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Kilt Hire Guide – Find your Perfect Outfit

Houstons offer the largest and best range of Kilt Outfits for hire in the Scotland, with over 110 tartans, 20 styles of super lightweight jackets, three different button options and over 100 ruche tie colours 

Hires start from £75 and range to £145 depending on the rarity of the tartan selected, your jacket style and the finish of your accessories.

We have our Luxury Purple and Grey Tartan range out for 2017 with 22 grey designs and 15 purple designs. These tartans include our EXCLUSIVE Bute Heather range tartans.

Best to download our comprehensive 84 page Hire Brochure to view our exclusive range.

You can see our new range of tartans and price ranges in our latest Hire Leaflet.

Our Hire site can be found at KiltsForHire.com where you can see all Hire tartans, information and videos.

Special Offers – 6 Hires for the Price of 5!

Book 5 Hires and the 6th for groom goes FREE on 20 of our top tartans, 20 Styles of Jackets, 140 colours of Ruche Cravats and our Exceptional high quality service! Learn more HERE!

Wedding Extras

To make your Wedding day extra special we take care of every little detail. We offer Tartan Ring Cushions, Hand Ties, Ladies Garters, Ribbon, Ties, Trim for Dresses, Handbags and Button Holes designed to match with your Kilt design. Find our range of extras HERE, these can be made in ANY tartan on request.

We work closely with Joyce Young Collections who co-ordinate Brides, Mothers, Bridesmaids’ & Guest’s dresses with our Tartans. She also has a factory outlet store open Saturdays in Glasgow, with up to 75% off.

Hire & Buy Offer

If you would like to buy a Kilt in ANY TARTAN (over 14,000!) you can receive a loan of all the accessories for one week absolutely free!

Ideal if you have an upcoming event and would like to build up your Kilt outfit through time! (UK Only) More details on Hire & Buy HERE.

Measurement and Shipping Information

Best to pop in to our store if you can to get measured. Your whole party does not need to get measured at the same time, they can come when available, they just need to mention the party name or groom’s name. If you can’t make it into the shop then you can use our easy to use Self-Measurement guide for HIRING a Kilt Outfit.

We ship in the UK using Interlink Express and Worldwide using DHL.

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Sgian Dubh – History of the Sgian Dubh and How to wear it Correctly

If you have ever seen someone dressed in a Kilt or Highland Outfit you might have noticed, peeking out the top of one of the wearers hose, a hilt of a small knife. This little detail on the Highland Outfit is the topic of today’s post, the Sgian Dubh.

Where does the Sgian Dubh go?
The correct Wearing of a Sgian Dubh

History of the Sgian Dubh

There are many origin stories of the Sgian Dubh (pronounced ‘ski-en doo’), but the most common tale is that it had its beginnings as a dagger held under the armpit as a hidden blade. When entering a house a visitor would hand over his weapons and reveal any hidden blades as an act of trust. This hidden blade would be displayed at the top of the sock or stocking for the host to see. This is the position where the Sgian Dubh is worn today.

In the early days these small knives would have been used as a hunters knife to skin animals.

In the modern Highland Outfit the Sgian Dubh has taken a more aesthetic than practical role, adding some decoration to the Kilt Hose.

How to Wear a Sgian Dubh

A Sgian Dubh should be worn down the sock on the same side as your dominant hand (Left sock if left-handed, right sock if you are right-handed.) It should be positioned with only the hilt (handle) protruding from the top of your hose. (See image)

Types of Sgian Dubh

Silver Dress Sgian Dubh with Gemstone Handle
Dress Sgian Dubh with Purple Gemstone in the Hilt

In the same way that there are different types of Sporrans for different occasions, Sgian Dubh have variations for when you are wearing them. There are 2 main types of Sgian Dubh.

Day Sgian Dubh

Simlarly to the Day Sporran, these Sgian Dubhs are made for less formal events. The handles can produced in many different materials from Stag Horn to Oak and everything in between!

Dress Sgian Dubh

Again, much like the Dress Sporran, these Sgian Dubhs are suited to formal events (Weddings, Black Tie events etc.). These also come in many variations, often with the option of customization with a clan crest. They come in many different materials, usually with some metal plating. They can also be made in solid silver for those very special functions! Many variations have a decorative gemstone at the base of the hilt, which can be changed.

Safety Sgian Dubh

This replica Sgian Dubh looks just like the real thing, however the sheath does not contain a blade. This is a great safe option for kids (and adults!) to prevent themselves getting cut on the blade. A Safety Sgian Dubh can also be worn in situations where it isn’t possible to carry a blade – traveling overseas to some destinations for instance.

Safety Imitation Sgian Dubh for Kids and Adults
A Safety Imitation Sgian Dubh - Looks just like the real thing!

As you can see there are Sgian Dubh’s for every occasion. All are worn the same, but can give your outfit a different look depending on the event you are wearing your Highland Outfit too!

Houston’s offer a wide range of both Dress and Day Sgian Dubh’s, some with the option of having Clan Crests attached, customizable Gemstone colours and a variety of finishes.

You can see our range of Sgian Dubh’s here.

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Where to Wear a Kilt – Céilidh

 In this series of posts we will be looking at events where Kilts are often worn, and will be taking a closer look at some of the more traditional settings for Kilt wearing. To start off we shall look at an event than can take place throughout the year, though they tend to be partnered with certain occasions such as Burn’s night, Weddings and during the festive period. That event is the Céilidh.

Don't get too dizzy with all the spinning!
Set's of 6 dancers whirling around

A Céilidh, is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. Originally they started as assemblies where stories and tales were shared and songs were sung. More recently the music and dancing has taken precedence, but the tradition of guests telling stories or reading poetry still survives in some areas.

Music at these events is usually provided by a Céilidh band consisting of a mix of instruments. These can include, but not limited too, the fiddle, flute, tin whistle, accordion, bodhrán, and in more recent times also drums, guitar and electric bass guitar.

You can get an idea of some of the music and dances in this video of Traditional Ceilidh Dancing at a Scottish Wedding

The music is cheerful and lively, and the basic steps can be learned easily; a short instructional session is often provided for new dancers before the start of the dance itself by one of the band members.

Watch out he doesn't spin you too fast!
A couple spin down the rows of other couples.

The dances involve either couples or ‘sets‘. A “Set” consists of six to eight couples, with each pair of couples facing another in a square or rectangular formation. Each couple exchanges position with the facing couple, and also facing couples exchange partners, while all the time keeping in step with the beat of the music.

More footage, this time a Ceilidh at the University of Edinburgh

From my personal experience Ceilidhs are great fun, with the energetic dance and lively music. The fact that most of the dances are in groups or set’s means that its easy to get involved and there are lots of people to keep you right if you don’t know the particular dance. Ceilidh bands usually have a caller who will run through a dance first as they understand not everyone will know the moves straight off. Ceilidhs are good social events to show off your Kilt with the spins and whirls displaying the kilt in all its glory!

Highland Dress is Popular at Ceilidhs!
A collectiion of Kilts!

Look out for public ceilidh events throughout the year, often around Burn’s night. Ceilidhs happen all year round, for example Sloans in Glasgow has a weekly Ceilidh. Visit Scotland provide a search guide for public Ceilidh events throughout Scotland! Check your local area for Ceilidhs near you, and I hope to see your Kilt spinning on the dancefloor!

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Tartan Tales

Tartan is once again in the height of fashion and seems to be the top trend of Winter! It is available in just about every store. Whether it be a dress, a jacket, a jumper or a traditional tartan kilt you rarely step out in Scotland without seeing someone wearing the traditional plaid! Tartan is globally recognisable, yet many don’t know the history of its origin. So its a good thing Houstons are here to tell this tartan tale!

Tartan is unique to Scotland. As part of its national dress it has developed from the roughly woven plaid, coloured from local pigment dyes, in which early Highlanders wrapped themselves for battle to some of the highest quality and intricate designs that can be bought today. Many of the traditions now associated with the kilt can be traced back to the formation of Highland Regiments, yet for nearly 30 years after the battle of Culloden and the ending of the Jacobite uprising of 1745, the wearing of tartan and playing the pipes was forbidden by the British Government. Any Scotsman who dared to wear the kilt was imprisoned or even deported to faraway lands. Highland wear was returned to fashion by King George IV when he visited Scotland. He adopted the wearing of tartan and this Royal patronage rekindled the life of tartan and Highland wear throughout the world. Each clan or family name has its own tartan and clan crest and every tartan has variations of ancient, hunting, modern, dress and withered colourings. In the past official clan tartans were governed by the clan chief with final approval being made in the Court of the Lord Lyon of Arms which governed Scottish heraldry. Further valuable information is available on the Scottish Tartans Authority website http://www.tartansauthority.com/

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How to dress like a true Scotsman!

Autumn Bute Tartan

 

Highland wear can be a tricky business, especially if you are wearing a kilt for the first time! It’s a whole new experience and we have comprised some top tips to make sure you get everything just right and are dressed to perfection! Houston Kiltmakers want to assist you any way we can, so have a look below at our quick fire guide to dressing like a true Scotsman!

1. Put your socks on first; make sure ribs on socks are running vertical and not twisted. Top of socks should be parallel and same length. Put the garter flashes on socks to the outside of your leg, making sure there is a three to four inch gap between the top of the socks and bottom of the kilt. About one inch below the knee is an ideal resting point for the top of your socks.

Kilt socks and sgian dubh

2. Put your sgian dubh down the right leg of your sock. If you are left handed it can be worn down your left leg.

3. Put your ghillie brogue shoes on, twist the laces three to four times and take round back of the calf. Return them to the front of your shin about 2/3 of the way up and tie in a normal bow quite firmly and show to the front or side as preferred. If you find the laces are constantly slipping down and becoming loose then wrap them lower down your leg or round your ankle a couple of times.

4. Put on your shirt making sure any creases are ironed out, and put your cufflinks on.

 5. Make sure the kilt pin is on the front apron only, on the fringed side of your kilt about two inches from the bottom and side of the fringe.

6. Put your kilt on making sure it is a good fit and it sits well up (about one and a half inches above the hip bone). Then look at the front apron and make sure the centre line is down the middle of the kilt so it is well balanced with pleats to the back. When looking in the mirror the kilt should be in an A shape with the sides well balanced.

7. Clip the chain strap onto the sporran, then put the chain strap through the kilt belt loops and fasten your sporran at the back of the kilt. Make sure the sporran is centred to front apron as shown by the arrow positioned in the image (below), positioned about four to five inches below the top of the kilt. You can rest the chain strap on top of the kilt buckles if you wish. This will secure the sporran a bit better.

Kilt centre

8. Then put the belt and buckle on covering the chain strap. We recommend jacket wearing a belt as if you remove your jacket and waistcoat during an event the outfit will look bare, so we include a belt with all our hires. Check that the belt buckle is about one to two inches above the sporran.

9. Put on your waistcoat, then jacket. Make sure the jacket is fitting square on, with the waistcoat buttons, tie, sporran, buckle and kilt centre line all straight up and down. If driving to a venue, we advise that you hang the jacket up in the back and put it on when you get out the car. Try not to drive with your jacket on as it may crease.

 

Prince Charlie Jacket

10. If you are wearing a shoulder plaid, fasten under your left hand jacket lapel and fasten with plaid brooch onto jacket only.
 

11. Finally put on your tie, bow, ruche or standard tie.

Wing collar shirt and bow tie 

12. For further information on tartans as well as advice on what to wear and how to wear it please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

13. To download our brochures and view our buy range please visit www.kiltmakers.comto view our hire range go to www.kiltsforhire.com for any further information or help feel free to contact us by phone +44 141 889 4879

 

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Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Nowadays the internet allows us to buy almost anything from anywhere in the world. With that much choice it’s hard to know where to go or even, where to start! Many people now look to customer reviews to highlight which companies are the most reliable and sell the best quality products.

As a retailer customer satisfaction is paramount, nothing means more to us than seeing a happy customer! Sometimes words on a screen just aren’t enough to convince you of a company’s quality. At Houston’s we can assure you our products are authentic and made in Scotland. We use only the best quality and have the greatest wealth of knowledge to help guide you. We have helpful and friendly staff working in our family run business which has been flourishing now for over 100 years… but like I said, sometimes words on a screen aren’t enough. That is why we are including photos!

Our customers often send photos of themselves in their highland wear from Houston’s so we thought we would share these with you. If your considering buying or hiring highland wear from Houston’s we are certain you will have a positive experience with us! See the smile’s on our customers faces if you don’t believe us!

Houston's Modern Bute Heather Tartan

 

Above is Antonio Vezza in a Houston’s Own Modern Bute Heather Tartan. Antonio took part in the 2013 Hampden Kilt Walk! Hundreds of participants took part in the 26 mile trek from Hampden to Loch Lomond to raise money for a range of Scottish Children’s Charities! Antonio remembered only at the very last minute he had forgotten to hire a kilt for the event! Not to worry Houston’s were on hand to help with a last minute hire!

 

Isn’t this a great photo of our customer Steve Baird and his wife? They donned their highland wear for a cultural diversity day at the school they work at in Houston, Texas!

 

Our customer Albert Davy from Austria purchased kilt packs for himself and his sons from Houston’s and sent on photos taken on 25th December at a photographic studio in his village and on 31st December at the New Year’s Eve Ball in The Vienna Imperial Castle. Some guests there believed Albert to be the Scottish Ambassador as his outfit was worn to perfection! Albert said “We had so much fun an received a lot of honours when I said “I’m a semi-Scotsman” telling the story of my ancients in Dumbarton”.

So don’t take our word for it, take our customers, word for it! After ‘the customer is always right’, right?

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Houston Kiltmakers Official Kilt Ettiquette Guide 2013 ©

KILT ETIQUETTE GUIDE
Midnight Bute Tartan

Kilts can be a tricky business, especially if you have never worn Highland wear before! There are various styles of Highland wear which can be worn for dress, day or casual wear. To make sure you get everything just right read our kilt ettiquette guide for information on tartans as well as advice on what to wear and how to wear it.

Who is entitled to wear a kilt?

Ancient Bute Heather Tartan

 

One question we constantly get asked is: who is entitled to wear a kilt? Is it only for Scots or people with Scottish ancestors?

Answer: Anybody can wear a kilt!

Almost every country in the world has got some sort of tartan link. In England you have Cornish, Northumberland and Manx (Isle of Man) tartans. The Irish tartans consist of county tartans such as Ulster, Co. Mayo, Galway and Kildare and the Irish national tartan. We also have lots of Welsh tartans.

Over the past 400 years Scots have travelled the world reaching every corner of the globe. They have fulfilled a rich diversity of trades and professions including traders, missionaries, engineers, doctors, teachers, naturalists and inventors to name only a few. Within Europe many French, Spanish, Italian and German families have Celtic roots and are often of Scottish decent; whilst further afield there is a strong Scottish connection within America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Russia. We export to every country in the world from the United States to the Falkland Isles.

 

Tartan

What Tartan can I wear?

Most customers will choose a clan tartan based on a family name. This could be either a person’s own surname or that of a parent or grandparent. However; you can wear any tartan for any occasion. Traditionally hunting, ancient and weathered tartans were worn with tweeds and day jackets for outdoor functions, hunting and highland games. Dress and modern tartans were worn with formal functions and black tie dinners. Nowadays people tend to choose tartan for its aesthetic value, a family or clan connection; or to coordinate with wedding colours.

 

Modern Bute HeatherMidnight Bute Tartan

 

If you do not have family or clan tartan to choose from you can choose a tartan that anyone can wear. You can choose from a range of national tartan such as Scottish National or American National. Often over the years one has heard people explaining they have the right or that they are entitled to wear this or that tartan…. in fact no such right, in any legal sense, exists for them or anyone else ….the only considerations which govern the wearing of a particular set are usage and good taste (quote from Scottish Tartans Authority director Brian Wilton). Nowadays people tend to choose a tartan to coordinate with wedding or colours or purely for its aesthetic value. Greys in particular are currently in vogue and very popular amongst kilt buyers. Pictured above are examples of Houston’s own Bute Heather Tartan Designs which are predominantly woven in greys, purples and blues. There are only a few hundred tartans that are privately owned and require permission to be worn.

 

Weight of Tartans

19 oz kilts are generally for regimental wear but are available in around six tartans.

16 oz/17oz kilts are the largest range available with a choice of around 14,000 tartans. Heavy weight kilts are the best as the kilt sits and swings better. Heavy weight tartans can also be Teflon coated making them stain proof. Contrary to popular belief, heavy weight kilts are not any warmer than medium or lightweight kilts. It is in fact the top half of your outfit such as your jacket and waistcoat that generate heat. The majority of jackets are heavy weight however; Houston’s have perfected their own super light weight jacket which has a great cut and comfortable fit.

13oz Medium weight kilts are normally produced for Irish and Welsh national tartans. Medium weight kilts come in a choice of around 1000 tartans.

11oz light weight cloth would normally be woven for ladies skirts, gents’ trousers and waistcoats, children’s kilts, children’s trousers and ties. Kilts do not have a hem around the bottom of the garment however; children’s kilts can be cut for growth. A hem of around 2 to 3 inches will be added, and can then be let down when the child grows a bit taller.

8 oz fabric is used to make coordinating ties or bow ties and also ladies dresses.

Wool, like the 11oz lightweight cloth can be used for ladies and gents’ trousers and waistcoats.

Silk is available in 80 tartans and can be used to make ties, bow ties, waistcoats and ladies dresses.

Cotton and Poly Cotton can used to make napkins and shirts.

 

Teflon Coating

Stain Proof

 

At Houston’s we were the first to Teflon coat/stain proof all our tartans, which makes our kilts and jackets fully protected from rain and stains. The fabric is even beer proof! The wool has the same handle and is fully breathable, making them safe to wear to rugby and football matches. We calculate that over the life span of your kilt you will save approximately £180 to £260, not having to get your kilt dry cleaned as often. This also helps the environment. The Teflon coating lasts a minimum of 18 dry cleans.

 

Samples and Swatches

If you would like a sample or swatch of tartan we offer these free of charge to customers. If you live locally there will be no charge for postage. If you live overseas there will be a charge of £5.00 GBP for postage as we ship thousands overseas. If you proceed to order from Houston’s this amount will be deducted from your final cost. We would also suggest that if a colour has already been chosen for the theme of a wedding e.g. if the colour pink has been chosen for the bridesmaids dresses it is helpful to bring a sample of the fabric into the store when inquiring about hiring or buying for the event. This allows Houston’s to show you the best coordinating tartans and furthermore, give you the option to have ties made to coordinate with your chosen colours.

 

The Reputable Mills

At Houston’s we tailor our kilts from pure wool tartans woven by Scotland’s top quality, reputable mills. We have all mass produced tartans by Lochcarron, House of Edgar, Strathmore, Bute Mill, Martin Mills, Batley & Dalgleish in 250 swatch book forms available to view in store.

 

Kilt Yardage

The traditional 8 yard kilt is the standard measure of gents’ kilts. The kilt sits high on the waist, a couple of inches above the hip bone. This would be worn for formal occasions, and it is recommended that the 8 yard kilt be woven in a 17oz heavy weight fabric as this sits and swings better when worn. Some men’s kilts are still woven in 6 yards of cloth however 8 yards is the standard measurement for gents. 6 yard kilts are now more commonly made for women’s kilts.

Jackets

Prince Charlie Jacket

 

Prince Charlie jackets are worn to dress occasion such as black tie dinners, balls, graduations and weddings. It is traditionally worn with a 3 button waistcoat with a black bow tie and a white standard or wing collar pleat front shirt. Alternatively it can be worn with a plain black or white front shirt, with double cuff and cufflinks.

The Prince Charlie jacket traditionally comes with shiny buttons and the silver wear to match however; antique buttons and silver wear have of late become more popular.

The jacket is more popularly worn with a spread bat wing shirt or a standard collar, plain front shirt in white or black with a plain or tartan ruche cravat. It can be worn with either a 3 or a 5 button waistcoat however; we recommend a 3 button waistcoat with tartan ruches. Prince Charlie jackets must be worn with dress sporrans and black or off white kilt hose or tartan hose. We strongly recommend you wear a belt and buckle as if you take your waist coast and jacket off for dancing you will not be properly dressed without a belt and buckle. Therefore we offer this as an option. A ruche tie should NOT be worn with a small wing collar shirt as the wings are too small. Please Note: We do have some dark navy jackets with shiny buttons that look best with modern, dark, navy tartans to be worn with navy or off white kilt hose.

ARGYLL OR BRAEMARS

Braemar Jacket

 

The Argyll or Braemar are general jackets for any occasion, with shiny, antique or black button options. They are suitable for weddings, dinners, balls, graduations, christenings, burns suppers, highland games, ceildhies, garden parties, funerals and general day wear. Both can be worn with a plain tie or tartan tie (with or without a waist coat) or for evening wear with a bow tie (with or without a waist coat). With a ruche cravat a five button waist coat must be worn.

Argyll or Braemar can be worn with a black or white plain front shirt with a double cuff and cufflinks, with ruches or long ties. Bow ties must be worn with a pleat, front wing or standard collar shirt depending on the occasion. Ruche cravats worn with plain, standard or spread wing shirts must be worn with a waistcoat. Dress or semi dress sporrans can be worn or alternatively for a day event a leather sporran can be worn. Either black, off white, tartan or coordinating colour hose should be worn with your outfit.

TWEED BRAEMAR

Tweed Braemar

 

 

These jackets are for day/casual events, weddings, highland games, funerals, etc. Jackets should be worn with plain, tweed or tartan ties or ruche cravats, with optional five button waistcoat. For some weddings spread bat wing shirts can be worn with a ruche cravat. We recommend you wear a semi dress, day or dress sporran depending on your shirt and tie option. When choosing your hose you must pick a colour similar to that of your jacket for example you may choose grey or black if your shirt and sporran are black. Off white hose must NEVER be worn with a tweed jacket.

SHERRIFMUIRS, REGULATION doublets, MONTROSE, KENMORE doublets

Sherriffmuir

 

These should be worn for the same occasions as Prince Charlie jackets and a jabot shirt and cuffs, or a tunic granddad collar shirt or alternatively a spread bat wing and ruche cravat.

JACOBITE

Jacobite

 

Jacobite jackets and waistcoats can only be worn with Jacobite shirts. These are considered to be casual outfits.

SPORRANS

Sporrans

For general dress occasions a semi dress or dress sporran should be worn for day wear either a day or semi dress sporran. Your sporran should always be centered on the front of the kilt. The only exception to this is when dancing with a partner. The sporran should then be worn to the side upon the hip so not to damage a ladies dress.

SGIAN DUBH

Sgian Dubh

 

 

Sgian dubhs are to be placed in outside of right sock, showing only one inch of the sgian dubh. When entering company, raise the sgian dubh to about two inches above the top of the sock. This is to show that you are still partly armed when everyone sees you. There after you should once again conceal your sgian dubh so only one inch is visible.

HOSE

Kilt Hose

 

When choosing hose you are best to select a colour that complements and coordinates with the tartan or jacket. Traditional colours are off white, black or navy. Grey should be worn with a grey tweed jacket.

GARTER FLASHES

Garter Flashes

Garter flashes are used to keep your socks up. However; in olden days showing your tie or flash symbolised a single status letting ladies know you were available. Flashes that were tucked away were symbolic of married men and men who were courting.

PLAIDS

Shoulder Plaids

 

Shoulder plaids can be worn with dress jackets for weddings. They can be worn for photos then removed and put on top of the top table or cake table for decoration. Piper plaids must only be worn with Montrose or piper doublets.

DRESS CODE

Midnight Bute Tartan

Suggested dress code by De Bretts should be included on the bottom of invitations, as both ladies and gentleman will want to dress in accordance with your suggested dress code. This will often be dependent on the wedding venue. It should be noted on the invitation if you wish ladies to wear a hat. Below is a description of men’s dress.

Highlandwear: either; day, day/tweed, dress, black tie/evening wear or white tie.

OR

Morning Wear: We suggest not mixing morning wear with highland wear. Therefore; if you wear morning wear you should incorporate a tartan tie, ruche or hanky to pull together your outfit and coordinate it with the other guests wearing highland wear.

OR

Lounge Suits

OR

Black Tie, is either Highland Wear or Black Evening Suits

OR

Smart Casual

BEST MAN DUTIES

Best man duties include looking after the groom before, during and after the wedding. Duties also include organizing the hires of outfits for the groomsmen. This includes fittings, collection and return of hires, etc.

FURTHER HELP AND INFO

Ken and Ewan MacDonald

Owner of Houston’s Ken MacDonald has had his own kilt for over 30 years and it is well maintained due proper care and storage. For further information on tartans as well as advice on what to wear and how to wear it please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

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KILT MAINTENANCE GUIDE

KILT MAINTENANCE GUIDE

A kilt is a garment that will last you a lifetime and so it is very important that you buy a heavy weight cloth and have it made by a reputable kiltmaker. A kilt is a man’s old faithful friend and most men will usually own one kilt in their lifetime. Therefore taking proper care of your kilt will not only ensure it stays looking its best for years to come but will also allow the kilt to be passed down the generations as a family heirloom. Read on for advice on maintaining, cleaning and storing your kilt to keep your Highland wear in tip top condition.

Stain Proofing

To ensure your kilt is well taken care of it is recommended that your kilt be Teflon coated. This will make your kilt stain (and even beer!) proof. All Houston’s own designs are Teflon coated but this is available for 350 other tartans which are not an original Houston’s design and on special weave tartans.

stain proof

At Houston’s we were the first to Teflon coat/stain proof all our tartans, which makes our kilts and jackets fully protected from rain and stains. The fabric is even beer proof! The wool has the same handle and is fully breathable, making them safe to wear to rugby and football matches.

We calculate that over the life span of your kilt you will save approximately £180 to £260, not having to get your kilt dry cleaned as often. This also helps the environment. The Teflon coating lasts a minimum of 18 dry cleans.

Dry Cleaning

Kilts are all wool and so CAN NOT be washed. Teflon coating protects your kilt making it stain proof. However; if your kilt is not Teflon coated you need to take special care when attempting to remove a stain. If you are attending an event and a drink is spilled on your kilt you are best to splash water on the stain immediately. Kilts CAN NOT be submerged in water but an affected area of around one or two square inches may be treated. Later when cleaning the affected area you should use warm water and a mild soap and gently rub the stain, but we cannot stress enough this should be used only on the small affected area you SHOULD NOT attempt to clean the whole kilt using this method. Attempting to clean the kilt in this fashion could shrink the waistband and ruin your garment. If you have a separate swatch or cutting of your tartan we strongly recommend that you stain it in the same way your kilt was stained to use it for experiment before cleaning your kilt. For example, if your kilt was stained with red wine you should pour some red wine on the separate cutting or swatch of tartan and treat it with warm water and mild soap as advised.

If the stain does not lift we would then suggest that you send your kilt to a reputable dry cleaner to have the stain removed. In the UK dry cleaners will be more experienced in cleaning kilts however; overseas your dry cleaner may not be familiar with the garment and so if you are having your kilt professionally cleaned we still recommended to give your cleaner a small sample of tartan to practise first. This will rule out any potential damage, as cleaners worldwide might not have cleaned a kilt at all before. As a made to measure garment you want to eliminate any risk of damage.

Content of Kilt

Kilts are 100% all wool with cotton canvas and lining.
They have leather belt straps with metal buckles.
DRY CLEAN ONLY
DO NOT TUMBLE DRY

Transporting

Kilt Carrier
Kilt Wardobe

There are various ways to store and transport your kilt and highland wear. Our deluxe carry carries your kilt, jacket and all accessories and is available in Grey or Navy. The deluxe carry has a kilt tube which your kilt can be rolled up and stored in. The deluxe carry includes a large zip cover which we refer to as the wardrobe this will be used to store your jacket. The large zip bag also has pockets to hold your shoes, shirt, sgian dubh, sporran and other accessories.

Wood Clamp Hanger

We also stock wooden clamp kilt hangers, which are great for hanging your kilt.

Kilt Carrier

If your kilt becomes creased in storage you can lightly steam it. When storing your kilt in the wardrobe you should make sure that it is contained in a protective cover with moth balls so there is no risk of damage or wear.

FURTHER HELP AND INFO

Ken and Ewan MacDonald

Owner of Houston’s Ken MacDonald has had his own kilt for over 30 years and it is well maintained due proper care and storage. For further information on kilt storage and maintenance and to see Ken and his 30 year old kilt please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

We appreciate all feedback please comment and let us know if you have any questions!

© Houston Traditional Kiltmakers 2013

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Easy Kilt Alterations Guide

Houston Kiltmakers Easy Kilt Alterations Guide

Clothes are symbolic. There are symbolic of era, culture and individual character. Let’s face it we all do it. We look through old photos and shake our heads at the many years of fashion faux pas. We look at the garments that we once thought were fashionable and wonder how some fashions have resurfaced in later years. There is a well known saying in the fashion and retail industry that fashion always repeats itself. However there is one garment that never seems to go out of fashion; the kilt!

Tartan kilts have been worn for centuries and are one of the few traditional garments that are still making an appearance on catwalks today. A kilt is a garment that will last you a lifetime so it is very important that you buy a heavy weight cloth and have it made by a reputable kiltmaker. If you have your kilt cut for growth it can be easily taken in or let it over the years should you lose or gain weight. This will also allow the kilt to be passed down as a family heirloom and easily adjusted for other family members. Adjusting you kilt buckles will easily tighten or loosen you kilt to ensure a perfect fit. Read the instructions below for some very easy fine tuning advice.

TAKING IN YOU KILT

See photo A

Photo A shows the outside of the front apron of your kilt. This is the buckle that must be moved to make your adjustments. So un-pick the stitching around the buckle attached to kilt and move in towards the belt loop. You can resize to meet whatever needs however; we suggest you try 1 inch, to start with then pin on. Follow the same instructions on the bottom hip strap on the outside of your apron; this may need a bit less positioning.

Then see photo B

Find the strap inside or under the back apron of your kilt. Un-pick some stitching around the leather strap and move in towards the middle of your apron, this will tighten up. Adjust to whatever measurement you need. We suggest you try about 1 inch first and tack in place

After making these adjustments try on your kilt. Make sure you are happy with the size and fit. If you are happy with the size, re stitch the outside buckles, onto your kilt.
Then stitch the inside leather strap back onto your kilt.
There you have it, job done!
If you have any trouble with this a good seamstress should be able to carry out this process with minimal effort.

LETTING YOUR KILT OUT

See photo C

Photo C shows the inside of the front apron of your kilt. This is the buckle that must be moved to make your adjustments. So un-pick the stitching around the buckle attached to kilt and move out towards the belt loop. You can resize to meet whatever needs however; we suggest you try 1 inch, to start with then pin on. Follow the same instructions on the bottom hip strap on the inside of your apron; this may need a bit less positioning.

Then see Photo D

Find the strap on the inside apron of your kilt. Un-pick some stitching around the leather strap and move out towards the edge of your apron. Adjust to whatever measurement you need. We suggest you try about 1 inch first and tack in place

After making these adjustments try on your kilt. Make sure you are happy with the size and fit. If you are happy with the size, re stitch the outside buckles, onto your kilt.
Then stitch the inside leather strap back onto your kilt.
There you have it, job done!
If you have any trouble with this a good seamstress should be able to carry out this process with minimal effort.

FURTHER HELP AND INFO

Owner of Houston’s Ken MacDonald has had his own kilt for over 30 years and has his kilt adjusted regularly to ensure the perfect fit.
For further information on kilt adjustments and to see Ken and his 30 year old kilt please view our helpful video clips at www.kiltmakers.com/tv/

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Burn's Night Burn's Supper Christmas Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Robert Burns Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History tartan traditions traditions Wedding Kilts

Tips on Wearing a Kilt!

Highland wear can be a tricky business! Especially for men wearing a kilt for the first time. It’s a whole new experience and we want to make sure you get everything just right so your outfit looks perfect! Houston Kiltmakers want to assist you any way we can so have a look below at our useful hints and tips on highland wear!

1. Put your socks on first; make sure ribs on socks are running vertical and not twisted. Top of socks should be parallel and same length. Put the garter flashes on socks to the outside of your leg, making sure there is a three to four inch gap between the top of the socks and bottom of the kilt. About one inch below the knee is an ideal resting point for your socks.

2. Put your sgian dubh down the right leg of your sock. If you are left handed it can be worn down your left leg.

3. Put your ghillie brogue shoes on, twist the laces three to four times and take round back of the calf. Return them to the front of your shin about 2/3 of the way up and tie in a normal bow quite firmly and show to the front or side as preferred. If you find the laces are constantly slipping down and becoming loose then wrap them lower down your leg or round your ankle a couple of times.

4. Put on your shirt making sure any creases are ironed out, and put your cufflinks on.

5. Make sure the kilt pin is on the front apron only, on the fringed side of your kilt about two inches from the bottom and side of the fringe.

6. Put your kilt on making sure it is a good fit and it sits well up (about one and a half inches above the hip bone). Then look at the front apron and make sure the centre line is down the middle of the kilt so it is well balanced with pleats to the back. When looking in the mirror the kilt should be in an A shape with the sides well balanced.

7. Clip the chain strap onto the sporran, then put the chain strap through the kilt belt loops and fasten your sporran at the back of the kilt. Make sure the sporran is centred to front apron, positioned about four to five inches below the top of the kilt. You can rest the chain strap on top of the kilt buckles if you wish. This will secure the sporran a bit better.

8. Then put the belt and buckle on covering the chain strap. We recommend jacket wearing a belt as if you remove your jacket and waistcoat during an event the outfit will look bare, so we include a belt with all our hires. Check that the belt buckle is about one to two inches above the sporran.

9. If you are wearing a shoulder plaid, fasten under your left hand jacket lapel and fasten with plaid brooch onto jacket only.

10. Put on your waistcoat, then jacket. Make sure the jacket is fitting square on, with the waistcoat buttons, tie, sporran, buckle and kilt centre line all straight up and down. If driving to a venue, we advise that you hang the jacket up in the back and put it on when you get out the car. Try not to drive with your jacket on as it may crease.

11. Finally put on your tie, bow, ruche or standard tie.

12. Make sure you have a dram in your sporran flask and have an optional sprig of heather for your button hole.

We hope this information helps! Please comment below with any questions!

Houston Traditional Kiltmakers Est. 1909