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  1. #1
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    Biggest bang for the buck?

    Hello
    I am looking to get a nice 8 yard kilt, pleated to the stripe, in 16oz wool. I was considering going with USA Kilts because they seem to have good reviews and the price isn't outrageous.

    I'm looking for something in the price range of $400 or less. I was curious, who makes the best 8 yard kilt in 16oz wool without breaking the bank?

  2. #2
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    I believe USA Kilts will offer you the best bang for your buck at $475 for the machine stitched 8 yarder. I doubt you'll find an 8 yard kilt for less than that and can't go wrong with Rocky's crew.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    You can't go wrong with USA Kilts but perhaps a few more details would be helpful.

    Do you have a good idea of what type of kilt you would like? Each kiltmaker has their own particular method or 'school' of kiltmaking. The Keith School is different from the Gordon & Son's school etc.
    There is no one single 'standard' or 'normal' or 'traditional' kilt.

    Do you know what you want to do in your kilt?
    A kilt made for wearing once or twice to Burns dinner and the local highland games will be different from one made for daily wear. A kilt for a wedding will be different from one made for hiking even though both may be made from the same fabric by the same maker.

    And please remember that we all buy our fabrics from the same few weaving mills. So the cost of the fabric is about the same.
    This leaves the labor rate the kiltmaker needs to charge to make a living. Someone making kilts out of their living room will be quite different from someone running a retail shop with electricity bills and a building mortgage.

    When looking at the kilts offered you will often see kilts offered "Off-The-Rack" These are usually sold in pretty standard sizes and the hip to waist ratio will be some set 'standard'. The styling my be different. The fittings like the straps and buckles may be different. But basically you are being offered some one else's idea of THEIR perfect kilt. Is this the same as YOUR idea of YOUR perfect kilt?

    So perhaps a little more information than the basic "8 yard, 16oz wool, pleated to stripe" would help us, help you, better.

    For example I just had a kilt come into my shop. The customer asked for a second opinion about the fit of the kilt he bought a couple of months ago . It was sold at a premium price as the maker's highest quality, 8 yard kilt, pleated to Stripe from premium 16oz wool.

    The customer is a piper and when he marches with his band, whenever he takes a breath to play his pipes, the kilt falls right off.

    There is no under-apron strap. The maker used Velcro instead.
    The kilt measures 4 inches larger in the hips and 3 inches larger in the waist than when I put the kilt around him and line up the aprons.
    The kilt is primarily machine stitched. The liner is hand stitched as are the apron facings but everywhere else it is sewn by machine. All the machine stitching shows through on the outside of the kilt including where the Velcro is sewn to the inside of the outer apron. There ise pronounced machine zigzag stitching at the apron edges.
    There is no Steeking line. The stitching of the liner serves as the Steeking.
    The left straps are sewn on the outside of the outer apron.
    The top waist banding does not line up with the Tartan in the apron and the Tartan pattern in the Fell area has pronounced stair stepping.
    The pleats at the deep pleat and the reverse pleat gape open when the kilt is worn.
    The back pleats form large shower curtain folds because the hips are too large and the bottom of the Fell area is bellow the crest of the hips and butt.
    The straps are very thin and show evidence of stretching after only five wearings.
    There is no stabilizer installed across the back. The entire kilt relies on the strength of the stitching and the strength of the fabric to retain it's shape.
    There is a single layer of interfacing but only in the area of the aprons and it is fused to the inside of the aprons making them stiff and showing quite visibly through to the outside.
    The customer has a large, round belly and the kilt was made to fit at mid-rise. Or right on top of the largest part of his belly. As soon as he breathes the kilt falls down off his belly.

    The customer told me that he had been back to the maker twice asking for help with the fit and was told on the first visit to simply to hike his kilt up higher, and on the second visit told to cinch up his kilt belt.

    So not only did this guy pay top dollar for the kilt in the first place he is now finding that he will need to spend more money to have the kilt altered to fit and not end up in the middle of the road during his next parade.

    And yet this kilt fits your requirement of an 8 yard, 16oz wool kilt pleated to stripe.
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 13th June 18 at 01:20 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    29th September 16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    You can't go wrong with USA Kilts but perhaps a few more details would be helpful.

    Do you have a good idea of what type of kilt you would like? Each kiltmaker has their own particular method or 'school' of kiltmaking. The Keith School is different from the Gordon & Son's school etc.
    There is no one single 'standard' or 'normal' or 'traditional' kilt.

    Do you know what you want to do in your kilt?
    A kilt made for wearing once or twice to Burns dinner and the local highland games will be different from one made for daily wear. A kilt for a wedding will be different from one made for hiking even though both may be made from the same fabric by the same maker.

    And please remember that we all buy our fabrics from the same few weaving mills. So the cost of the fabric is about the same.
    This leaves the labor rate the kiltmaker needs to charge to make a living. Someone making kilts out of their living room will be quite different from someone running a retail shop with electricity bills and a building mortgage.

    When looking at the kilts offered you will often see kilts offered "Off-The-Rack" These are usually sold in pretty standard sizes and the hip to waist ratio will be some set 'standard'. The styling my be different. The fittings like the straps and buckles may be different. But basically you are being offered some one else's idea of THEIR perfect kilt. Is this the same as YOUR idea of YOUR perfect kilt?

    So perhaps a little more information than the basic "8 yard, 16oz wool, pleated to stripe" would help us, help you, better.
    Well those are tricky questions. I really like kilts with a lot of really deep pleats, so I suppose I tend to like formal kilts? I would like a kilt that looks nice but I don't have to baby or feel like I'm going to damage it with casual use. My seat measurement is also 6 inches bigger than my waist, so I feel it should be custom made so it fits properly. Basically I'd like a kilt that looks good enough for formal events, but can also stand the wear of daily use.

    Am I asking to much of a kilt? Is there no such thing as a rugged yet elegant kilt?

  7. #5
    Join Date
    7th February 11
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    Any traditional 16 oz wool twill weave kilt will be actually surprisingly rugged.
    Do I recommend them for running through brambles? No.
    Do I recommend anything that doesn’t cover your knees for running through brambles? No.
    Do I recommend running through brambles under any conditions?

    Do I really have to answer that question?
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    Well yes, there is no reason that a kilt cannot be made rugged enough for what you want but I feel that there are still some misconceptions.

    Pleat depth has a lot more to do with the size of the Tartan pattern than any other factor. If each pleat is to the same stripe the depth is set by the distance between those stripes.

    There really is no such a thing as a "Formal" kilt. There are kilts worn with formal accessories to formal events but it may be the exact same kilt you would wear every day.

    One of the things that many people do not realize is that kilt fabric is not really very strong. Especially if you pull on it even lightly the Tartan pattern will show stretching.



    If the kilt is not made with the internal strengthening elements that are hidden behind the liner, or those elements fail, you will quite quickly see distortion like this.



    After a while this distortion becomes permanent and cannot be corrected.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    25th April 18
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    So much so many of us probably don't know...

    Steve.

    You clearly have incredible knowledge about the kilt yet are inundated with comments, questions, and requests that must really drive you nuts. Kudos for your patience and thank you for taking the time to share. I am learning much about kilts from your posts.

    It almost makes me wish you had a sticky somewhere entitled: About the Kilt: What kiltmakers really want you to know BEFORE you order a kilt!

    Cheers!

    Airaghardt!

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


  13. #8
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    One of the hallmarks of a kilt made in both the traditional and the contemporary (VS modern) styles, is the internal construction elements.

    These are two pieces. One is called the Stabilizer and this piece is what gives the garment horizontal strength.
    The other is called the interfacing and this gives vertical stiffness to the garment.

    Working together these two elements allow the outer Tartan fabric to drape and swish naturally.

    These elements are then hidden behind the liner. The liner in side the kilt is not there to keep the kilt clean or to make the inside more slippery. It's only purpose is to cover up what is built inside the kilt.

    When you put on a kilt made with these internal elements you are, in effect, wearing the stabilizer and interfacing. The straps and buckles are fastened to the elements for strength so the kilt does not stretch out of shape or change size as you wear it.

    In this photo I am actually wearing the kilt inside out and have dropped the liner so you can see the internal elements. The black strip is the Stabilizer and the cream colored stuff is the interfacing.



    16oz wool can get quite thick in the back of the kilt where the pleats are tapered and sewn down so the pleats are cut away. This is to prevent what in the biz is called "pillow butt".



    So, the combination of dimensionally weak fabric + hand stitching which is weaker than machine stitches + cutting the excess fabric away, weakens the overall garment. for the kilt to last and retain the famous swish and good looks this stuff hidden under the liner cannot be skipped or cheapened.

    One of the primary differences between kilts made in the traditional and contemporary styles from those made in the casual and pub styles is the internal strength elements.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  14. #9
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    In the price range you give of $400.00 it would be my suggestion to take a look at a USA Kilts Semi-trad in P/V.


    ---If you tell Rocky I sent you, he won't charge you more than a 400% Steve advice surcharge. ---
    Last edited by The Wizard of BC; 13th June 18 at 03:36 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

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  16. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiltedHope View Post
    Steve.

    You clearly have incredible knowledge about the kilt yet are inundated with comments, questions, and requests that must really drive you nuts. Kudos for your patience and thank you for taking the time to share. I am learning much about kilts from your posts.

    It almost makes me wish you had a sticky somewhere entitled: About the Kilt: What kiltmakers really want you to know BEFORE you order a kilt!

    Cheers!

    Airaghardt!

    This is the premise of my book "The Hand-Crafted Contemporary Kilt" and hangs prominently in my shop.

    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  17. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


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