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  1. #1
    Join Date
    15th January 19
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    Layout and Ironing Spaces

    Question the 1st- How much table space do you actually need to do the layout, basting and ironing work for a kilt? I am limited on space, not having a large dining table nor large stretches of hardwood floors to layout my work. My longest planned kilt would be about 24 inches.
    Question the 2nd- What sort of material should my table top be? I have heard melamine shelving might be good and heat resistant, but should I have a padded cover for ironing?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Deansboro, NY
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    Great questions!

    We have a very small house, and we have this fabulous small IKEA gateleg dining table (https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/norden-...irch-90423887/).


    It opens to a top that's 60"x31", which is MORE than enough for laying out a kilt. And it folds up to a very small footprint if both tops are folded down. I love it. The main thing in choosing a layout table is to be sure that it's more than 24" wide - lots of computer desks are 22-24" wide, and that's not wide enough to, for example, chalk the edge of the apron from top to bottom unless you rotate the tartan so that the length of the tartan is across the width of the table, which is a pain.

    In terms of pressing the kilt, I always use an ironing board. It can be set up at a lower height than a table, which is, for me, essential because I'm not the tallest person ever. Also, a kilt won't lie flat on a flat surface because the unstitched parts of the pleats are straight, whereas the fell (the stitched part of the pleats) is tapered. I find it essential to hang the fell off the tip of the ironing board so that I can lay the basted part of the pleats completely flat on the ironing board for pressing. You can't do that if you press on a big flat table. It is certainly possible to press a kilt on a flat surface - Steve does his kilts that way by folding the fell vertically into a curved "wall". Nothing wrong with doing it that way. I just find it awkward to press the way he does, and I'm sure it's simply that I learned differently to begin with.

    If you go the ironing board route, it also has the advantage of having a surface you don't need to worry about protecting from steam (as you would a wooden table), and you can fold the ironing board up when you're done and stash it away. It is, though, worth buying a sturdy ironing board with extra-wide surface (18" instead of the typical 13-15"). Here are a couple on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Brabantia-Ste...0420115&sr=8-5 or https://www.amazon.com/Professional-...420179&sr=8-11
    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

  3. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Barb T For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    15th January 19
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    Wow, I didn't realize that much time had passed without me thanking you. Sorry about that.
    Thank you for the insight.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    24th September 04
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    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
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    When I set up my kilt shop I had the luxury of all the space I needed. So I got the super large, 3 piece Olfa cutting surface with a grid printed on it and made a layout table 3 ft. X 6 ft. I also was able to have the room to fit 3 ft. x 5 ft. pressing tables with industrial steam irons that create the steam in a separate chamber. Each of my employees had their own full layout and pressing station.

    But for home kilt making you do not need or even want what I had in a commercial operation.

    Almost any table or surface you have will work. even a sheet of carboard that you can lay out on the floor when needed and roll up when not is more than enough. If you want a super nice layout surface a nice hint is to get an adhesive tape measure and draw a grid for accurate layout but even that is not a requirement.

    At Kilt Kamps, Barb will have two students share one 2 ft. x 3 ft table and that works well.

    For sewing a kilt you really only need a chair and a coffee table or a small fold out table like Barb shows to hold the excess fabric. Barb can sew a kilt in an airport or on a ferry without any trouble at all.

    For small, one off, or home kiltmaking you use what you have. Don't stress over us with commercial operations. Adapt, improvise, overcome.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    1st February 07
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    Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnittedReenactor View Post
    Question the 1st- How much table space do you actually need to do the layout, basting and ironing work for a kilt? I am limited on space, not having a large dining table nor large stretches of hardwood floors to layout my work. My longest planned kilt would be about 24 inches.
    Question the 2nd- What sort of material should my table top be? I have heard melamine shelving might be good and heat resistant, but should I have a padded cover for ironing?
    Thank you.
    I have been making kilts for 20 years. I used to use a card table with a removable ironing pad that I made for the table. I've upgraded to a 5 foot table and an industrial ironing board now that I have more space. Best of luck.
    Joseph Croft FSA Scot
    Owner/Kilt Maker

    http://www.kilts-n-stuff.com/

    Whiskey to a Scotchman is as innocent as milk to the rest of the human race.
    Mark Twain

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


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