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  1. #1
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    Can "Glen Affric" produce custom designs in a heavier weave?

    Greetings, Nick -

    I've been playing around with a tartan design, using Scotweb's online Tartan Designer tool, and I've noticed that your "Glen Affric" line to produce the tartan as fabric, is a 13oz weave.

    Would it be possible to specify a heavier 15oz or 16oz weave at time of order? Or is 13 ounce the only practical option for custom designs from the design tool?

    If different weights are possible (from a business practicality perspective), it would be great to see these options (and their pricing) before electing to buy. Using the common Buchanan Modern as an example, I am able to price-compare a heavy weight 5yd casual kilt, and a medium weight 8yd traditional kilt, before deciding which one I would purchase. It would be nice to be able to see something similar, when a custom design is selected as the fabric.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  2. #2
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    If my recollection serves me, Glen Affric was the name Scotweb uses/used for their "in house" tartan weavers, which were in fact originally not really in house but rather farmed out custom weave orders to other existing weaving mills, usually DC Dalgleish. Since the same company that runs Scotweb now owns Dalgleish that relationship is almost a certainty that it would be woven by Dalgleish. And since they have the capacity to weave tartan in all it's various weights as a custom order, I would assume that yours could be woven at whatever weight you desire, for a price. Just remember that the sett increases in size as the fabric weight goes up if you use the same thread count, as heavier tartan uses thicker thread which makes for a somewhat larger sett. I cannot, however, tell you how much bigger the sett might end up being, but I bet Peter, Matt, or Nick could give us an idea. My guess would be that going from 13 to 16 oz with the same thread count woul probably increase sett size by 10-15 %, but that is only my WAG.

  3. #3
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    FM-

    I understand all of that (though I appreciate the response.)

    As the tools currently exist, I have the ability to select the length of fabric I want to order, in a fixed weight of 13 ounces, and that is all. It would be nice if I could also select a different fabric weight (and see an associated cost), at the same time, right on the web page. Instead, I have to contact Scotweb separately, to pose the questions. Call it a web site feature request, which is why I posed the question in this sub-forum.

    It is conceivable that while Scotweb has been able to negotiate similar enough prices with all their weavers to make a single front-end price possible in a 13 ounce weave, it may be that price differentials between weavers on the back end (what those different weavers each charge Scotweb) make presenting a single front end price for an alternate weight impractical, on the web site. If all the weavers vary in their price by a percent or two, Scotweb can front-end a single price for that weight. But if the weavers each varied by 5 or 10 percent or more in price on the other weights, it may not be practical for Scotweb to try to present a single price under their Glen Affric name, without either losing margin or unfairly overcharging the customer.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  4. #4
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    Hi Ken,

    First the quick answer: yes, it's perfectly possible to weave a heavier weight piece in any design you like. But, as you have found, it's not currently possible directly off the web site, so please contact our customer service team for prices etc.

    I'll also try to shed more light on the full picture, for your interest and anyone else with similar questions...

    Yes, Glen Affric was our original in-house name for D.C. Dalgliesh (and other commission weavers) before we took over the business. It's long been our practice to disguise the identities of many of our suppliers, not least because in those days the mill was still selling direct to consumers (a practice we've now stopped, as I believe it's poor business practice for manufacturers to compete directly with their own supply chain).

    But the headline 13oz fabric we now supply under that name is not, in fact, currently woven by Dalgliesh, but rather by another high quality local commission weaver. The reason is simply that we can offer a better price that way, via a producer that is a bit more mechanised than the almost entirely hand-worked processes at Dalgliesh. (If you haven't seen the video on the Dalgliesh site, it's worth a watch.)

    So why don't we offer our own Dalgliesh alternatives (15oz & 11 oz wool, and 3oz and 1oz pure spun silk) off the page to order as you suggest? The truth is more mundane than that. In fact we did give a similar choice when we first launched the online Tartan Designer facility, in keeping with our policy of empowering the customer with us much information and options as possible. But we found that the enormous choice was just confusing the heck out of too many people! And most customers were ordering medium weight wool for kilts anyway. So as a 'short term' expedient measure we scaled back the range to the one most commercially attractive headline offer.

    I put 'short term' into scare quotes as that was at least a couple of years ago and it's always been our intention to revert to a full choice. In fact we have mock-ups for the tech team waiting to go, together with a whole raft of other improvements. But that's currently pending the resource availability, as our team is working flat out on other business priorities. So unless we go hunting for a rich investor (which is always in the back of our minds as one option) we have to cut our cloth accordingly... ho ho, pardon the pun.

    There's also one other big reason it's not happening right now. This is that all sorts of developments are on hold right now, until we've completed a major business reorganisation, rebranding, and relaunch. I can't say too much publicly about this at the moment for obvious reasons. But we've been recruiting like mad recently and have brought in a few fabulous new people already, with several adverts ongoing in the hunt for similar stars. This is all building up to some really big changes, as we seek to make the most of the really unique experience and competences we've put together over the years. Anyone that's followed our company history will know that we've always been pioneers, which countless other companies have copied relentlessly... flattering, but annoying - especially when they copycat to the extent of cynical intellectual property theft, as even our bigger competitors have done. So now Dalgliesh is not only the star in this firmament, but gives us a USP that no one else can piggy-back on our ideas and work. So watch this space...

  5. #5
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    Oh, by the way, re. the sett size point... with our default Glen Affric special weave we offer little by way of custom service, as it's priced at a no frills level. But with any Dalgliesh fabric (which does cost a bit more) the full expert service comes as part of the package. This also means you can pretty much specify the sett size you like, and the weavers will adjust the warp and weft to achieve that. A threadcount is not literal, but represents a pattern, and the pattern can be reproduced at almost any reasonable scale.

  6. #6
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    Here is a custom Dalgliesh weave in a larger sett and in "Wilsons" colours, that I had made last year. It is a 10.5 inch sett in MacLeod of Harris rather than, I think, the more normal 7 inch sett. I am delighted with it. In passing Nick, if I had asked, would it have been possible to have it woven in heavier cloth of the same type?

    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Nick, for the insightful response. I'll drop a note to your team, to ask for a quote on heavier weave. I'd love to have a kilt in this tartan in my hands, by autumn.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    In passing Nick, if I had asked, would it have been possible to have it woven in heavier cloth of the same type?
    Yes, certainly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Fiddes View Post
    Yes, certainly.

    Dammit I wish I had thought to ask! My fault, no one else's. Mine is 15 oz. Out of interest then Nick, how much heavier do you weave the Dalgliesh cloth? 20 oz? 22 oz? Heavier?
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 11th March 13 at 05:12 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  10. #10
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    18oz 'Regimental' weight would be the highest we'd normally do for tartan. Though I should have mentioned there'd be a greater minimum for that, of about 15 yards. Note too that the range of stock yarn shades is much more restricted, as demand normally comes from, well, regiments, which are mostly in traditional modern colours.

    Heavier weights are possible, with a bigger minimum still (or at least a hefty setup charge). But once you get up into the twenties you'd have issues with pleating, and it can get a bit spongey.

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