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.
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!
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.
Buying a Kilt can seem like a complicated process, but it is really quite straight forward. This guide will take you through the process step-by-step.
About our Kilts
All our Kilts areMade in Scotland. Our Kilts can be cut for growth so through time if you lose or gain weight your Kilt can be altered accordingly, ensuring your Kilt lasts a lifetime.
All our Houston’s Own 16oz Heavyweight ranges K23b & K24 are Teflon Coated to Stain-Proof your Kilt from spillages, even Beer!
Time Scale and Price
Generally it takes 4 to 8 weeks to make kilt if the cloth is in stock, however we do offer an express service for delivery in 2 weeks at an additional cost of £50.
We recommend you start the process as soon as possible – if the cloth is out of stock at the mill it can take up to 4 to 6 months before it is rewoven.
The cost of a Kilt depends on your chosen Tartan, its rarity and your Kilt finish. Buying a full outfit as a Kilt Pack gives you an overall discount of 10%. Kilts start from £288 (£240 Tax-Free), and Kilt Packs from £620 (£517 Tax-Free).
Step 1 – Choosing Your Tartan
On our website, Kiltmakers.com you can browse through EVERY TARTAN, clan histories and clan crests using our Tartan Finder. Search through Sept names and Tartans anyone can wear!
The most common method of choosing a tartan is to pick one with links to your family name. For instance, if your surname is ‘MacDonald’, you could start by searching for all the ‘MacDonald’ tartans, and picking the design you like the most.
While you are searching you may notice that you find several variation of a tartan, such as Ancient, Modern, Hunting, Dress or Weathered. These colour variations are explained here. The
In cases where a name does not have a direct match for a clan tartan, they might have a Sept match. Septs are surnames that, while not having their own clan, are associated with a clan. For example, instances of the name Reid can be associated with clan Robertson. Members of the Reid family should therefore wear Robertson tartan. Our Tartan Finder will bring up Sept matches to names, making it easy to find the tartan for you.
There is a wide range of ‘Fashion’ tartans, which can be worn by anyone. These are usually modern designs, though there are some blends of more traditional colour palettes. Houston’s exclusive Bute Heather range is an example of these tartans.
If you can’t find the perfect tartan from the selection available, why not have your own custom tartan specially woven? Houston’s owner Ken MacDonald is a renowned tartan designer and we can take you right though the process from designing the tartan to having it registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans and woven for you.
Step 2 – Choosing your Cloth Weight and Mille
Now that you have selected your tartan design, Kilts come as standard in 8 yards (7.4m). Tartan fabric tends to come in 3 weights: Light (11oz), Medium (13oz) and Heavy (16/17oz). For a Kilt we recommend a 16 oz Heavyweight cloth as the pleats sit and swings better, making you look a million dollars.
A Heavyweight cloth is NOT any warmer than a medium or light weight kilt – it is the weight of the jacket which builds up the heat.
You will notice the ‘Stain-Proofed’ tag on many of our tartans – these tartans have a special Teflon Coating which
We are the only kilt shop to stock a 100% Fine Wool Super Lightweight. The custom cut of the jacket has been perfected over 20 years to give the best fit and each jacket has a stain proof coating.
Step 3 – Selecting your Kilt Finish
At Houston’s we offer a selection of different Kilt finish across a range of prices. Our range of Kilt finishes are explained in more detail here: Kilt Finishes Explained
We recommend Kilt Finish No. 6 – Super Machine Understitched Kilt. It is made to the same quality that we make Kilts for the MOD (Ministry of Defense) and all army kilts we make.
Upgrade to a full Kilt Packs, starting from £620 or £517 tax free: Kilt Packs Guide. On all kilt packs over £600 you get a FREE shirt and tie value £60
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!
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 £180 to £260 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
If you use our Tartan Finder to search for your family Tartan, you mightnotice that your name returns several Tartans, each with a slightly different range of colours used in the design. There are a selection of colour variations used in the Tartan industry, and this article will explain the differences between each one.
The 5 main variations in Tartan styles are Ancient, Modern, Hunting, Dress and Weathered (sometimes referred to as Withered or Muted). Within these groups you can also have a mixing of some of the style, for example a Ancient Hunting Robertson Tartan, or a Modern Dress Gordon Tartan. (Though you can’t get an Ancient-Modern Tartan combination!)
Tartan’s with the prefix ‘Ancient’ are not necessarily older than other Tartans, it simply refers to the colour palette used in the design. The colours are often softer and lighter to what you would see in a ‘Modern’ Tartan design. These colours are choosen to have a closer link to the historical colours of Tartans in years gone by – produced with the natural dyes available. The colours are pastel-like, creating a softer feel, and giving the look of material that is worn beyond its years.
As with ‘Ancient’ Tartan’s, the name ‘Modern’ relates to the colours used in the Tartan, not the date of the design. Ancient and Modern design’s tend to share the same sett, the change is in the colour palette used. While ‘Ancient’ Tartan use lighter softer colours, ‘Modern’ Tartans use stronger, darker colours.
Hunting Tartans traditionally were worn when the wearer was on a hunt. To tie in with this, the colours usual are suited to match with the woodland background linked with a hunt – Greens and browns being the strongest colour here.
It is often easy to identify Dress Tartan’s with the abundance of white thread used to make up the design (An exception to this is the Dress MacLeod Tartan, which uses yellow thread instead of the normal white). These designs are most popular with Highland Dancing Kilts, though they can also been worn to give a brighter looking Tartan Kilt. Dress Gordon is perhaps the most recongizable Tartan in this range as it has been incorporated into many popular fashion items such as scarves and jacket linings.
Tartans of the Weathered Styling use a colour palette to reflect the name – tones that are faded, giving a look of the Kilt being aged by exposure to inclement weather. In years gone by the Great Kilt worn by the Scots would have endured the harsh Scottish Weather and terrain. The Great Kilt would be used to protect the wearer from the elements, and would gain a worn and aged look from this. (Weather Tartans are also sometimes referred to as ‘Withered’ or ‘Muted’, depending on what Mill that Cloth is produced from.)
While there are many different varieties of Tartan to choose from, at the end of the day it is down to preference what Tartan you decide upon. There is no right or wrong Tartan for any occasion – as long as the wearer likes it! Search now for all your families Tartans with our Tartan Finder!
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.
You might want to recreate a Historical Tartan with custom thread colours or a unique sett.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
For a quote, please contact Houston Kiltmakers direct via email at email@example.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.
Houston Kiltmakers have the largest and best range for of Kilts for hire in the West of Scotland, with over 130 tartans, 20 styles of super lightweight jackets with three different button options and over 120 ruche tie colour. We also Hire Kilts overseas for special occasions.
(Click on the Photos to Enlarge!)
Many of our customers come to us with the problem,
”We are getting married in England/Europe/Overseas, but we still want to have the Wedding party kitted out in Kilts, can you help?’
The answer is Yes!
Houston Kiltmakers provide hires all over the world for Wedding parties and can ship full kilt hires ready for your big day abroad! Don’t worry if the full party can’t get into the shop to get measured, we have a handy Self-Measurement form that lets you know all the sizes we need and how to get the correct measurements. Once you have these sizes simply send them to us by phone or email and our experienced expert team will check and double check everything matches up!
We have some flexibility on the Length of Hires and return dates if you are taking them abroad, so relax and enjoy your special day!
Another question we are often asked is,
‘Our Wedding is going to be in a warm place with the sun shining, what weight of Kilt would you recommend as the coolest, and what about the jacket?’
In a Kilt outfit the heat is generated by the Jacket, not the weight of a Kilt. We would always recommend 16oz Heavyweight Kilts. These are not any warmer than 11oz or 13oz Kilts and the weight helps them to sit and swing better, making you look your best for your big day!
As it is the Jacket that generates the heat, all our Jackets are Super Lightweight and have been custom designed over many years to create the best fit. They are made from high quality lightweight Barathea wool, meaning they are the coolest jackets around! We are the only Hire company in Scotland that provides these Super Lightweight jackets and as you will be wearing the jacket for most of the day, you’ll want the Jacket that will keep you the coolest!
Houston’s have spent 20 years getting the cut and block of our jackets just right so they sit perfectly on the wearer. Our jackets are also Stain-Proof (and Beer-Proof!), increasing the lifespan of them dramatically!
And remember, we love to see photos from your Wedding with our Kilts on show, so if you want to email us or post on our Facebook page some snaps from your special day we’d love to have a look! You can check out pictures past customers have sent us here!
The next stop on our ‘Where to Wear’ journey takes us to perhaps one of the most popular occasions to wear a kilt, a Wedding. Whether you are the groom looking to make your big day extra special or part of the wedding party looking to stand out, a kilt can add a special touch to the wedding day.
The popularity of wearing a kilt to a wedding is at an all time high and wedding dresses featuring tartan for the bride are also popular.
While there are no rules on what tartans someone can and cannot wear, when choosing a kilt for a wedding the Groom often chooses to wear their clan tartan (or tartan associated with family name), giving them a sense of belonging which has passed through generations.
If you don’t happen to have a tartan associated with your name, don’t worry! You can pick any tartan you like the look of and we have a wide range of Tartan’s for Everyone. Why not pick from our exclusive range of Bute Heather tartans, designed by Houston’s owner Ken MacDonald on his visits to the Isle of Bute. The Bute Heather range is available to both buy or hire. The Bute Heather range consists of Grey and Purple Tartans that coincide with the colour pallet of today’s weddings.
On the day of the wedding, it is the job of the Best Man to make sure that the Groom is looking in top shape in his Kilt. He should make sure that the Groom’s outfit is in good order. Ideally your Tartan Outfit should have a pivot point down the middle, with the set of the tartan, Sporran, Jacket Buttons and Tie/Ruche/Bow Tie all lining up (See Picture below). The Sporran should be around 3 finger widths under the belt buckle. The Sporran comes in handy for somewhere to keep the ring safe too!
With the Groom all kilted up, a nice touch is for the Bride’s dress to be matching in someway. Perhaps a small ribbon of the same tartan around the bouquet or on the dress. Another option is for a tartan wedding dress. This way you can have a nice combination of kilt and dress, creating a full tartan wedding. Tartan Wedding dresses can be created by Joyce Young, who has won an OBE for her services to the fashion industry. He tartan dresses range from small touches of tartan incorporated into the design to full tartan dresses.
Whether your hiring or buying, a Kilt can really add a special touch to your big day!
The first step in choosing your Highland wear outfit is to choose your tartan. Here at Houston’s we can inform you of the correct tartan for your crest or family name. You can also find tartans, crest histories and video clips explaining everything you need to know as well as a 60 page buy brochure with kilt packs, accessories, order details & measurements, with questions and answers on-line at our Web Site: www.kiltmakers.comScotland has many district, town and clan tartans as well as National tartans for example the Scottish National, Flower of Scotland, Braveheart, Spirit of Scotland, Scotland the Brave, Isle of Skye, Millennium tartan, Monarch of the Glen, Spirit of Bannockburn and our own designs, ‘St Mirren’ ‘Scottish Heather’ and ‘Bute Heather’ collection, Irish Districts, Irish National, Irish Blood, Welsh National, Cornish National, Canadian and some American, like New York and American National designed by Houstons. The beauty of these tartans is that anyone can wear them with pride. Most Scottish clans have their own tartan, if not you will find that they are affiliated to a clan which does.
THE “RIGHT” TO WEAR A TARTAN
“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
So the answer to the question “what tartan am I entitled to wear? Is — “any tartan you fancy”
To make life easy to pick a tartan at Houston’s we have over 100 tartan books , the only kilt shop in the world where you can see every commercial produced tartan, and have the facility to weave any tartan if a stitch count exists from our records… We have collated over 600 tartans any one can wear in 8 swatch books in colour bunch to make viewing tartans a lot easier for our customers. At Houston Traditional Kiltmakers we get customers visiting our shop from all parts of Scotland, the U.K., Europe and the rest of the world. Our professional staff will advise on tartans you can wear from a choice of around 14,000 different tartans.
If its nae Scottish, its nae good!
If you are considering buying a highland outfit, no matter what you choose the most important thing is to make sure you are buying authentic Scottish products! The highland wear industry has suffered with the increase of cheap imported goods from overseas. Highland wear is significant in Scotland and those who wear it often speak of how wearing a kilt evokes feelings of pride and Scottish Patriotism. Wearing a kilt makes you feel quintessentially Scottish and this is emphasised by the authenticity of having a kilt made in Scotland by a traditional kilt maker. Wearing a kilt makes you look and feel a million dollars. You can spend as much or as little as you wish on a bespoke kilt pack depending on your budget, but whatever amount you decide to spend, spend it on the real MacCoy! A kilt is a man’s old faithful friend; most men will own only one in their life. It will last you a lifetime, and can be passed down through the generations as an heir loom. A kilt is truly a garment that will last you a life time, but remember… if it’s nae Scottish, it’s NAE GOOD!