X Marks the Scot - An on-line community of kilt wearers.

   X Marks Partners - (Go to the Partners Dedicated Forums )
USA Kilts website Freedom Kilts website Scotweb websiten Burnetts and Struth website Celtic Croft website
Xmarks advertising information Celtic Corner website Xmarks advertising information Houston Kiltmakers Xmarks advertising information

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    24th January 20
    Location
    Near Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Acrylic vs. P/V - Impressions from a clueless newbie

    I just received my first kilt from USA Kilts (all of my others are from Sport Kilt, mainly due to pockets). Taking it out the package, I thought "boy, this material doesn't feel that different". But then I wore it for a while. I've seen comparisons on the materials themselves, but without the knowledge to know how that actually comes together in a kilt, a bunch of it was still a bit over my head. So, I thought it might be nice for other kilt newbies like myself to have some insight into a comparison between the two from someone who is clueless about both.

    A bit of background on this: when I bought my first kilt, I thought Sport Kilt had switched from acrylic to P/V. But some of their tartans are only available from mills as acrylic, and due to the material differences I'll expand on below, I'm pretty sure Sport Kilt uses acrylic for their Original Sport Kilt. I don't know how any of this compares to a wool kilt because I don't wear them due to developing a sensitivity and a tendency to develop really strong allergies to things if I'm not careful.

    I've worn my Sport Kilts far more than I have my USA Kilt since I've had them for quite a bit longer. But already, there are some striking differences:

    Structure:
    It doesn't feel like it unless you put it on, but P/V is much more structurally solid. Acrylic is very stretchy and has a tendency for the sett to sort of parallelogram. Think of it like wearing stretchy sweat pants vs. maybe Dockers. It feels almost as structurally solid as canvas, to me. Gives it a very different look - the sett tends to stay straighter without having to constantly pull at it and readjust from sitting down and standing up or moving around. I've seen acrylic compared with polar fleece - I wouldn't go quite that far, but definitely like a sweatpants material. I've seen P/V compared to wool - I would say it's similar, but it seems to have even more of a solid structure to it than I'm used to from wool. It's almost somewhere between wool and a really heavy cotton in structure. Best comparison I can make for acrylic is that it feels similar to flannel.

    Weight:
    P/V seems to be considerably heavier, not just due to the extra fabric of the USA Kilt casual kilt vs. the Sport Kilt but just due to the material itself. Acrylic is a lot more...fluffy, for lack of a better word. With P/V, the pleats are much more flowy, and I think a lot of this is from the extra weight. My acrylic kilts blow in the wind quite easily and a kilt pin to weight down the right side of the apron is really helpful. A kilt pin doesn't seem to be nearly as necessary with P/V - it doesn't seem to blow around as much, again, due to the weight/density of it.

    Surface quality:
    Acrylic does seem to pill pretty decently. I won't say it's terrible, but between washing and general use, it definitely does pill up a bit. Is it noticeable? Maybe, maybe not. But I'm certain my acrylic kilts will have to be retired sooner or later due exclusively to this problem.
    With P/V, I haven't had it long enough to answer this definitively. From what I hear, it doesn't pill. Based on how the material feels, I would believe this - the surface is quite cohesive. Surface of the cloth is somewhat rough, but the surface of the individual threads themselves are very smooth.

    How does it hold a pleat:
    I can't answer this yet since I haven't had my P/V kilt for long enough to know. Even brand new, acrylic does seem to be only able to hold a very soft pleat whereas P/V pleats seem to be able to achieve a very crisp and much sharper crease. I've heard that P/V will hold a pleat very well over time. My acrylic kilts' pleats have softened further over time.

    Construction and finishing quality:
    This is not so much a material comparison, but just overall the construction of the USA Kilt casual kilt that I have is much cleaner and more polished than any of my Sport Kilts. With all the options (pockets, belt loops, etc.), they were both in a pretty similar price range.



    Now, with all that said, I have to say there are a few good things I see from acrylic:

    1. It's stretchy. Movement in an acrylic kilt is very free due to the both pleats and the stretch of the fabric. Flexibility in P/V kilt is almost entirely due to the pleats, so getting them right is quite important.

    2. It's warm. Acrylic is puffy. It traps air not only between layers but inside of the fibers of the material itself. In the last several months, I still regularly wore my acrylic kilts in below freezing weather, even when it was windy, and was quite comfortable. Think sweater vs. P/V being like a windbreaker. I could totally see using my acrylic kilts more in winter even owning a P/V kilt.

    3. Possibility of an elastic waistband. This is actually kind of a nice feature of the Sport Kilt, at least, and with how structured P/V is, I don't see how you even could do an elastic waistband in P/V.

    4. Comfort. I would have to say I think my acrylic kilts are probably more comfortable. Again, comparison between sweatpants and dress pants. They're just softer.

    5. It's cheap. This is actually one of the more important aspects I see, and one of the least applicable to my purchase of them. Acrylic kilts can be sort of a "gateway drug" to discovering how much more comfortable a kilt is than pants. I do still like my Sport Kilts, and they were in about the same price range as my USA Kilt. I wasn't looking for a "cheap" option but mostly bought them because they had pockets and I thought they were made of the same material as other kiltmakers. But there are other really cheap kiltmakers out there, and these are the ones I'm talking about. I know there's some discussion of whether or not having a really cheap option is good for the health of kilts in general. My opinion on the subject, though, is that just like Baofeng radios have brought in tons of new ham radio operators who otherwise wouldn't have taken the plunge and revitalized a formerly increasingly niche hobby, so, too, do low-end kilts serve as a jumping off point for a piece of clothing that is kind of "risky" for normal people. How do I wear it? What do I wear with it? Is it offensive to wear this if I was not born and raised in Scotland? What situations is this strange piece of clothing appropriate for? That kind of thing. Look at some of the newbie questions on the board - and those are the people with enough knowledge to find XMTS and courage to ask their questions. Lots of people have an interest in kilts but not the slightest idea how they work. I've been asked several times how much a kilt costs. I'd hate to have to answer "they start at $400 and go up from there". But being able to tell someone they can try it for less than the cost of the jeans they're wearing? That does seem to break down some barriers. For people with no experience with a kilt, feeling out some of this on a low-end kilt can be a low-risk way to kick off the learning process. Again, my opinion and not a universal truth. But "cheap" sure helped revitalize ham radio.

    Is P/V better? It's undoubtedly a better quality fabric. My P/V "casual" kilt is much less casual feeling than my acrylic "casual" kilts. But does that make it universally a mistake to buy an acrylic kilt? In my opinion, no, I think they do have some things going for them. But I would recommend trying P/V if all you've ever worn is acrylic, if for no other reason than so you can make up your own mind (and so you have two kilts!). Conversely, if all you've had is P/V, maybe pick up an acrylic kilt for lounging around the house.

    So, anyway, those are my thoughts. Maybe someone with some actual knowledge can explain why these things seem to me the way they do. Like I said, this is the ramblings of a newbie who really knows not of what he speaks.
    Last edited by MichiganKyle; 10th March 20 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Added bullet point for comfort, recommend P/V owners try acrylic, comparison to flannel

  2. The Following 4 Users say 'Aye' to MichiganKyle For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    28th May 13
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    2,588
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good first impressions. Wait until you get your first 6-8 yd 14-16 oz wool kilt....
    "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
    well, that comes from poor judgement."
    A. A. Milne

  4. The Following 5 Users say 'Aye' to Liam For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    24th January 20
    Location
    Near Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Good first impressions. Wait until you get your first 6-8 yd 14-16 oz wool kilt....
    Unfortunately, not much of an option for me due to wool sensitivity. My expectation is that my next one will probably be a USA Kilts P/V semi-trad followed by attempting to make my own using the information from Barb's book. It really is wonderfully informative, but I need to work up the gumption to actually try it. I've also been strongly tempted for a while now to get one from Freedom Kilts as well (pockets!), but didn't want to go the full custom route until I knew enough about wearing them to make extra darn sure I could get my measurements right. I'm sure that'll happen eventually, though.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    15th August 12
    Location
    Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,318
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wool>pv>acrylic

    Acrylic is a material that I avoid for all garments due to it's tendency to catch fire and melt. I highly recommend PV. Wool is king but my next kilt will be PV due to the Southern climate where I live. Your milage may vary.

    Cheers from Tennessee!
    The Official [BREN]

  7. #5
    Join Date
    11th August 18
    Location
    California
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have both wool and acrylic kilts, and for me the acrylic is my go-to lounge and exercise clothing. I sleep in my acrylic kilt so I can get up and go, and while they arenít sharply creased, they do still look good. Wool is by far nicer, but for my day-to-day knocking about, Iím sold on the acrylic.

    That being said, Iíve got my eye on a PV semi-trad from USAKilts in Isle of Skye...

  8. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Steelkilt For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Join Date
    24th January 20
    Location
    Near Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelkilt View Post
    That being said, Iíve got my eye on a PV semi-trad from USAKilts in Isle of Skye...
    I'm currently wearing my Isle of Skye casual kilt from USA Kilts. It is beautiful, and very well constructed. The finishing is excellent. And that's just for their casual kilt. I'm very happy with it.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    27th October 19
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    68
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Sport Kilt and USA Kilts hose

    Sport Kilt says their kilt is an "Exclusive poly blend material". I have a Sport Kilt and it doesn't appear to be acrylic to me. It could have acrylic in the blend though.

    Dave

  11. #8
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48į 25' 47.31"N 123į 20' 4.59" W
    Posts
    3,904
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have heard a lot of people say this "Unfortunately, not much of an option for me due to wool sensitivity."

    Can someone give me the symptoms and indications of a wool sensitivity.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  12. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Steve Ashton For This Useful Post:


  13. #9
    Join Date
    24th January 20
    Location
    Near Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    I have heard a lot of people say this "Unfortunately, not much of an option for me due to wool sensitivity."

    Can someone give me the symptoms and indications of a wool sensitivity.
    For me, painful itchy red rash where wool was in contact with skin.

  14. #10
    Join Date
    24th January 20
    Location
    Near Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Dave View Post
    Sport Kilt says their kilt is an "Exclusive poly blend material". I have a Sport Kilt and it doesn't appear to be acrylic to me. It could have acrylic in the blend though.

    Dave
    That statement on their website is why I thought Sport Kilt used P/V initially. But my Sport Kilts, at least, are a very different material than my P/V one from USA Kilts. One of my Sport Kilts is a St. Patrick's tartan, which I have not been able to find in P/V at any mill I've checked but which you can get in acrylic or wool. And most kiltmakers, if they use P/V, tend to clearly call it out as P/V instead of labeling it "acrylic" or "exclusive poly blend" because of how widespread "P/V > Acrylic" is. I still had my doubts, though, until I got my USA Kilt. Whatever they're made of...mine are a very different material.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.0