Frequently Asked Questions
Your name search may have turned up several Clans and associated tartans. Each Clan has several tartans, if so you may wear any or all of them. If not and you are of Scottish Heritage, do not be dismayed. Many Scottish family names do not have an associated tartan. There are however many generic or “All Scotland” tartans. As a person of Scottish heritage you may wear any of those.
Of course you can! Even if you don’t have a Scottish clan or family name there are many Universal tartans that you can wear. For example: Black Watch, Caledonian, and Jacobite, Scottish National, Scottish National dress, National, Brave Heart Warrior (both dress and hunting), Flower of Scotland and Pride of Scotland.
A gentlemen’s kilt closes right apron to left buckle through the hole and fastened to the left buckle. The left apron to the right fastened the waist and hip buckles, fringed edge and kilt pin to the right. The Kilt should come to the centre of your knees and sit well up on your natural waist. When fastening the waist if the tartan lines pulls you have it too tight, let it rest on your hips. The pleats should be at the back of the kilt.
The sporran should be centered to the front of the kilt, 3 fingers below the waistcoat, or belt, be careful that it does not hang too low. The strap should fasten to the rear and rest on the hips.
The first thing many people ask is what is a “Dress” tartan or a “Hunting” tartan. Tartans often come in Modern, Ancient, Hunting , and Dress to name most. Many of the larger Clans have specialty tartans. The “Modern” tartan in the most commonly woven tartan and usually the accepted “standard” tartan for a Clan. The ancient series is an attempt by weavers to duplicate what the tartans would have looked like, back when. Usually this is the same “sett” or pattern as the modern but with faded colors. The “Dress” tartans are most commonly worn by women, as tey have a large amount of white and are a brighter look. The hunting tartans are usually made to offset a bright color modern tartan. Made in earth tones to do exactly that, hunt. When looking at a list of tartans you will see a letter following the name and these are A =Ancient, M =Modern, W =Weathered, Mtd =Muted .
The kilt hose (socks) should be 2 to 3 fingers below the knee cap.
These should be worn on the outside of the leg, bringing the sock turnover down to cover half the double loop of the flash.
The sgian Dhub (black knife) is normally worn down the right sock, although a left handed person could wear it on the left leg. Only the top inch should show above the sock.
To tie the laces on the Ghille Brogue, cross the laces, pull them tight in a simple knot. Then twist three times and pull tight again to create a vertical thong. Now pass the laces around the back of the ankle and bring to the front and tie a normal bow, the remaining lace and toggles should hang to the front.
There is not a single situation where you can not wear a kilt. A man’s kilt can be dressed up to wear to a Fancy Ball or a wedding, where you would wear a tuxedo, and can also be worn with casual shoes and shirt to go hiking or out for a pint.
Formal Dress: this can be worn on occasions when a dinner suit or tuxedo would be worn such as a wedding or ball
Semi Dress: suitable for less formal occasions such as a ceilidh.
Essentially there are two types of kilt; the Feileadh Mor (also known as Geat Kilt or Breacan Feile) and the Feileadh Beg which is the more common type of kilt. The Feileadh Mor (pronouncied ‘phili more’ ),is really just one length of double width tartan, usually 6-7 yds in length which is gathered into pleats and belted round the waist. The Feileadh Beg is a hand or machine sewn garment which is worn just above the hip and fastened by buckles. If you are looking for a kilt – chances are its this one you want.
Generally a Kilt is 8 Yds in a kilt – however if the kilt is for a larger person this can be 9 or more. Kilts can also be made with less material, the pleats being shallower. Therfore this can vary from 7 down to as little as 4yds.
Kilting Tartan comes in three weights; lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight. Lightweight is 10oz per linear yd, Medium is 13oz and heavyweight is 16oz. In general medium weight is a good all round weight.
Ancient: This term has nothing to do with the age of the tartan, it is simply a term used to denote that the thread colours used replicate the colours that would have been produced using vegetable dyes. Therefore ancient tartans have a more faded look.
Modern: when new synthetic ‘aniline’ dyes were developed the vividness of colour that could be achieved was improved dramatically. Modern tartans are usually a much stronger colour.
Muted & Reproduction: A more faded version of ancient colours.
Dress: In a dress tartan the ‘ground’ colour (dominant base colour of the design) is white.
Hunting: A version of the tartan where the colours are darker – with predominant greens & dark blues, designed to be less conspicuous.
If you have any questions which were not answered by our Frequently Asked Questions, please contact us.