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Burn's Night Burn's Supper Céilidh Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Made In Scotland tartan Wedding Kilts Weddings

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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Céilidh Highlandwear Kilt Kilts Kilts for Sale Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History Special Weave Tartans tartan traditions Wedding Kilts Weddings

Special Weave Tartans – Custom Tartans for Kilts

At Houstons Kiltmakers we provide the service of Custom, Specially Woven Tartans for clients. These can be tartans that are not stocked by any Mills or tartans that are not readily available from other sources. Houston’s take you through the whole process from Designing and Registering your Tartan to having it Woven and made into a Bespoke Kilt.

Why a Special Weave Tartan?

There are several reasons why you might choose to have a Tartan specially woven:

Perhaps your family name doesn’t have a link to any Clan Tartan and you want to design a Tartan for your family name, or a Private/Corporate tartan.

Ken MacDonald's Tartan Design
A Collection of a few of the Custom Tartans Houston's has Designed for Previous Clients

You might want to recreate a Historical Tartan with custom thread colours or a unique sett.

Custom Weave Stevenson Grey and Original

Or maybe you just want to have your own Tartan designs woven to be made into a special item.

A popular choice is to combine your own family tartan with your Bride’s family tartan, creating a brand new tartan design to commemorate your special day!

For any need, Houstons are more than happy to accommodate any requests for your new tartan.

Tartan Design Options

There are several options to choose from when considering designing your own Tartan.

Our Owner, Ken MacDonald, is an experienced Tartan designer, having created prestigious Tartans ‘American National Tartan’ which was presented to George W. Bush in 2004 and the ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ tartan which was made into a pair of Kilts and presented to Prince Charles for Prince William and Prince Harry.

Other designs include the exclusive Bute Heather Range, 10 tartans inspired by Ken’s time visiting the Isle of Bute.

Ken is more than happy to take the ideas you have for a tartan (colour schemes, Setts etc.) and create a personalised tartan with an extra ‘wow’ factor. Ken will tweak his designs until you are completely satisfied with the tartan before it goes for weaving. Often Ken will create a handful of designs from your recommendations, providing CAD images of the Tartans, allowing you to choose your favored design.

You can also try your hand at designing a Tartan – helpful tools such as the STA’s Croft Weaver online application or Houstons MyTartan Apple iPhone/iPad App are good places to start with the creation of your Tartan.

Ken's Bute Heather Tartan Range
Some of the Bute Heather Tartans, Designed by Ken MacDonald

We can take you through the full process, from designing your Tartan, to registering it with the Scottish Register of Tartan, who record new Tartan designs in line with the Scottish Register of Tartans Act 2008.

Tartan Finish Options

Tartan can be woven in a range of weights and materials – we weave in 11oz, 13oz and 16oz (16oz recommended for Kilts). You can also choose your fabric from All Wool, a Wool Mix or Poly-Viscose. We recommend All Wool for a Kilt.

 

Stain-Proofing a Kilt with Teflon Coating Protects Against Spills

Houston’s offer the exclusive service of Teflon coating tartans/kilts to make them stain resistant. This service can only be done at the time of ordering the Kilt. The Teflon coating ensures your kilt it rain, stain and even beers proof! We calculate that over the lifespan of your kilt you will save approximately £180 to £260 on not having to have your kilt dry cleaned as often.

Time Scale for Custom Tartans

The time it takes for the whole process of designing your tartan to having it made into a bespoke kilt can vary from around 3 to 6 months, so it is best to plan ahead and start the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Express services are available, at additional cost, which can reduce the time of delivery of your Kilt.

Costs of a Special Weave Kilt

The cost of a special weave kilt depends on the tartan design and the kilt finish chosen. Prices start from £790, (£660 Tax-Free) (From $1,220 ($1,020 Tax-Free)), customers out with the EU can take advantage of our Tax-Free prices!

The minimum length of tartan to be woven is one bolt length (around 11m Single Width), which means after a Kilt has been made from the cloth there is often off-cuts which can be made into other accessories (tartan flashes, tartan ties etc.). At Single Width (approx. 27 inches wide) it is around £80 per metre (11m provides enough material for a 8 yard Kilt and extra material for accessories such as tartan ties, flashes, ring cushions etc.) and Double Width cloth (approx. 54 inches wide) is around £90 per metre (11m provides enough material for approx. three 8 yard Kilts and material left over for accessories.)

Special Weave Drummond Grey Tartan and the Drummond of Perth Tartan

Further Information

For a quote, please contact Houston Kiltmakers direct via email at shop@kiltmakers.com or call us on +44 141 889 4879, outing the specifics of the bespoke kilt you wish to have made. You can also learn more about Tartan Design here.

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Burn's Night Céilidh Highlandwear Kilt Kilts Kilts for Sale tartan traditions

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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Burn's Night Céilidh Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Scotland tartan

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!