About The Kiltmakery

The Kiltmakery, yes, we made up the word, was started in 2017 by Amanda Moffet and Nikki Laird.  We are part of ScotClans – a family business based in Edinburgh, Scotland.  It was originally set up to bring in self employed traditionally trained kiltmakers who work from home to come and be part of a community.

Unfortunately, through the years with workrooms closing kiltmakers were expected to work from home and were now being paid per kilt.  As new retail shops opened and not many of the older salespeople in the original kilt shops left.  Not many of these salesmen and women quite knew what goes into a kilt or how long it takes to make one.  As far as a lot of them were concerned it was just little old ladies sitting at their kitchen tables doing a little bit of sewing for pocket money, or as one kilt retailer called it ‘gin money’ yes that was said.  Due to this attitude and the isolation of the kiltmaker it led to very poor pay so much so that a kiltmaker could no longer afford to take on an apprentice as they could not afford the time or any future competition.  Which has now led to traditional Kiltmaking being put on an endangered list of crafts that could die out.

We wanted to offer a safe place and support to those who might be feeling isolated as well as open our doors to them to use our space and get to know one another.  By creating this community, we could educate  the public and make sure that retailers pay and respect the kiltmaker.

 

Keeping the tradition of hand stitched kiltmaking alive

Here at The Kiltmakery we are promoting the craft of kiltmaking as well as providing wider education so people know the difference between a traditionally hand stitched kilt and a machine sewn.  We demystify the process of kilt making for the consumer and provide the kiltmaker with an environment where they can work together to further their craft and creativity.  By doing this we  are able to bring more work to Scotland making a viable career for many kilt makers.

 

 

 

 

What we do not do
Here in Edinburgh I can go into the city centre and buy a kilt for less than £50.  This is not what we sell or make here.   There is nothing wrong with companies selling the cheap imported ‘kilts’ as long as people know this is what they are buying.

 

A Kilt is for Life: The ‘Buy Once’ Philosophy
We live in an age of disposable clothes and rapidly changing fashions … red is the new black etc. etc.  We want to react against this – to go back to cherishing an item of clothing  – to  celebrate the craftsmanship.  At home I have a kilt that is around 200 years old, it still looks amazing.  I don’t think I could say this about any of the clothes I own today.

 

 

Ethical Kilts – what we believe
Here at ScotClans and The Kiltmakery a kilt is made by one kilt maker.  People may be shocked to learn that many places selling hand stitched kilts are using a group of kilt makers who work in a line, each one just making one element of the kilt.  This means that an employed kiltmaker finds it hard to leave their job because they lack the skills to make a kilt from start to finish.  The quality of the kilt suffers when a kilt is not made by one person.

We need to find more work for the kiltmaker – By working together we are able to take on larger orders and have consistency.   Up to now many kiltmakers work in secrecy and no longer train others up, work is scarce and competitive.  People selling kilts need to change the way they work, you can’t expect people paid less than the minimum wage to fully care about the quality of their kilts – why should they.  We have heard of kilt makers refusing to put over a certain number of pleats in their kilts to try and cut back the time it takes. Corners are cut and the kilt is not of a high quality. The kilts bought through The Kiltmakery are all made to the highest quality and the kilt maker is paid well for their work. We respect the kilt maker and this is shown in the quality of our kilts.

Education

At ScotClans and The Kiltmakery we offer talks on the history and evolution of the kilt as well as Scottish Clans and Scottish History. We attend Highland Games in Scotland and the USA.


Kilt Blogs

A ‘not so’ Brief History of the Kilt

The Kilt. Just saying that conjures up images of HIghlanders walking through the Scottish Glens. it is one of the ...
Read More

Do you know how to wear your kilt? you may be surprised

So, you’ve now bought yourself a traditionally hand sewn kilt and you love it.  But now what, how do you ...
Read More

An Englishman invented the Kilt! …… Ehhhh Naw ( as we would say in Scotland)

Oh deary me, where on earth do I start. There is a story stating that, it was, in fact an ...
Read More

The Original Tartan Con Men

Back in 1820 or thereabouts there were two wee English brothers, born in Wales, by the names of John Hay Allen ...
Read More

A History of Scottish Highland Dancing

The origins of Scottish Highland dancing like most of our Scottish traditions are swathed in the mists of time. Our ...
Read More
Adding the lining

What is Really under the kilt?

When you make the decision to purchase your very own kilt or give one as a present, it is something ...
Read More

Buying a Kilt v Kilt hire, the results are itchy… I mean shocking!

We all know that a kilt is an expensive purchase, but when you think of all the suits you’ll be ...
Read More
Scotland the brave: Tough 'kilties' battled for Britain in WWI | WWI |

A look at the dark side of the kilt

The kilt has a proud history especially in the Highland regiments, however, it also has a dark side. Especially when ...
Read More
Me cutting the pleats - holding my breath

Learning to make a kilt

When selling traditional Scottish clothing what can be more iconic than the Scottish Kilt.  This has to be one of ...
Read More

Kilt Like an Egyptian

It seems wherever you travel around the globe, you can't miss signs of Scottish influence. From bagpipes being played in ...
Read More

Bus Driver Says ‘Kilt Wearing Scots are Lucky’

A bus driver in the northern Swedish town of Umea has begun wearing a skirt to work as temperatures sore ...
Read More
Kilted Golden Driller

World’s Largest Kilt

The iconic Golden Driller statue in the Oklahoma city of Tulsa has been made a temporary Scotsman after he was ...
Read More

Traditional Versus Modern!

Living in Edinburgh its hard to escape the traditional image of the the Scotsman in full regalia. Every highlandwear shop ...
Read More
Scottish soldiers charging in their kilts during the First World War

History of Kilts Worn in Battle

There is no documentation for the kilts we know today before 1575. There are many kilt like clothing that is ...
Read More

High Visibility Kilts

Now here's a kilt that stands out - even at night! A Sweedish company Luckily Blaklader has offered up another ...
Read More

The craziest kilt pic I’ve ever seen

Came across this picture, thought I'd share it. It's from Spain's annual bull-running festival in the northern town of Pamplona ...
Read More