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.
When picking the Tartan for your Scottish Highland Kilt Outfit it can be quite a daunting task as there are over 14,000 Tartans to choose from. In this guide we make it easy for you to find the perfect Tartan for your Kilt – don’t worry if your family name doesn’t have a linking pattern, there is a Tartan for Everyone!
Where to start!
1. The first place to start when looking for a Tartan is with your family name. Simply type your name into our Tartan Finder and see all your matching tartans! Often you will find that your own name is not part of a clan which has a Tartan, if this is the case don’t worry! There are still many routes to go down to find your perfect Tartan!
2. You can search for Tartans relating to other family names (Mothers Maiden name, Grand Parents names, Uncles and Aunties names etc.) to give you a choice of tartans. Just type the name into our Tartan Finder!
3. Sometimes it is the case that you will find that your surname will not have a Clan Tartan of its own, but will be linked to a ‘Sept’. Sept’s are surnames that, while not having their own clan, are associated with another clan. For example, instances of the name Reid can be associated with clan Robertson. Members of the Reid family should therefore wear Robertson tartan. When you use our tartan finder it will bring up any relevant Sept matches and link to the tartans.
4. If you tartan search has no clan tartan or Sept matches, don’t worry! There are many regional, national and County tartans that you could find a link with! For Irish names there are tartans for each Irish County, as well as an Irish National Tartan that can be worn by anyone with a link to Ireland. Tartans such as the American National Tartan and German National Tartan are other examples of national tartans with connections to those countries. There is a range of ‘Tartans for Everyone‘, generic designs in a variety of colours that are free to wear. You can also design your own tartan, or have it designed by Houston’s Owner, Ken MacDonald!
Popular Trends and Styles
As with any item of clothing, fashions change over time and different style come into vogue. In recent times there has been a surge in the demand for Grey and Purple Tartans. (You can see a range of Purple Tartans here, and Grey Tartans here) Houston’s owner Ken MacDonald has designed a range of tartans incorporating a colour palette that matches today’s trends. The Bute Heather Tartan range offers a wide variety of grey and purple tartans, each with a flash of colour running through the design.
Grey tartans are known for their ability to match with any style or colour of jacket, making them ideal for both formal and casual wear. With a subtle flash of colour through a grey tartan it can create a sophisticated look to your Highland Outfit.
Grey Tartans have Royal links going back to the reign of Queen Victoria, when her husband Prince Albert turned his hand to Tartan Design. Queen Victoria loved Scotland, regularly visiting her stately home at Balmoral.
The Royal Balmoral Tartan was designed by Prince Albert in 1853, to be worn by the Queen and members of the Royal Family, with permission from the Queen. This Royal Tartans only other approved wearer was the Queen’s personal Piper.
Grey Tartans have often been linked with Royalty for this reason.
We hope this guide helps you to find a Tartan that you love. Remember, there are no Tartan Police, and anyone has the right to wear any Tartan!
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!
What are Tartan Flashes?
Historically, Tartan Flashes (also know as Garter Flashes) were simple ties worn around the upper calf and they served two purposes. Firstly they helped to hold up your Kilt Hose. It has also been said in folklore that they were used to make people aware of your marital status – if your Flashes were showing then you were single and available, while hidden Flashes meant that you were a taken man!
Modern Tartan Flashes add a little flair to your Kilt Socks, as well at securing your Kilt Socks in place, ensuring they don’t slide down your leg.
Flashes are usually either a Solid Colour or a Tartan Matching your Kilt’s design – though can also be made in contrasting tartans, or a tartan of the same family (e.g. Hunting Robertson Flashes with a Red Robertson Kilt.)
Flashes normally consist of two coloured pieces of cloth attached to an elasticated fabric strap, which can be tightened and loosened as needed. Their ends are usually fringed to add a flash of style to your socks but can also be made with V-cut edges!
How it’s Made – Tartan Flashes
To begin creating the Tartan Flashes lengths of Tartan cloth are measured and cut to leave you with 2 strips. Our seamstress Beth always endeavors to capture as many colours from the Tartan as possible in the material that is cut. Trying to incorporate the Tartan pattern in a small, thin strip is challenging, but Beth’s experience means that the results are always great to look at!
These will create the section of the Flashes that are visible while wearing. These strips are then folded in half and stitched closed, creating two tubes. These are then turned inside out to conceal the stitch work, leaving a clean, tidy seam.
From here the tubes are pressed to create the flat recognizable rectangular shapes of the Flashes. To create the fringing the threads are carefully hand pulled out of the open end of the tube. This creates the frayed effect, adding to the overall look of the Flashes.
The last stage is to attach the two tartan cloth strips to the elasticated strap. This will make sure the flashes stay secured to your leg and also they will provide support for your Kilt Hose. These parts are machine stitched together to create a strong bond between the Flashes and Strap, ensuring that they last you for years to come!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The Kilt Pin is a small but key part of a Kilt Outfit. Often its function is misinterpreted and it is commonly used incorrectly. This short guide will tell you everything you need to know about the wearing of a Kilt Pin and some of the different styles of Pin available from Houston Kiltmakers.
Customizable Clan Crested Kilt Pins are Available!
The Kilt Pin is attached to the outer apron on the fringed side of your Kilt, around 2 inches from the bottom of the Kilt and around 1.5 inches in from the fringed edge. The Kilt Pin ONLY goes through the outer apron, it does NOT pin together the outer and inner aprons, as is often mistaken. The function of the Kilt Pin is not to attach the two Kilt aprons to one another.
The Kilt Pin only pierces outer apron, not both apron’s.
The purpose of the Kilt Pin is to weight down the outer apron of the Kilt to prevent it from blowing up in windy situations – possibly embarrassing both the wearer and passers by! For this reason the majority of Kilt Pins are made from metal to give them the weight to hold the outer Kilt apron in place.
Our ‘Top Tips on Wearing a Kilt’ guide offers more details on the positioning of a Kilt Pin and other useful information to make sure you look a million dollars in your Kilt outfit!
Kilt Pin’s come in a wide range of styles in both Shiny and Antique Finishes!
We offer a wide variety of Kilt Pins to suit all style and budgets ranging from palladium plated to solid silver. Different finishes are available, either Shiny or Antique. Customizable Kilt Pin’s are also available with any Clan Crest incorporated into the design. Designs for Kilt Pins vary, but the most popular style is that of a Claymore (Two Handed Sword).
Houston Kiltmakers owner Ken MacDonald is a well renowned Tartan Designer. As well as offering a personal tartan design service for customers, Ken has also produced prestigious tartan designs for Kilt outfits for royalty and dignitaries. Over this series of posts we will pick out some of Ken’s design and take a closer look into the story behind them. This article will put the Bute Heather Tartan range under the spotlight.
The Bute Heather Range consists of 10 tartans that while sharing similar styling have very distinct characters behind each design. There is a tartan to suit every colour scheme from the warm Red’s of Autumn Bute, the traditional Purple’s of Modern Bute to the more subtle Blue’s of the Kyles of Bute.
Tartans in the Bute Heather Range include: Ancient, Modern, Autumn, Glencallum, Straad, Grey, Kyles, Black, Midnight and Hunting.
While each design is based on the same sett, the colours used in each Bute Heather tartan means that each Tartan has its own character. Grey tartans are very much in vogue and the Bute Heather range contains 7 Grey tartans, each with a dash of colour through the design.
Behind every tartan design there has to be a strong inspiration. Ken cites his time spent on the Isle of Bute as a strong influence towards the Bute Heather Tartan range.
“It’s great to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take some time to relax. The Isle of Bute provides the perfect calm, peaceful surroundings for me to create my designs by taking inspiration from the landscape.”
“The greys and purples used create contemporary designs, which match with the popular colour schemes used for today’s weddings.”
The latest tartans added to the range are ‘Bute Heather Straad’ and ‘Bute Heather Kyles’, which joined the tartan collection in the last year.
The Bute Heather range tartans are woven on the Isle of Bute by the world famous Bute Fabrics, whose fabric is used in many prestigious locations around the world, including the Scottish Parliament and the Queen’s residence of Buckingham Palace!
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!