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  1. #1
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    Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    Hey guys,

    Well, I've been stalking XMTS from the shadows for several years, and now I'm the one with questions, so I figure I'd post it and see what you all think.

    I just recently ordered and received my HW Saffron Shadow Tartan from Jerry at Stillwater Kilts, and I immediately noticed several things. First of all, Jerry's Customer service is still second to none. This is the third kilt and second sporran (first two kilts were standards) I have purchased from him and I have always been stoked with the orders. His prices can not be beat, and he certainly knows how to optimize his nitche market!

    Now, onto the bad, or....unsure? I gt the HW Saffron Shadow tartan, and the kilt has to be the least soft I have ever come across. I mean, this thing seems to be bullet proof.....and feels like it.

    The construction of the kilt far exceeds my expectations; VERY WELL MADE indeed! However the fabric absolutely does not feel like wool. It has the same look and consistencty of a hemp kilt. Very coarse fibers, and quite stiff.
    Is there anything I can do to "soften up" the material, or do I just have to deal with it or return it?

    I've been wearing kilts for close to 15 years now, and for the first time, I can't decide if I like a kilt! I can tell you I love the customer service, price, color, cut, construction, etc. I'm just not sure if I can deal with the fabric! It's slightly itchy and not soft. It's super stiff in fact.

    My aim here is not to complain or vent, but to poll the audience on their experience with Jerry's HW wool kilts, and in particular, their HW Saffron Shadow kilts. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Panache's Avatar
    Panache is offline
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    Welcome to the forum!

    it would seem that you are comparing acrylic fabric (which is what Jerry's Standard kilt models are made of) to wool. Wool is a wonderful and sturdy material, it isn't the softest though.

    Two of my very first kilts were a Stillwater Standard Mcleod and a Black heavyweight. The Standard was softer and as time has gone by it has become blanket-like with repeated washings. It certainly isn't as nice looking as the Black Heavyweight anymore. But it is a hiking camping kilt so that is fine. The wool material has proved more durable and that Heavyweight can still be worn for dressy events and looks as good as when I first bought it.

    It is a trade off.

    Cheers

    Jamie
    -See it there, a white plume
    Over the battle - A diamond in the ash
    Of the ultimate combustion-My panache

    Edmond Rostand

  3. #3
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    I would tend to agree with you on some of that. There really is not comparison between the PV and acrylic and wool kilts; heck, even different wool kilts from different mills! I just keep reading how everyone says their Saffron HW Shadows are softer than worsted wool kilts; mine is not the same! All my wool kilts (from my RG Lowrie all the way up to my 18oz box pleat Regimental kilts made in Scotland to my USA kilts from Rocky feel different than this one. I'm convinced it could stand up on its own if I tried!

  4. #4
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    I find that the poly viscose material of my USA Kilts has a smoother/slicker but not softer feel than my wool kilts. Having a number of wool kilts, including three Stillwater Heavyweights, while there may be some variation to the feel of the material, I have never found one to be noticably different than the others.

    Cheers

    Jamie
    -See it there, a white plume
    Over the battle - A diamond in the ash
    Of the ultimate combustion-My panache

    Edmond Rostand

  5. #5
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    Could be that the kilt is Pakistani made and no doubt the material was also woven there. Probably not the best quality control in any of the processes. that being said, of all the kilts I've seen from that part of the world my SW black shadow kilt is the best of the bunch. Still glad I have mine though I've moved on to bespoke, custom woven kilts.

  6. #6
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    Agreed. I sent a quick email to Jerry to see if there is a treatment available and to get his opinion. Worse case, it's good camping kilt as mentioned above, and best case, we fix it or return it! I am super impressed with the workmanship though....stitching is awesome on it, and none of the "pillow butt" some of the others have posted on here.

  7. #7
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    My thoughts exactly! Just got my leatherneck this weekend and the first thing I noticed was the "wool" feel of it. My Irish Saffron is so stiff i can put a glass on top of it and use it for a side table. Both are wool and both are from SWK. I've adapted to the feel of the Saffron but I can tell already that I will really enjoy the feel from the leatherneck.

  8. #8
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedcase View Post
    Hey guys,

    The construction of the kilt far exceeds my expectations; VERY WELL MADE indeed! However the fabric absolutely does not feel like wool. It has the same look and consistencty of a hemp kilt. Very coarse fibers, and quite stiff.
    Is there anything I can do to "soften up" the material, or do I just have to deal with it or return it?
    .
    Not wanting to split hairs here but I have 2 hemp kilts from Robert Pel of RKilts and they are nowhere near coarse nor are they stiff. They have a beautiful hand and are soft and not stiff at all.

    To SWK, I have the heavyweight shadow tartan in solid green and do not nor have I ever found it to be stiff. Clearly the wool is discernible from my higher quality worsted wool kilts but it is a value for what I paid.

  9. #9
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    Re: Stillwater Shadow Tartan a Bit Stiff?

    Well guys and gals, I thought it over a bit and ended up returning the kilt a few weeks ago. I kind of felt bad about it; especially since Jerry has been great with customer service, and the return process was no different. I'm still a devoted fan of SWK, but like a previous post earlier, I have moved on and purchased bespoke kilts from Bob Chalmers that I am extremely happy with. You cant beat Jerry's prices though! I'm sure I'll be back to purchase those odds and ends accessories we all need.

    Joshua

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