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  1. #1
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    Question regarding a strange ripple

    I am currently doing an alteration job on a little (7 years old) highland dancer's kilt. I am just letting the hem down a bit so no issues there. The kilt fits her in the waist and in the hips, but there is a weird horizontal ripple at about the level of the hip strap. It's not something I have to fix now, but I would like to know what would cause this in case I do eventually have to fix it. The pleats seem to be a few different sizes so I thought maybe the size at that level came out wrong. Any wisdom you could share will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Pictures please.

    It's really hard to advise based on a written description alone.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  3. #3
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    A picture would definitely help. But I also have a couple questions.

    -Is the ripple in the pleats or the apron? You don't mention which. I'm having a hard time visualizing how variations in pleat size could give you a horizontal ripple.

    -One of the things that can give this kind of horizontal ripple in either the pleats or the apron is buckling the kilt too tight at the hips. The hip strap should be loose - it does nothing to hold the kilt on. The only function of a hip strap on a dancer's kilt is to control the apron and keep it from flying around when the person is dancing. Many people yank on the hip strap until it it really tight, and that can distort both the apron and the pleats. Have you tried pressing to see if the ripple will press out?

    And do you have any idea on the extent of canvas in the kilt, particularly in the pleats? The purpose of the canvas is to allow flexibility around the person and provide stiffness vertically. If the canvas is skimpy, or if it's been put in with the stiff direction the wrong way, both the apron and the pleats can develop horizontal "waves" if the kilt is buckled too tight at the hips. Whether this can be pressed out depends on whether the canvas has "locked in" the distortion.

    Anyway, some pics would help.
    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

  4. #4
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    Unfortunately I can't post photos. The kilt has been left with me to be altered. The ripple showed when the kilt was worn and does not show otherwise. Thanks for the reply, though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    A picture would definitely help. But I also have a couple questions.

    -Is the ripple in the pleats or the apron? You don't mention which. I'm having a hard time visualizing how variations in pleat size could give you a horizontal ripple.

    -One of the things that can give this kind of horizontal ripple in either the pleats or the apron is buckling the kilt too tight at the hips. The hip strap should be loose - it does nothing to hold the kilt on. The only function of a hip strap on a dancer's kilt is to control the apron and keep it from flying around when the person is dancing. Many people yank on the hip strap until it it really tight, and that can distort both the apron and the pleats. Have you tried pressing to see if the ripple will press out?

    And do you have any idea on the extent of canvas in the kilt, particularly in the pleats? The purpose of the canvas is to allow flexibility around the person and provide stiffness vertically. If the canvas is skimpy, or if it's been put in with the stiff direction the wrong way, both the apron and the pleats can develop horizontal "waves" if the kilt is buckled too tight at the hips. Whether this can be pressed out depends on whether the canvas has "locked in" the distortion.

    Anyway, some pics would help.
    Apologies. The ripple is across the pleats at about the hip strap level. I left the hip strap undone completely and the ripple was still there. If the canvas is like the stuff in the apron then it likely isn't doing the job. I'll take a look at that. It might be just plunked in there with minimal stitching or something.

    Many thanks for the help.

  6. #6
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    30th November 04
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    Canvas that is put in well will have pleats in it that run vertically to add stiffness to keep these kinds of ripples from developing. If the canvas wasn't pleated or it had the stiff direction running the wrong way or it was lightweight canvas, it could easily ripple, even in a kilt for a 7-year-old, especially if the hip buckle had been pulled tight for many wearings.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    Canvas that is put in well will have pleats in it that run vertically to add stiffness to keep these kinds of ripples from developing. If the canvas wasn't pleated or it had the stiff direction running the wrong way or it was lightweight canvas, it could easily ripple, even in a kilt for a 7-year-old, especially if the hip buckle had been pulled tight for many wearings.
    I think this is likely the issue. I am about to start work for the morning so I'll check the little kilt to see if this is indeed the problem.

    Thanks Barb!

  8. #8
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    It was the canvas! The canvas only goes a couple inches down from the top. I was able to fit a finger in behind the lining and could feel where the canvas ended. It didn't feel like the canvas was pleated either. It seemed to be just plunked in there like I thought it might be.

    Thanks again.

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