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  • admin 12:45 pm on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gordon, Gordon Clan, , ,   

    Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan Gordon 

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

    Clan History

    The name Gordon believed to be of Anglo Norman descent. The first known of the name are said to have saved the King from the attack of a wild boar. This is why many believe a boar’s head features on the family coat of arms.

    The earliest record of the name confirms the Gordons settled in the Borders of Scotland during the reigns of William the Lion and Malcolm IV.

    Sir Adam de Gordon was one of the commissioners who negotiated with Edward I in order to settle the competition over the crown of Scotland. Sir Adam was a faithful follower of Robert the Bruce and was sent to Rome to ask the Pope to reverse the excommunication, placed upon Bruce after he killed John Comyn.

    Coat of Arms and Tartans for Clan Gordon

    The Gordon Coat of Arms. Gordon Tartan variations including Red Gordon, Weathered and Dress.

    British Army Links

    The Gordon Highlanders was a infantry regiment of the British Army that existed for 113 years, from 1881 until 1994 when it was amalgamated with the Queen’s Own Highlanders to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons), which was later merged with the Royal Scots Borderers, the Royal Highland Fusiliers , the Black Watch and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

    Ancient, Modern and Dress Gordon Tartans and Clan Crest

    Ancient, Modern and Dress Gordon Tartan Variations. The Gordon Clan Crest with the motto, 'Bydand'.

    Clan Crest and Motto

    The clan crest for the Gordon Clan is of a stag’s head atop of a crown. This is surrounded with the clan motto, ‘Bydand’, which translates from Gaelic to traditional Scots as ‘Bide and Fecht’, meaning ‘Stay and Fight’. The Gordon Coat of Arms features the head of a boar, thought to be reference to the boar killed by an early Gordon in protection of the King.

    Clan Tartans

    There are several Gordon tartans, with perhaps the best recognized being the ‘Dress Gordon’ variation. It has transcended the world of highland wear and became a popular tartan in other fashion items.

    Useful Links

    House of Gordon USA, whose mission is to preserve  and promote our unique heritage and Celtic culture.

    You can learn more of the heritage and history of the Clan Gordon at House Of Gordon.com

    You can see our full range of Gordon Tartans here!

  • admin 12:15 pm on October 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Custom Kilts, , , , , ,   

    20% off Houston’s Own Range Made to Measure Kilts! 

    We are running a promotion with 20% off Made to Measure Kilts in any of our Own Range 16oz Heavyweight tartan cloths. Get a custom kilt in a wide range of tartans from £288 

    This offer is available on our Super Machine under-stitched Kilt finish. This kilt finish is 60% hand made, with all the preparation completed by hand cutting the scallops to template. Then the kilt is stitched by machine under the pleats, reinforcing the areas around the buckles, straps and belt loops. Finally the kilt is checked and hand finished, and given a super press to keep the pleats nice and sharp.

    Visit Kiltmakers.com for more details about this offer and our other special deals!

  • admin 2:04 pm on September 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Balmoral, , , Royal, Royal Stewart, , , , The Queen   

    Royal Tartans – Tartan Fit for a Queen (Or King!) 

    The British Royal family have had long ties with the traditional cloth of Scotland and a great affinity towards tartan. This link didn’t just start with the current monarch, but can be traced back hundreds of years!

    The Royal Stewart and Royal Balmoral Tartans

    While the Dress Act of 1746 under George II brought a ban on Tartan, Kilts & Highlandwear and dented it broad wearership, when it was repealed it proved to kick-start the popularity in Tartan – both with the general public and royalty.

    George IV’s visit to Scotland in 1822 gave a real boost to the traditional Scottish dress has he arrived wearing a full Kilt outfit. This started the real love affair with the royals and tartan.

    King George IV in a Kilt Outfit on his visit to Scotland

    Queen Victoria continued the link with tartan during her reign, often dressing her children in Kilts. Prince Albert, Victoria’s husband, was a keen tartan designer and attributed as the creator of the (Royal) Balmoral tartan – a tartan to be worn exclusively by the royals and specially selected parties. (The Queen’s personal piper is one of they selected few allowed to be dressed in the tartan.)

    The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles are all keen wearers of Tartan

    Queen Elizabeth is also a keen supporter of Tartan, often seen wearing the cloth at Highland games or on visits to Scotland. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales is also often spotted in a Highland Outift on public occasions.

    The British Royal family and Tartan have always gone hand in hand. As Queen Elizabeth II breaks the record for longest serving monarch, we hope the link continues for many years to come!

    • Peter MacDonald 10:48 am on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The ‘Dress Act’ a me into force in 1747, not 1746 and banned the wearing of Highland clothes, not tartan.

  • admin 3:12 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Africa, African Kilt, Cotton, , , , Traditonal   

    Traditonal African Cloth, Made into a Traditional Scottish Kilt! 

    Recently a customer came into our shop with material he had collected from his recent trip around Africa. He asked if we could make the traditional cotton African cloth into a traditional Scottish Kilt, and we accepted the task!

    (Click on the Images to Enlarge!)

    There were a few challenges to overcome to make this African Kilt a reality – the material provided wasn’t in the usual dimensions we use to make a Kilt, so the Kiltmaker had to carefully work out the best way to cut and restitch the cloth back together in an easier to work with shape.

    The material was different to what we usually work with. Instead of a heavyweight wool this cloth was a lighter-weight cotton.

    The unusual design on the cloth meant that working with it was quite different from Scottish Tartan, but there were still similarities. As you can see from the reverse of the Kilt, the Kiltmakers has still managed to incorporate the pattern of the cloth into the pleats on the rear.

    We think that turned out great, a very unique look! What do you think of this different take on the Scottish Kilt?

    • Brian Neilson 7:10 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Simply amazing, so vibrant and distinctive; perhaps there will be others who will be interested in conversions of their native cloth.

    • Alex Selby 1:30 am on September 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I so want one of these! I am half Ghanaian so a kilt like this would be fantastic! It must have been quite a challenge. Some of the cloth is very heavy, whereas the Holland Print is very light. What’s the price for one of these?

    • Richard Martin 10:29 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The wearer will certainly not get lost in the dark. So different and colourful

    • steve anderson 11:25 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi,wow think its realy good,are you going to make kilts in similar colours,if so i would like one..

      • admin 11:46 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Steve,

        The customer had just return from a visit to Africa with the cloth, and we were more than happy to craft it into a Kilt!

        If you have some similar cloth, we would be more than willing to take a look and see if we are able to make it into a Kilt too!

    • howard 7:31 pm on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great Work…lovely look…congratulations! to be worn with pride.

    • Alex 10:54 pm on May 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Being half African, I love this design! I am looking to have made a Kente kilt but need to get the material first. The heavier cloth is quite expensive, but it looks like a quality kilt! I would happily take that off your hands 🙂

      • admin 10:00 am on June 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Great to hear that you like the design! We weren’t too sure how it was going to turn out, but it came out fantastic!

        We don’t have this Kilt any more as it was made for a customer, but if you have the cloth we would be more than happy to transform it into a Kilt for you! This was made from a lighter weight cotton compared to the usual heavyweight wool that we are used to using. The pleat would need pressed more often to keep them in shape, and it would perhaps not swing as well as a heavyweight Kilt, but a great result none the less!

    • Adrienne R. 3:50 am on February 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m getting married in Ireland in May, and my dad is looking for a kilt made from African fabric, like this beautiful one you made! Would you be up for making another?


      • admin 9:53 am on February 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Dear Adrienne,
        We can make a kilt for you, no problem, are you able to get your hands on some cloth and send it to us?

        For more information email us at shop@kiltmakers.com

  • admin 11:26 am on August 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anderson, Anderson Clan, , , ,   

    Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan Anderson 

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

    Clan History

    The Anderson Clan has links stretching back to St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. Anderson literally means ‘Son of Andrew’. The name Anderson was recorded as early as the 13th century. As the name Anderson is so wide spread in Scotland, it is hard to narrow down to a specific area where the Anderson’s originally hailed from. It is generally agreed that the region they most likely call ‘home’ is the traditional district of Badenoch.

    Clan Anderson came from Badenoch

    Clan Crest for the Anderson Clan and Map of their Origins

    Clan Crest and Motto

    The Clan Crest of the Anderson Clan is of an Oak Tree and their motto is ‘Stand Sure’. The motto reflects both the Oak Tree and the lasting of the Anderson name – the Oak Tree grows strong and lives for a long time, similar to the Anderson Clan.

    Clan Tartan

    The Anderson Tartan is a particularly popular design. An elaborate tartan, it incorporates several colours and many thin stripes. Mainly a blue design, it also features green, red, yellow, white and black.

    Anderson Clan Tartan

    Ancient, Modern and Muted Versions of the Anderson Tartan, the Thread Count and a Digital Image of the Tartan

    Other Useful Links

    The Anderson Clan Society is a useful place to start if you are looking for more details about the clan.

     You can see the full range of Anderson Tartans that we stock here!

  • admin 12:42 pm on August 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Ruche Tie, , Tartan Tie,   

    Ruche Ties – Behind the Scenes – How they are Made 

    We spent some time in our In-Store workshop, watching many items being created by our wonderful seamstress Beth. In this series of articles we will take a closer look at a few of the Tartan accessories she has been crafting! This week we take a closer look at the Ruche Tie.

    Mix of Tartan Ruche Ties

    What is a Ruche Tie?

    A Ruche Tie is alternative neckwear to the standard tie and bow tie. In terms of looks it is halfway between a standard tie and a cravat. Ruche Ties are wider than a standard necktie with an extravagant knot. They make for the perfect neckwear for your Highland Outfit, providing extra prestige to your formal attire.

    Ruche Ties come in both plain colour, or in a tartan to match your Kilt. If you are having a Kilt made, please enquire about having matching neckwear crafted to match. Tartan Ruche Ties are a popular option with Kilt Hires and are available in boys sizes too!

    How a Ruche Tie is Made

    Our seamstress has been making Ruche Ties for many years, and has perfected her own take on this neckwear.

    (Click Photos to Enlarge!)

    Cut out the Tie Templates

    Cloth for the Ruche Ties is cut from Templates

    To start, the material needed is cut from templates. Cloth for the two tie sleeves, neck knot and neck loop are carefully cut out. If tartan is being used, extra care is taken to keep the design symmetrical and to incorporate as much of the tartan pattern into the tie.

    The Parts for the Ruche Tie are sewn into shape

    The cloth is stitched into shape

    From here the cloth templates are stitched to create the shape of the knot, the two tie sleeves (one larger than the other) and the neck loop (like a tube of cloth now).

    Press the Edges of the Tie into Shape

    The Edges of the Tie are carefully pressed into shape

    The edges are then pressed to give them their final shape. The pressing ensures that they keep their shape and there aren’t any unwanted bulges.

    Ruche Tie knot stitched on to the rest of the Tie

    The Knot is hand stitched on to the rest of the Ruche Tie pieces

    The next step is to hand stitch the knot on to the top of the two tie pieces – this holds the whole tie together. The Ruche Tie is starting to take shape! Finally, metal hook are attached to the neck loop, and this in turn is attached to the knot. The tie is complete!

    A Few Ruche Ties in Mens and Boys Styles

    A Few Ruche Ties in our Exclusive Bute Heather Tartans!

    Our Ruche Ties come in both Men’s and Boy’s sizes and can be made in over 130 colours to match your outfit, or in the Tartan of your choice! To find out more please contact us at Houston Kiltmakers!


    • Clayton Cannaday 9:54 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I would like a Ruche tie made of a clan Kennedy scottish tartan. I have a 22 inch neck, can I get an estimate of the costs and turn around time from order to delivery. What materials do you offer? Ancient or Wheathered not modern.

  • admin 1:57 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beerproof, , Stainproof, , , Waterproof   

    Teflon Coated Kilts – Stainproof and Beerproof! 

    Houston Kiltmakers were the first to Teflon Coat/Stain-proof all of our own range Tartans. Since then many of the Tartan mills have followed suit and offer a Stain-proof coating on their Kilts. We provide this Teflon Coating on all our Own Range Tartans and on a range of Tartans from Selected Mills at no extra cost.

    A Teflon Coating, applied to the cloth in the finishing process when the tartan is woven, creates a protective layer around your finished Kilt. This allows for rain and stains (even beer!) to simply run off or be easily wiped off your Kilt.

    Over the life of your Kilt, we calculate that this simply protection will save you approximately ÂŁ180 to ÂŁ260 on dry cleaning as the garment will need cleaned less often. The Teflon coating lasts a minimum of 18 dry cleanings.

    Look out for the ‘Stain Proofed Coating’ banner on the Tartans in our Tartan Finder to see which of our cloths come with a Teflon Coating – Free of Charge!

    Stain-Proofed Tartan

    Look out for the Stain Proofed Coating Labels in our Tartan Finder!

    Teflon Coating is available on a wide range of stock Tartans, and also on Special Weave Tartans. If you are unsure if the Tartan your looking for has a Teflon Coating – just get in touch and we will let you know!


    • Brian Neilson 8:11 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate the heads-up on the availability of this feature. I will incorporate it into my next kilt purchase. As a Paisley Buddy living abroad I will put you at the head of my list.

      Aye yours,
      Laird O’the Cowcaddens.

  • admin 12:21 pm on July 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MacDonald, ,   

    Clan Tartans in Focus – Clan MacDonald 

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

    MacDonald Clan Tartan and Map

    Clan MacDonald Hail from the Isles. They have many associated Tartans, here we see the Ancient Clan MacDonald Tartan.

    Clan History

    Clan MacDonald is historically the largest of the Scottish Clans. Their roots can be traced back to the 12th century, with Domhnall mac Raghnaill (Donald, Son of Ranald) often being cited as the first in the clan’s line. They hailed originally froom the Inner Hebrides and Ross.

    There are several branches of Clan MacDonald, many with their own Tartans. These branches are established from regions where members of the Clan MacDonald moved to around Scotland. The most noted of these are MacDonald of Sleat, MacDonald of Clanranald, MacDonell of Glengarry and MacDonald of Keppoch – the Tartans of all these branches can be seen on Kiltmakers.com, along with other historical variations.

    The Clan MacDonald (Sometimes referred to simply as Clan Donald) are historical known to hail from the Islands around the west coast of Scotland, leading to the Clan Chief being bestowed with the title, Lord of The Isles. (This has since been passed on to the hair apparent of Scotland, meaning currently HRH Prince Charles holds the title.)

    Clan Crest and Motto

    The Clan Crest of Clan MacDonald is of a hand in an gauntlet holding a cross over a crown. The motto of Clan MacDonald is ‘Per Mare Per Terras’, which translates to ‘By Sea and Land’. Several of the branches of the Clan MacDonald have their own Clan Crest, such as MacDonald of Clanranald. The MacDonald of Clanranald crest shows an arm holding a sword above a castle, with the motto, ‘My Hope is Constant in Thee’.

    Clan Crests for the MacDonald Clan

    Clan Crest for the Clan MacDonald (L) and Clan MacDonald of Clanranald (R)

    We offer a wide range of Highland Wear products, customized with your own Clan Crest. From Sporrans and Kilt Pins to Hip Flasks and Sgian Dubhs, we can customize most items with a Clan Crest.

    Rival Clans

    The most famous rival Clan to the MacDonalds is the Campbells. This clash can be traced back to the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692, where members of Clan Campbell murdered members of the MacDonalds of Glencoe on a cold winters night. 38 MacDonalds were killed by their guests, to whom they were providing traditional warm hospitality. Another 40 members of the clan lost their lives to exposure as they attempted to flee across the snow covered glen.

    Massacre of Glencoe

    Other Useful Links

    MacDonald remains the most common ‘Mac’ name is Scotland, with Houston’s owner Ken MacDonald being part of the Clan.

    The Clan Donald Centre on the Isle of Skye is an estate around Armadale Castle where you can learn more of the history of Clan Donald.

    Clan Donald USA has several regional divisions across the States where you can meet and associate with others carrying the MacDonald name.

    You can learn more about Clan Donald and its heritage on a dedicated site here: Clandonald-Heritage.com.

  • admin 12:36 pm on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bespoke Kilts, , , Shipping, Special Occasions, , Tax Free, , Worldwide   

    Shipping Kilts Worldwide! From the USA to Australia – and Everywhere in Between! 

    Houston’s Kiltmakers prides itself on providing the finest quality Kilt Outfits, crafted with woollen cloth made by the Scottish Mills. This certainly doesn’t mean that our products are exclusively for clients in Scotland – quite the opposite! We ship our products across the world through our international carrier DHL and Interlink Express. Customers living outside the EU can also take advantage of Tax-Free prices!

    Houston Traditional Kiltmkaers

    Don’t worry if you are Overseas – you can still experience the same high class service we offer all our customers who visit the store. Communication is key when creating your bespoke Kilt outfit, and we take the time to converse with each customer to make sure that the finished Highland Outfit they receive is exactly how they imagined it. You can get in touch by Email, Phone, Skype – or a combination of all three!

    If you can’t make it into the store you can still send us the required sizes we need to craft your Kilt Outfit. A local tailor/seamstress can take the sizes we need, or you can use our Self-Measurement Guides and helpful measuring videos to take your own sizes to send to us. Don’t worry, we have many years’ experience working on Highland Wear outfits, so will double check all sizes and let you know if we think any measurement you have sent us seems a little bit off!

    Tartan Kilts

    Whether your outfit is for a special occasion such as your Wedding day or a Graduation, or perhaps for more casual day-wear at a Celtic Gathering or Highland Games, we’ll give you expert advice at each step of your outfit – making sure you look a million dollars, no matter the event!

    Living abroad doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the full Houston’s experience – take a look around the shop with a 3D virtual tour from Google. (Maybe you’ll get the chance to visit and meet the team!)

    Scottish Kilts and Sporrans

    You can also take a behind the scenes look at our In-Store workshop, where our wonderful seamstress Beth crafts Tartan extras for you Highland Outfit and makes alterations to Kilts. Check out our sneak peek at how Tartan Flashes  and Tartan Shoulder Plaids are made!


    If you’re from Scotland or somewhere else in the world, let Houston Kiltmakers be your No.1 Kilt, Tartan, and Highlandwear specialists!

  • admin 9:09 am on July 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abbey, Attractions, Chippy, Mill, Museum, Paisley, Paisley Abbey, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, , Thomas Coats Memorial, Thread Mill   

    Things to do in Paisley, Scotland! 

    Houston Kiltmakers store is located on the West coast of Scotland in the town of Paisley, which lies on the outskirts of Glasgow, 5 minutes’ drive from Glasgow Airport. If you are visiting the shop why not check out some of the great tourist destinations on our doorstep! There is a wealth of attractions in Paisley, with many linked to the towns historical weaving past.

    What to see in Paisley

    Paisley has a deep routed history is weaving, establishing itself as a key player in the weaving industry in the 1800’s. Its prominence in this industry lead the town lending its name to a woven design, the Paisley Pattern.

    While the weaving industry is no longer an industrial powerhouse in Paisley (the last mill closed in 1993), remnants of the historic industry remain around the town.

    (Click on the images to enlarge!)

    Weavers Cottage in Paisley

    Sma Shots Cottage in Paisley - Step Back in Time at this Traditional Weavers Cottage!

    Sma’ Shot Cottages

    Open: Wednesday and Saturday: 12.00 – 16.00, April – September

    Admission: FREE

    Built around the 1740’s, Sma’ Shot Cottages are a fully restored example of a traditional weaver’s cottage with Loom workroom and living quarters. Take a step back in time over 250 years and get a feel of what it would have been like to be working and living as a weaver in the 18th century!

    Paisley Museum and Art Gallery

    Open: Tuesday to Saturday (and public holidays): 11.00 – 16.00 and Sunday: 14.00-17.00

    Admission: FREE

    Situated directly across the road from Houston Kiltmakers, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery offers a wealth of treasures, from Ancient Egyptian artifacts to reminders of our industrial past and our natural heritage.

    Also on the site of the Museum is the Coats Observatory, only 1 of 4 public Observatories in the country. Find more details about tours and Winter viewing’s here.

    Paisley Museum and Paisley Thread Mill Museum

    Paisley Museum & Art Gallery and the Mill End Mill, Home of the Paisley Thread Mill Museum

    Thread Mill Museum

    Open: Wednesday and Saturday: 12.00 – 16.00

    Admission: FREE

    Housed in the Mile End Mill building and staffed by volunteers (many of whom are ex-mill workers!), the Paisley Thread Mill Museum offers the chance to see many items that have been donated by people who were connected with the Thread Mills and include photographs, mill machinery, samples of products made there and sewing artifacts.

    Paisley Abbey

    Open: Monday to Saturday: 10.00 – 15.30

    Admission: FREE

    Constructed in 1163 and given the status of Abbey in 1245, Paisley Abbey has a deep historical past within the town. Sir William Wallace is widely believed to have been educated for some time as a boy at the Abbey.

    Thomas Coats Memorial Church and Paisley Abbey

    Thomas Coats Memorial Church and Paisley Abbey

    Thomas Coats Memorial Church

    Open: Viewing by arrangement: Contact: 0141 889 9980 (church) or 0141 587 8992 (secretary)

    Admission: FREE

    This spectacular Church with its distinctive crown steeple can be seen in the skyline from all across Paisley. Completed in 1894, the church can host a congregation of over 1,000 people.

    Places to Eat in Paisley

    Allan’s Chip Shop

    Located just around the corner from Houston’s, this chippy has been serving the people of Paisley for over 100 years!


    An Italian restaurant offering Italian classics in a relaxed environment. They also run a cafe directly opposite Houston’s where you can enjoy a lighter snack!


    Paisley is home to a host of attractions that are well worth a visit. Make a trip to Houston’s a day out and take in some of the sights around town!

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