my purchases must be ethical AND where possible local, and that the two aspects, whilst not the same thing, are linked, at least in a general east/west way. I buy locally wherever possible to support my local community, whether it be dog food, kilts, or my choice of house builder but they must also be ethical companies or individuals. That's where X Marks comes in, at least for Highland wear, as I know I can trust the advertisers listed here to be ethical and trustworthy, and I commend you greatly for that. If only there was an X Marks equivalent for everything!

    So, I didn't mean to come over as saying "Scottish is best", it isn't necessarily, but I will try to support small, quality manufacturers and if they are local then so much the better. Buying on the internet is a minefield and there are huge pressures for manufacturers to reduce prices at any cost, more so than in bricks & mortar shops where the customer can see and handle the goods and therefore make at least a bit of a judgement about quality.

    Thank you for the correction about DC Dalgleish, they advertise themselves as the last dedicated artisan weaver, my bad. I would actually be very glad if you could name those other weavers who produce tartan on shuttle looms.

    As for Harris tweed, that is an industry which I think deserves supporting. The Western Isles have a fragile economy and the industry was taken very close to the brink only a few years ago, so I'd like to do my bit to support it.

    Anyway I have the feeling I am waffling a bit so will leave it at that and hope I've put myself across a bit better this time.

  7. #95
    Join Date
    15th September 08
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    Steve
    Can you please explain to me how kilts sold by UT kilts that mimic Utilikilts are copyright violations and Kilts sold by Alt.kilt, Celtic Croft and S Kilt, are not?
    I am Matty Ross of the Clan ROSS

  8. #96
    Join Date
    13th July 07
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    I can answer for my kilts and the answer is that it comes down to design properties. In garment manufacturing you really want to have at least three difference from an "original" for you not be thought of as a copy. (At this point, even Utilikilt had strayed pretty far from their own patent over the years) Plus, in clothing, you cannot copywrite a garment unless there is a change that significantly effects it's wear and use- no one can copywrite a t-shirt or a sweatshirt, as a concept but you can copywrite the art printed on it.

    My kilts are not factory made- I make each one. I use a 3" box pleat and Utilikilt makes knife pleats. I use buttons, they use snaps. I do not use a standard hip to waist slope- they do. My cargo pocket design is made differently and appears very different. I do not use a welt back pocket- they do. Visually, my kilts look nothing like their kilts (or to my knowledge, anyone else's kilts). Kilts are like t-shirts-- you can't copywrite "a kilt" because it has been worn for a long time but once you start making a product,, people will see the small ways yours is unique. That area is a fuzzy one and clearly happens more in contemporary kilts around these parts then traditional styling.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm happy to help!

    -Jeanie
    Regina Davan

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  10. #97
    Join Date
    23rd July 13
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    Steve has explained why this thread was started, but on the basis of a lot of what has been said by some D C Dalgliesh are really pushing the boundaries of what might be called acceptable advertising standards:

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    A lot of what this thread was intended for was to dis-spell the advertising. Such as, and I'm sorry to say, Dalgliesh is not the only or the last artisan weaver. There are four more that I personally know of and one of them is in the exact same industrial park as Dalgliesh. Lochcarron is in the same industrial park and just a few doors away.
    Describing the streets of Selkirk as an industrial park, comes across as somewhat strange to British ears - but the point is well made.

    If Locharron is too much of a "big business" for some people, one can think of Andrew Elliot Ltd just down the road, Robin Elliot remains, I believe, a Governor of the Scottish Tartans Authority. The claim by Dalgliesh (on their web-site) that they are "the world's only dedicated hand-crafted tartan mill" strikes one at the very least, as a very carefully worded ploy, to place themselves ahead of the other excellent tartan weavers in Scotland and elsewhere. If you did not know better, and I am sure that many innocent people around the world don't know, you would not actually look at another mill after having seen this slogan.

    As for tweed - I think Steve may have slightly misstated the etymology. It is my understanding that the origin comes from the Scots "tweel" (a dialectal use of twill). There is a story early in the nineteenth century a London merchant misread the handwriting on a note from a Hawick firm about some tweels. Being a Londoner he assumed that it was a trade name taken from the Tweed river and used the name in subsequent advertising.

    So even in the name of Tweed we are back to questions of advertising brand!
    Best wishes - Harvey.

  11. #98
    Join Date
    24th September 04
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    OK folks, the original intent and purpose of this thread is rapidly being lost.

    As the OP of this thread I have the right to request it be closed at any time or for any reason.

    I have the answers to my question so this thread is now closed.

    Thank you all for your help and patience.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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