Categories
Highlandwear

Chalk Tartan Design and Custom Weave

Commissioned by Stephen Chalk and his family for his 50th birthday, we designed and weaved this unique custom tartan for a memorable birthday.

Stephen Chalk and his family Commissioned Ewan to Design and weave this unique tartan for his 50th
What a great Birthday present!
One of the most technical tartans Houstons have ever designed with fire orange and Lurex woven through the weft to match his motorbike!
We hope The family enjoy their tartan for generations to come 
A stunning tartan and over a year in the design phase. The kilts will turn out great.

Categories
Highlandwear

Bespoke Tweed wedding Jackets

Bespoke jackets from Houston Kiltmakers Established 1909

Ewan and his team are  making some of the best kilt outfits in the world.

Totally  bespoke we prefer to take six months to a year to make.

We can have an initial design meet and get cloths, linings and embroidery aside and measure you closer to your wedding date.

We will help you every step of the way create a unique wedding outfit   

With customized features 

So you look your best on your wedding day

Email ewan@kiltmakers.com for bespoke one of a kind outfits.

Categories
Highlandwear

Jacket Linings

Houston Kiltmakers Est 1909
Lining Ideas
Tell us which colours you like / tartan / tweed to match with and we can advise and take some more pictures for you
Far left Standard linings inclusive of price generally you will find a tone that works with your outfit.
£50 linings lots of colours to choose from and some really nice tones such as sailor blue which ties in very nicely with muted tartans Woven in the UK
£90 Luxury linings – some two tones, twill shot and really nice quality with depth Woven by Dugdale bros Huddersfield.
£160 Stunning paisley pattern. Some beautiful paisley and two tone paisley that will set your jacket apart from the rest 

Note You can have jacket and waistcoat different linings tartan trim , initials, wedding date or address embroidered onto a piece of your tartan inside the jacket.
We will always help you pick a lining that sets of your outfit 

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OG Hunting/ Animal print + £230

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Categories
Highlandwear

Argyle hose, Diced Hose and Castellated topped Hose

Also known as tartan socks or plaid socks.
These Hose are all Made to order and take 6-10 weeks to make. Traditionally worn to black tie events and evening events with black brogues or the traditionalist would wear buckle shoes. Pure new wool and always hand made in Scotland.
Some wear Argyll hose with day jackets but best to only wear to formal events, with a black jacket such as Prince Charlie, Montrose, Kenmore or Sheriffmuir.
Castellated tops have turrets on top and date back to the 1600s. They stay up naturally or come with a cord to tie them up with, should you wish to use it

Diced, Argyll and castellated socks are expensive but look and feel a million dollars
They are the best socks you can wear with your kilt and if you match the colors right it will give your outfit a whole new dimension and depth.

When they are correctly fitted they feel fantastic They require a few different sizes but are pretty easy to measure
See measuring details later.

Remember Hand knitted socks need to be hand-washed only – we have seen a few sets that have gone through a hot wash cycle and there is not much use for them after that…

Argyll socks hose will last a lifetime if you look after them and are hand wash only.

Sock 1
Classic Argyll hose with Modern Hunting Robertson

Sock 2
Black and white/ grey Castlated diced sock with Bute Mist.

Sock 3
Purple and Navy contemporary Argyll Hose with Scottish Heather tartan

Sock 4
Classic diced Hose with Ancient Campbell tartan

Sock 5
Contemporary Charcoal/ Black and teal Argyll Hose with Glencallum tartan

Sock 6
Claret red and Green diced Castellated hose with Macdonald of Glengarry Modern

sock 7
White and red diced castellated Hose with Autumn Bute

Sock 8
Measurement pictures

 

We need your
Height
Shoe size ( US or UK)
Length of foot(picture 1)
width all the way around widest point(Picture 2)
Round the ankles(picture 3)
Round the calf(picture 4)
Length of leg (Note we will add extra on for the return)(picture 5)

 

Email us at shop@kiltmakers.com to get yours now!

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Scotland tartan

The Scottish Kilt

Scottish  Kilt


The Scottish Kilt is traditionally 8 yards ( 7.4 metres ) of pure new wool.

Always made in Scotland.
There are literally thousands of tartans to choose from. We will go into tartan in another post
The weight of cloth is important to think about.
16/17oz cloth ( Heavy weight ) is the best weight of authentic Scottish Kilt cloth as it sits and hangs and gives the best swing to the pleats. It is not any warmer than a 13oz kilt.
For Larger guys heavy weight is by far the best cloth to use as it hangs much better over the belly and holds shape and looks a million dollars!
13oz Medium weight is acceptable if you are under a 44/46″ waist
19oz to 21oz is regimental weight cloth – only 6 tartans are woven in this weight now
Traditionally the Scottish kilt is 100% hand made.
The kiltmaker will take half a day to check the cloth, check sizes and prepare the tartan.
The kiltmaker will then take around two days to make each kilt, there are around 6000 to 7500 stitches
22 to 28 deep knife pleats ( Note kilts can be box pleated if you wish )
All reinforced double stitched round the key areas where you get the most wear and tear.
Houston’s make kilts with 3 buckles and straps so the customer has 1.5″ of adjustment either way
All kilts are cut for growth so that they can be adjusted a few inches in years to come.
Kilts can be made to normal sett where the pleats at the back are folded to repeat the tartan exactly ( so front and back of kilt looks exactly the same) or they can be regimental sett also called sett to the line where the kiltmaker will take one of the symmetrical predominant pivot lines and sett each pleat to that line so you just see lines down the back of the kilt and the front and back of the kilt looks totally different.. Note 90% of customers go with a normal sett kilt.
Kilts normally take 6 to 8 weeks to make as long as the cloth is in stock. Kilts can be expressed quickly in a few weeks or a few days if required at a little extra
If cloth has to be woven then kilts can take up to five or 6 months to make. That is why we always recommend booking at least six months before your function date if you can.
Houston Kiltmakers is  a 4th generation family business based in Paisley established in 1909 by William.M Houston. Mr Houston’s Great grandson Ewan William MacDonald is now running the business and is passionate about .   At Houstons we have kiltmakers with decades of experience.
If you are interested in getting a bespoke Authentic Scottish kilt you can come into the shop any time we are open

or email shop@kiltmakers.com or if you are wanting to talk to one of the best then email

Categories
Highlandwear

How Many Tartans Are There?

There is no way of knowing specifically the first tartan ever created, given how long they have existed. However, with certain magical online tools, we are able to at least see more modern renditions, who designed it and when.

A Tartan is a design by which 2 or more colours are set to a pattern and weaved to create an accumulation of lines and boxes. Certain mills may have different coloured threads, meaning it is important that you are aware of the specific colours of yarn.

In the past, tartans were worn mainly by highlanders. During the 18th century when Tartan was associated with government rebellion, it was adopted by lowlanders as a general statement being made.

It began to grow within Scottish culture, with more and more tartans being designed and registered. According to the Scottish Tartan Society (STS), Scottish Tartan Authority (STA) and the Scottish Tartan World Register (STWR) there are 8165 tartans on the register, made up of legacy tartans formerly recorded by such authorities. On top of this, there are over 2400 tartans registered on the Scottish Register of Tartans since its implementation on February 5th, 2009.

Any new tartans created are registered with the Scottish Register of Tartan, where a huge catalogue of tartans can be found and the rights to be woven can be acquired from specific tartan Designers. This is useful if one day you wish for your own special weave or custom tartan is being made.

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Kilts Made In Scotland Paisley Scotland tartan

About Ken MacDonald – Owner of Houston Kiltmakers

Ken MacDonald is the 3rd generation to run Houston Kiltmakers and is regarded as a world leading designer Tartans. Among his designs include the ‘American National Tartan’, which was presented to US President George W. Bush in 2004 to commemorate Tartan Day and also the ‘Glasgow Mile’s Better’ Tartan used at the Glasgow Garden Festival, which he personally presented to the British Royal Family.

Ken is passionate about Highlandwear & Tartan, and this has led him to roles as Vice Chairman of The Scottish Tartans Authority and Deacon of the Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow.

We discussed with him how he got started in the Highlandwear industry and his passion for Tartan.

Ken MacDonald and his son, Ewan - 3rd and 4th Generations to work at Houston Kiltmakers

Tell us about yourself and your journey – how did the shop start, and what has been your role in the industry?

The shop was founded in 1909 by my grandfather William Houston as a gentlemen’s outfitters. Over time it developed to supplying Highlandwear and now that’s what we focus on. Houston Kiltmakers is now a 4th Generation family run business as my son, Ewan, has recently joined us in the shop. Using only the best materials sourced in Scotland where possible, our garments are tailored specifically for the customer by craftsmen & women with many years’ experience. This ensures the finest quality products that will last a lifetime. As we have grown over the years we have expanded and now ship Kilts all over the world!

The store is located in Paisley, Scotland (A town right next to Glasgow), where I was born. From a very young age I received my first Kilt and also wore a Kilt to school. I have always had a passion for Highlandwear and I’ve been lucky enough to have an opportunity to work in this industry. I have been involved in Kilt making and Tartan Design for almost 40 years now.

Pictures of Houston's Shop from the early 20th century to the present day

What does your role with the STA and Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow entail?

Tartan and Kilts are synonymous with Scotland and these traditions must be safeguarded. As a Governor and Vice Chairman of the Scottish Tartan Authority we have been working hard to try to protect and preserve these key pieces of Scottish heritage for future generations.

I was honored to take the role of Deacon of the Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow during their 500th anniversary year. This ancient craft has been functioning in Scotland since 1514 and they are continuing their historic work into the 21st century. They still provide assistance to local charities and educational establishments, while maintaining connections throughout the UK weaving industry.

Have you ever designed or provided Tartans for the British Royal Family?

Back in 1988 I was asked to design a tartan for use for the staff uniforms at the Glasgow Garden Festival. The ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ tartan I designed was used for these uniforms, and when HRH Prince Charles came to visit the festival he was presented with two Kilts in the tartan for his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. It was a great privilege to be able to present the Kilts to HRH Prince Charles in person.

Left: Ken presenting a 'Glasgow's Miles Better' Tartan Kilt to Prince Charles, Right: A note of thanks from President George W. Bush

Tartan has strong links to the royal family, with King George VI leading the revival of Kilt wearing in Scotland in the 19th century and Queen Victoria had a love for tartan too, her husband Prince Albert designed the Balmoral tartan exclusively for Royal use. It was great to see that the royal interest in tartan is still strong.

Where do you get your inspiration for new design ideas?

I get ideas for new Tartan designs from many places, but I would have to say that a strong inspiration for me is the Isle of Bute. I spend quite a bit of my free time on this small island off the west coast of Scotland at my holiday home there. It is good to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city sometimes to help yourself get creative.

I designed our exclusive Bute Heather range of tartans on the island and they really are a strong influence on my work. The scenery on the Island is beautiful and it’s hard to believe that somewhere so peaceful is only a little over an hour away from Glasgow.

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Visit our Buy site at Kiltmakers.com and our Hire site at KiltsForHire.com

Categories
Highlandwear Made In Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions

Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan Campbell

This article examines the Campbell Clan, looking back at their History, studying their Clan Crests and a glimpse at the associated clan tartans!

The Campbell Clan is one of the largest Scottish Clans and historically one of the most powerful. According to the 2001 census, ‘Campbell’ was the 4th most common surname in Scotland.

Clan History

It is thought that the Campbell’s originally hailed from the Strathclyde area on the west coast of Scotland, with strong connections to the Argyll region.  The clan chief of Clan Campbell has been the Earl of Argyll since 1445, then Duke of Argyll from 1701.

The Argyll region of Scotland and the Campbell Clan Crest

In the 14th Centuary the Campbell’s were strong supporters of Scottish Independence, and fought along side Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314

The Campbell’s are perhaps best known for their part in the infamous Massacre at Glencoe, where troops (including several Campbell’s) lead by Robert Campbell of Glenlyon murdered members of the MacDonald Clan in Glencoe on 13th February 1692.
During the two Jacobite uprisings in the 18th centuary, the Campbell’s sided with the British government and fought against the Jacobite armies. The Campbell’s had four divisions of men at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the last battle of the uprising which crushed the rebellion.

Today, the Clan Chief of the Clan Campbell is Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll, who captained Scotland’s Elephant Polo team to victory in the 2004 and 2005 World Elephant Polo Association World Championships.  Inveraray Castle has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell, since the 17th century.

Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll (L) and the Scottish Elephant Polo team in  2005, with Campbell in the centre (R)
Torquhil Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll (L) and the Scottish Elephant Polo team in 2005, with Campbell in the centre (R)

Clan Tartans

The Campbell Tartan is predominantly green and blue, intersected with a black check. The tartan may look quite familiar to many, as it also goes under the name ‘Black Watch‘ – the tartan used extensively in the UK military.

Inverary Castle, surrounded by Clan Campbell Tartans
A variety of Campbell Tartans

There are variations of the tartan based on different locations around Scotland where certain Campbell’s hailed from. These tartans include: Campbell of Argyll, Campbell of Breadalbane, Campbell of Cawdor, Campbell of Lochawe and Campbell of Loudoun. Each design uses the base colours from the Campbell tartan, but add a thin, coloured line through the design.

Clan Crest and Motto

The Clan Campbell crest is of a Boar’s head and they have the motto ‘Ne Obliviscaris’, which is Latin for ‘Forget Not‘)

Houston’s stock many varieties of Campbell Clan Crested accessories here.

Other Useful Links

The Clan Campbell Society of North America (CCSNA) is a great resource to learn more about the Campbell Clan’s history.

Inveraray Castle, the seat of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell.

View all the Campbell Tartans stocked by Houston Kiltmakers.

Categories
Gifts Highlandwear Kilt Pin Made In Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History Sporran traditions

Clan Crest Accessories – Personalised Clan Highland Wear

The roots of Highland Wear comes from the Scottish Clan system – Clan Tartans are a great example of showing the contrasting styles of the Clans. Each Clan, along with their own specific Tartans, also have their own Clan Crest and Coat of Arms. At Houston’s we can provide the option to customize many items with your own Clan Crest to make each item special to you and link to the connection with a family name. Great as personalized touches to your Kilt outfit.Clan Crested Kilt Pin - Kitlmakers.com

With origins in the Clan system of Scotland, a Scottish crest badge is a heraldic badge worn to show allegiance to an individual or membership in a specific Scottish clan.

Clan Crested Belt Buckle - Kiltmakers.com

Clan Crest accessories can be customized with 120+ different Family Crests – the perfect personalized gift for a loved one, a friend or wear them yourself! From Clan Anderson to Wallace, any many names in-between, choose your family’s clan crest for your accessories!

Clan Crested Sgian Dubh - Kiltmakers.com

Wall plaques, Cufflinks and tankards are also available with a family crest, which make great gifts!

Clan Crested Cap Badge - Kiltmakers.com

All our Clan Crested accessories are made in Scotland by our trusted supplier. As there is a wide range of crests available in some rare occasions it could take up to 6 weeks for your accessory to be delivered as they will have to be made if they are out of stock at the time of order.

Houston’s crested product range includes Sporrans, Kilt Pin’s, Belt Buckles, Sgian Dubh’s and much more. You can see our full range here!

 

 

 

Categories
Highlandwear Jackets Tweed Jacket Weddings

Jacket Guide – Highland Wear Jackets and Tweeds

About our Jackets

All of our Houston’s Own Range Black Jackets are Super-Lightweight. Jackets, Waistcoats and Trews can all be customized with different button, pocket and fabric options.

Jackets for Kilts

Tweed Jackets are hugely popular, matching well with a Highland wear outfit while also having the flexibility to be worn separately. We supply every tweed from all Scottish & English mills.

Click on the image below to learn more about our Tweed Jacket range or learn about our wide variety of other Jackets available.