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  1. #11
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
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    Derek,

    I think you are missing the main point here. A wool kilt, made in the traditional manner needs the internal elements due to a couple of factors.

    Wool is not dimensionally stable. Even a light pulling and you can see wool stretch and pull the Tartan out of line.

    This is a traditionally made, military kilt where you can see the distortion at the under apron strap due to it not being fastened to the internal elements. We often see distortion like this when a kilt has been altered and the person doing the sewing sewed the straps to the outer, Tartan fabric, did not anchor the straps all the way into the underlying elements.
    On this particular kilt the internal elements had been sewn with cotton thread which rotted and failed over time.


    This is another example of the distortion of wool. This time due to the kilt being hung using the loops that you often find in some kilts.


    We also hand stitch a traditionally made kilt so the stitches do not show on the outside of the garment. Hand stitching is weaker than machine stitching. The whole purpose of putting all those internal elements into a traditionally made kilt is to re-inforce the garment and keep the stresses off the outer fabric and the hand-stitching.

    I have shown this photo many times and yes, it is an extreme example. But this is what happens to the hand stitching when the internal elements fail. This kilt took a very short time after it was taken out of service due to a few popped stitches to this just due to handing it till they could get it to me for repair.

    The fabric is not torn, Just the stitching has popped.



    Now we get to the reason we cut-away the pleats in the Fell of a kilt.
    It is not uncommon for a knife pleated kilt to build up 9-11 layers of fabric in the pleats.


    When we taper the Fell these layers build up even more. The reason we cut this excess bulk away is to keep the back of the kilt thinner and cooler.
    But this further weakens an already weak garment.

    If you are making a box pleated kilt, or other low yardage kilt, you will not have as many layers overlapping. This is why Box Pleated kilts often do not have the pleats cut-away.

    The stabilizer resists the horizontal stress of buckling the kilt on.
    The floating interfacing give vertical stiffness and shape to the garment.

    Together they made a traditionally made kilt. Leave one or both out and the garment will stretch out of size in just an hour or so of wearing. The fabric and stitching cannot hold up to the stress and WILL fail after time.

    The traditional method of making a kilt is an older way of constructing garments. It was developed over the years and through the talents of many very talented kiltmakers.
    The reason clothing today is made differently is due to the fabrics and techniques available to us today. Blue Jean fabric is incredibly strong. That is why it was first used in work clothing. Today's machine stitching is also incredibly strong. So garments today rely on the strength of the fabric and the strength of the stitching to keep them together.

    It really is up to the person making the kilt how they stitch and what method of construction they use. A synthetic kilt will use different methods from a wool kilt. A Casual type kilt which is worn less often or does not need to look as good for dressy events will use different methods.

    If you don't want to cut away your pleats and feel that the bulk in the back is fine then don't do the cut-away. You are the one who will wear this. It is up to you to make these decisions.

    Those of us who do this for a living can only advise and show you why we do what we do.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    29th September 16
    Location
    Rohnert Park, CA, Usa
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    So the stabilizer is basically the skeleton that the rest of the kilt hangs from, acting as a curtain rod for lack of a better term. It keeps the kilt were it's suppose to be and let's it hang and swing without warping or distorting the wool from the pulling of the straps.

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  5. #13
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
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    Yep, basically.

    A well made kilt and you can wear the stabilizer and intefacing all by themselves.



    You can see how the kilt flares out both above and below where the straps cinch into.

    And see the liner just hanging. The liner just covers up the internal stuff and makes everything pretty.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 30th August 17 at 01:32 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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