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  1. #21
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    There is of course no need to line (seeking) a 4-5 yard box pleated kilt. It wasn't done in early kilts. I have two 5-yard kilts neither of which is lined.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    There is of course no need to line (seeking) a 4-5 yard box pleated kilt. It wasn't done in early kilts. I have two 5-yard kilts neither of which is lined.
    Lining and steeking are different things. Steeking (in a 4 yard box pleat) is to reduce lateral stress on the wool and in a high yardage knife pleat to prevent sagging of the pleats. lining is cotton (usually - I am doing a silk one next week) to make it more comfortable and absorb some sweat (for comfort). Canvas against the skin (or even through a shirt) can irritate the skin.

  3. #23
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    If you will grant me just a little leeway for posting in Barb's section I would like to present a view just a bit different from some others.

    First - A liner in a kilt is is not lining. It usually made from a light weight fabric that has only two functions. The first and most important is to cover up any internal construction elements. These are the pleat cut-aways, the stabilizer and the interfacing. A Liner can also provide a comfortable surface to the inside of a garment. But this function is only effective if the liner is well tacked in place so it cannot move, and bunch up as is seen in so many kilts from the middle east. The only reason these kilts, and some casual kilts, have a liner is that traditional kilts have one and the makers do not understand its true function.
    The liner of a kilt is similar to, but not the same, as the lining inside a suit coat.
    Some would believe that this fabric liner serves to keep the kilt clean or provide a sweat barrier. I'm sorry, if this were true it would be removable and washable.
    This fabric liner does not need to be slick like the lining found in the sleeves of jackets. That slickness is so you can slide your arms into the sleeves and to provide a slick surface for moving around. This is why sleeve lining is usually Rayon, Nylon or other slippery fabric.

    If you sweat in your kilt please do not line the kilt with silk. Silk will deteriorate and rot very quickly in the presence of sweat if it is not well washed and cleaned.

    There is a line of stitching inside a kilt at about the level of the bottom of the Fell area. This is named Steeking. This line of stitching serves to hold the cut-away pleats from sagging by their own weight. It insures that the pleats stay straight and parallel below the bottom of the Fell. To Steek a kilt is to sew with a heavy, strong thread though as many layers of pleats as possible without going all the way through to the outside. You are in effect using one pleat to hold and reinforce its neighbor.
    If the cut away pleats are not steeked they begin to distort within a very short time and this becomes visible on the outside of the kilt as splayed pleats.
    The line of steeking stitches should never be relied on for longitudinal strength. That is the job of the the stabilizer.
    Due to the taper of the Fell area even box pleats need to be Steeked to keep them straight and parallel below the bottom of the Fell.
    The Steeking line is one of those secrets to a well made kilt. It is easily evident if a kilt has not been steeked.

    A length of non-stretchy fabric is built into the inside of a kilt. This length of fabric is called stabilizer. Its function is the give longitudinal strength to the garment resisting the stress from strapping the kilt on and moving in your kilt. This piece of fabric must be very dimensionally stable and strong.
    The reason for the stabilizer is threefold
    First is that kilt wool is not dimensionally strong. If you pull on the hem of a kilt apron, with even a very light pull, you will readily see the fabric stretch and the Tartan distort. So the fabric itself is weak.
    Second we cut-away the pleats inside the back of the kilt to make it thinner. This weakens the entire garment
    And third we hand stitch many kilts. Hand stitching, while invisible on the outside, is not strong enough to resist the stress put on the kilt by itself. This hand stitching is often weaker than machine stitching.

    The stabilizer in a Traditionally made kilt is sewn or, tacked would be a better word, inside the kilt, across the back between the left and right buckles.
    The stabilizer in a Contemporary kilt is sewn all the way from the right, outer apron strap, all the way across the inside of the kilt to the under apron left edge fastener. This is one of the major differences in Traditional and Contemporary kiltmaking. In Contemporary kiltmaking we are using stabilizer to re-enforce not only the pleats but the aprons because we must build the kilt to resist the everyday wear guys use their kilts for today. Durability = longevity.
    In contemporary kiltmaking if the kilt has a second, right strap and buckle, there is a second line of stabilizer.

    There is also in both Traditional and Contemporary kiltmaking a third element to the internal construction. This is a piece of hair canvas. This is the same stuff used inside the body of a well made suit coat to give body and shape to the garment. Hair canvas is stiffer in the vertical direction than it is in the horizontal.
    In garments you are actually wearing the interfacing. This allows the outer fabric to float and drape naturally without puckers and distortion.
    The interfacing in a kilt serves the same function it does in a well made suit coat while also imparting vertical stiffness to the Fell area. If you would like, you could compare this to the boning in a corset. If you have a well made kilt the Fell area will be able to stand up all on its own.

    In a Tradionally made kilt the stabilizer and the interfacing are separate components. In a Contemporally made kilt the stabilizer and interfacing are sewn together and act as one component.
    You can actually fasten and wear the stabilizer and interfacing of a Contemporary kilt by itself. Looks a bit odd without the outer decorative Tartan fabric, but it can be done.
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 7th July 17 at 02:30 AM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


  5. #24
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    Thank you Steve,

    Your point about sweat and the liner not being removable is well-made. I also didn't know that about silk. I will give it a miss in that case.

    I always learn a lot from your (and Barb's) posts. It is amazing how paranoid many (but not all) kiltmakers in Scotland are about sharing knowledge. There is enough demand to go around to share knowledge (and hobbyists like me would not even scratch the surface of that). I think they are like that because we are not in Scotland, hence why I chose to call the small number of kilts I make "Sassenach Kilts" - it's a bit of a wind-up.

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A View Post
    Lining and steeking are different things. Steeking (in a 4 yard box pleat) is to reduce lateral stress on the wool and in a high yardage knife pleat to prevent sagging of the pleats. lining is cotton (usually - I am doing a silk one next week) to make it more comfortable and absorb some sweat (for comfort). Canvas against the skin (or even through a shirt) can irritate the skin.
    My point was that neither were used historically; ergo neither are necessary today. 🤔

  7. #26
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    To add to Peter's comment about historical kilts, I believe I am correct in saying that historical 4 yard box pleated kilts did not have canvas or stabilizer, either. At least that's what I remember from learning how Matt Newsome makes box pleated kilts. As many of us have said many times here on the Forum, there's more than one way to make a kilt. When Matt and I wrote the box pleat supplement to The Art of Kiltmaking, we discussed whether the instructions should be with or without canvas and stabilizer, because I put canvas and stabilizer in and Matt doesn't. His way is more historical, mine is parallel to the instructions in The Art of Kiltmaking. He was fine with having parallel instructions, so that's what we did.

    I think this points up three things, one of which is related to Michael's post above. 1) Matt and, of course originally, Bob Martin have been incredibly generous over the years in sharing how to make traditional box pleated kilts. If people have a close-guild mentality, these kinds of traditional crafts and skills can be simply lost. All of us benefit from openness and sharing. 2) There is no one right way to make a kilt. Uber-traditional/historical kilts will look different both inside and outside from modern kilts. Someone as talented and generous as Matt is OK with someone else making a modern box-pleated kilt with different internal construction than one patterned after a historical kilt, and he's flexible and not insistent on "the one right way". Also, some constructions are sturdier than others, and some are faster and less expensive to produce. Doesn't make one right and one wrong - it simply means that you need to know what you are buying. 3) Even with modern trad 8-yard knife-pleated kilts, there is no one right construction technique, and outstanding kilts can be made in different ways. I've said quite a few times that I am in awe of Rocky's ability to machine stitch perfect pleats from the inside (he hates to hand sew). Some people baste all the pleats first and then stitch them. Some people stitch pleats one at a time, like I do. The overall look and durability at the end is pretty much the same, and insisting that there is "one right way" is silly.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  8. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Barb T For This Useful Post:


  9. #27
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    Yep. I don't use drop diethyl ether anaesthetics either, although that could be considered a more traditional anaesthetic, despite the laryngospasm, vomiting, shivering, cardiac arrhythmias, and other complications it produces.

    I am trying new or different techniques just for the sake of it. Right now I am trying a "reverse kilt". I am going to make one for my mother-in-law and she wants it left-lapping. So I am doing a toddler kilt first as practice, because I am basically making a left-handed kilt. I have also experimented with the technique of basting first then stitching. It's quite different and I haven't done enough pleats to know if it is for me yet.

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    To add to Peter's comment about historical kilts, I believe I am correct in saying that historical 4 yard box pleated kilts did not have canvas or stabilizer, either. At least that's what I remember from learning how Matt Newsome makes box pleated kilts. As many of us have said many times here on the Forum, there's more than one way to make a kilt. When Matt and I wrote the box pleat supplement to The Art of Kiltmaking, we discussed whether the instructions should be with or without canvas and stabilizer, because I put canvas and stabilizer in and Matt doesn't. His way is more historical, mine is parallel to the instructions in The Art of Kiltmaking. He was fine with having parallel instructions, so that's what we did.
    What keeps it from pulling apart then? Just the pleats stitched to each other? Seems like there would still be distorting of the aprons without something.

  11. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by derosa View Post
    What keeps it from pulling apart then? Just the pleats stitched to each other? Seems like there would still be distorting of the aprons without something.
    With buckles and straps, it's possible to fasten a kilt really tightly and to put lots of stress on the stitching. I'm pretty sure I'm correct in saying that kilts didn't have buckles and straps in the era of historical box pleated kilts, so there would really be no stress on the stitching when someone was wearing the kilt - just wrapped around and held in place with a belt (or perhaps with pins, although I'm not sure whether the latter is correct or not). Either way, there wouldn't be much stress on the stitching.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A View Post
    Right now I am trying a "reverse kilt". I am going to make one for my mother-in-law and she wants it left-lapping. So I am doing a toddler kilt first as practice, because I am basically making a left-handed kilt.
    Did you see this thread? http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...d-works-83767/

    Works for me when I have to stitch pleats that fold toward the apron instead of the underapron (either in the kind of kilt you describe or in half the pleats of a Kingussie or reverse Kingussie).
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

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