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  1. #11
    Join Date
    25th September 04
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    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    I am really surprised that no one commented or took me to task for a photo I posted in error yesterday.

    What I posted as an Isle of Skye Tartan kilt was actually a kilt made from the Hollyrood Tartan. I apologize. Now, if I can just find someone to blame.
    Steve Ashton
    www.freedomkilts.com
    Skype (webcam enabled) thewizardofbc
    I wear the kilt because:
    Swish + Swagger = Swoon.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    3rd September 18
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    Scotland
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    Fascinating to see all the work involved in kilt-making and no surprise at the cost involved as a consequence.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    8th February 18
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    Near the Summit, above Silicon Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    .....Now, if I can just find someone to blame.....
    Steve.......reminds me of a shop I was at, as the only employee, for several years. First day we/I opened the doors. I was given the key, £275K in merchandise to un-crate & shelve, and his last words prior to a flight to the UK, "Sell everything before I return, & if anything goes wrong, even if it's my fault, I'll blame you. It's nothing personal". All you need is an employee willing to be a martyr.

    As for the tartan, I would assume that many on the forum could not tell the difference. I couldn't, at first glance.
    "I can draw a mouse with a pencil, but I can't draw a pencil with a mouse"

  4. #14
    Join Date
    25th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada 1123.6536.5321
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    There have been many threads over the years that give a little insight to, and some of the reasons why, a quality kilt costs so much.


    But really, I am nothing special or different. I'm just a dinosaur from another time making something by hand.

    There is only one computer operated machine in my shop and that is an embroidery machine. My sewing machines date from the '60's and '70's.

    I run my company for the love of it. I would probably do some things differently if I were younger with a family of young kids to feed.

    All my life I have always done stuff the hard way. I overbuild stuff and don't take many shortcuts. I have the luxury of being able to spend the labor hours to get what I want. So my profit margin is pretty small. Heck, I don't even take a salary but just get what ever is left over at the end of the month. And believe me when I say that there have been some months when the result was I made less than $10.00 an hour. My employees make more than I do but that is because I believe that they deserve a wage they can live on.

    I'll never be the fabric artist of a Barb T. I'll never be the smart, successful businessman of a Rocky R.

    But I love what I do and I can hold my head up when I open my shop doors each day.

    I'm also old. I have gray hair and the aches and pains that come from years of not taking care of yourself. (Yes, I am one of those guys who thought it was fun to throw himself out of perfectly good airplanes). It will not be much longer before I retire and can spend my days playing with my model trains or my metal detector or my sock knitting machine.

    In fact I have a young couple who have made an offer to buy my building. If the sale goes through I will be closing the retail part of Freedom Kilts. I'll still make kilts and still keep X Marks running, I just won't have to deal with buying and selling all the accessories that go along with kilts.
    And that's fine. Like others, I gave it an honest shot at trying to come up with some unique and exclusive accessories like my Carry-All Sporran and the Kilt Kut Suit Coat but the kilt word, and manufacturing in general, is going in a different direction.

    One of these days I'll finish writing "The Hand-Crafted Contemporary Kilt" and maybe live off the royalties. (Yea, right, like that is ever going to happen.)
    But it is perhaps time to just be happy that I have thousands of kilts out there. At one time I had a kilt on every single continent at the same time. (Even Antarctica)
    Some of my kilts are still worn on a daily basis and that is what I set out to do. Create a garment that was capable of lasting more than two washes and still look good.

    I hope my book will allow the next generation to take over where I left off. Perhaps even improve on what I did. Maybe the next generation will not open and run a kilt shop. Maybe it will just allow a guy to make his own kilt and wear it with pride.

    And really, what better legacy can there be but that?

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

  5. The Following 11 Users say 'Aye' to The Wizard of BC For This Useful Post:


  6. #15
    Join Date
    30th March 14
    Location
    Newport, North Caolina, USA
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    Steve,

    I don't know about anyone else, but I am very much so looking forward to your book being available. I am not one of the youngsters, just someone looking to improve what meager skills that I might have.

    Thank you for your contributions the the kilt making world.

    Stoff

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wizard of BC View Post
    There have been many threads over the years that give a little insight to, and some of the reasons why, a quality kilt costs so much.


    But really, I am nothing special or different. I'm just a dinosaur from another time making something by hand.

    There is only one computer operated machine in my shop and that is an embroidery machine. My sewing machines date from the '60's and '70's.

    I run my company for the love of it. I would probably do some things differently if I were younger with a family of young kids to feed.

    All my life I have always done stuff the hard way. I overbuild stuff and don't take many shortcuts. I have the luxury of being able to spend the labor hours to get what I want. So my profit margin is pretty small. Heck, I don't even take a salary but just get what ever is left over at the end of the month. And believe me when I say that there have been some months when the result was I made less than $10.00 an hour. My employees make more than I do but that is because I believe that they deserve a wage they can live on.

    I'll never be the fabric artist of a Barb T. I'll never be the smart, successful businessman of a Rocky R.

    But I love what I do and I can hold my head up when I open my shop doors each day.

    I'm also old. I have gray hair and the aches and pains that come from years of not taking care of yourself. (Yes, I am one of those guys who thought it was fun to throw himself out of perfectly good airplanes). It will not be much longer before I retire and can spend my days playing with my model trains or my metal detector or my sock knitting machine.

    In fact I have a young couple who have made an offer to buy my building. If the sale goes through I will be closing the retail part of Freedom Kilts. I'll still make kilts and still keep X Marks running, I just won't have to deal with buying and selling all the accessories that go along with kilts.
    And that's fine. Like others, I gave it an honest shot at trying to come up with some unique and exclusive accessories like my Carry-All Sporran and the Kilt Kut Suit Coat but the kilt word, and manufacturing in general, is going in a different direction.

    One of these days I'll finish writing "The Hand-Crafted Contemporary Kilt" and maybe live off the royalties. (Yea, right, like that is ever going to happen.)
    But it is perhaps time to just be happy that I have thousands of kilts out there. At one time I had a kilt on every single continent at the same time. (Even Antarctica)
    Some of my kilts are still worn on a daily basis and that is what I set out to do. Create a garment that was capable of lasting more than two washes and still look good.

    I hope my book will allow the next generation to take over where I left off. Perhaps even improve on what I did. Maybe the next generation will not open and run a kilt shop. Maybe it will just allow a guy to make his own kilt and wear it with pride.

    And really, what better legacy can there be but that?


  7. #16
    Join Date
    3rd September 18
    Location
    Scotland
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    There can be few more satisfying things than to have created something of beauty and for others to enjoy it. That alone must make it worthwhile.

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


  9. #17
    Join Date
    18th November 17
    Location
    Nova Scotia
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    Hi Steve,

    WOW, how cool is that, thanks for your very impressive answer.

    Waiting is still hard, but donít get me wrong, I knew from the beginning it will be around 4 month, and it is fine with me.
    Itís only my own exitement and knowing there will be a kilt made for me that makes the waiting so hard, but it makes the appreciation for your work and for the kilt even bigger.

    I can wait, but Iím not telling you Iím counting the days till the four month are over.,😉.

    And for the stripe, definitely don't want the white one, the purpel right to the dark green would be great, or the dark green.
    My wool kilt, MacGregor Ancient Hunting Tartan, is pleated to the white stripe, it looks great but itís to delicate. I want to wear my new kilt without any worrys.

  10. #18
    Join Date
    16th December 18
    Location
    Portland, ME
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    [b]Another Newbie with Basic Questions[/b]

    I've long had a desire to wear a kilt and now as a retired school teacher and chemist in Maine, I'm going for it. My first question is: Which tartan? Given my ancestry, my great grandmother was a MacMaster, which I read somewhere is a sept of the Buchanan clan. Is that true? Second, Given my surname, there is a "Carleton Castle" somewhere in the lowlands. Is there a regional tartan that I can find? Or does it make any difference? I want to hike as well as wear a kilt to church and social functions. So my second question is what weight wool and is a 5 yard kilt preferable to an 8 yard? And -detail-what's a Sett? Peter

  11. #19
    Join Date
    27th October 09
    Location
    Kerrville, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Carleton View Post
    And -detail-what's a Sett? Peter
    Hi Peter, I don't know that I could speak to which tartan you should wear, but I'll take a stab at your question on sett.

    Sett is what defines a tartan. It's the pattern (thread count) of the colour stripes that make each tartan unique. It's a mirrored, repeating pattern in both directions of the cloth (warp and weft) that makes the 'grids' of a tartan.

    These setts are carefully recorded by certain entities like the Scottish Register of Tartans, clan chiefs, Scottish Tartan Authority, etc. There are historical definitions of the setts for clan tartans as well as all the other variants (regional, commercial, you get the drift). The nomenclature is very simple, defined as simple colours and counts of threads.

    There are a lot of variations between historical setts and the actual setts that weavers use. They will vary the thread counts depending on what weight of cloth they are making, so that the pattern doesn't get too large or too small. As long as it stays pretty much proportionally the same pattern, and is recognisable as that tartan, they still get away with calling it by that tartan's name.

    It can be a little confusing when you get into the way they write the sett patterns, what with the letters they use for colours and the way they define it from pivot point to pivot point (where the pattern mirrors). But that's further into the weeds than most kilt wearers need to go. In general layman's terms, it's enough to say that the sett is the tartan pattern.

    Sett size is just the width of each repeating pattern of the tartan. A fine cloth and a heavy cloth can have the same exact sett, with the same thread counts, but will have different sett sizes (sett widths) due to the fact that they have different thicknesses of yarns.

    Clear as mud?

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


  13. #20
    Join Date
    18th November 17
    Location
    Nova Scotia
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    Goot great news today.

    Got a email today telling me the work on my kilt has started, a short time now and I will have my all day every day kilt.

  14. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Chris in a Kilt For This Useful Post:


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