Why is buying a kilt so expensive?

Is it?

A kilt is made from 8 yards of either 14oz – 18oz woollen tartan, woven right here in Scotland.   The process the cloth goes through before it even gets to your kiltmaker is intense and very specialised.

The highly specialised job of working a loom.

The highly specialised job of working a loom.

Then it is sent on to your kiltmaker, who has to set up the pleats to match the front of your kilt and  depending on the tartan can take 10 mins to 3 hours to work out.

Setting up the kilt - working out the pleats so it matches the front apron. The skill here is getting the most amount of pleats possible.

Setting up the kilt – working out the pleats so it matches the front apron. The skill here is getting the most amount of pleats possible.

It is then completely hand stitched and shaped to your exact measurements, creating every curve to fit.  A kiltmaker can spend 16 – 20 hours making your kilt. It truly is a work of art that will last a lifetime that will grow and shrink with you.

 

The shaping of a hand stitched kilt

The shaping of a hand stitched kilt

 

Unfortunately, we now live in a throw away society.  I can go out and buy, say, a tee shirt for £5, doesn’t matter if it only lasts a couple of washes, its only a fiver, I can nip out and get another one, and another one, and another one…………….. – can you see where I’m going with this?

Disposable clothing is causing massive environmental damage.

Disposable clothing is causing massive environmental damage.

We all seem to be living in the now and not thinking about the future, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, however,  when it comes to shopping its all about money at the time of purchase.  Hey that only costs £5 (tee-shirt) bargain, but it all adds up.  Gents, how many suits will you buy in a lifetime compared to a kilt?

You will see cheap kilts on the tourist trail, a kilt for £50 mmmmm, you cannot even buy a couple yards of cloth for that, so where is the cloth coming from?  Is it handsewn? doubtful, could you imagine working for 40p an hour, so who are making these ‘kilts’ and again where?  On eBay I just saw one for £15!   Yes there is a market for these things, when you’re on holiday its a wee souvenir, but I just wish they would not call it a kilt.

I doubt any part of this kilt comes from Scotland

I doubt any part of this kilt comes from Scotland

As you might have guessed I am a kiltmaker and am really proud of every kilt i make.   I get very upset when people say to me ‘why is a kilt so expensive?’

 

 

About Nikki Laird

I am a daft kilt maker who loves finding out about new interesting information about Scotland and work here at ScotClans

View all posts by Nikki Laird →

4 thoughts on “Why is buying a kilt so expensive?

  1. Gordon Rust

    Keep up the good work.I love the kilt and have several all professionally made.Wear one whenever possible.Guide at Dunans Castle,GlenDaruel,Argyll.

    Reply
  2. Chris Hardwick

    I wish I could get a Kilt in the Barr clan, I believe Irn-Bru now have the rights and their kilt maker doesn’t respond to my requests.

    Reply
  3. Colleen Rude-Hulbert

    In the USA we are trying to “educate” folks at the highland games. We only refer them to reputable individuals who only use Kiltmakers in Scotland. When someone asks about a kilt make of scottish materials, for $25.00 we politely guide them in the correct direction. Better to see I real kilt on individuals than the cheap knockoffs. A utility kilt or sport kilt is great for construction set up and tear down, but not for a banquet or Burns dinner. It all starts with education and we let them know it is an investment to be handed down, not something easily disposable. Keep up the good work and quality kilts.

    Reply
  4. Kathleen Dooley

    My three sons own a kilt apiece with one having two.
    They are works of art, and worth every penny!
    Keep up the excellent education 🙂

    Reply

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