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Highlandwear How Its Made Kilt Kilts Scotland Scottish History Shoulder Plaid tartan

Tartan Shoulder Plaid – Behind the Scenes – How they are Made

A Shoulder Plaid can be worn at formal occasions when you are looking to stand out from the crowd. Often the Groom will add one to his Highland Outfit to make himself known on his special day! Plaids are also worn by Piper’s and members of Pipe bands.

Shoulder Plaid made of Tartan Wool

What is a Tartan Shoulder Plaid?

A Shoulder Plaid is a piece of cloth draped over the wearers shoulder which can add a flash of grandeur to your Highland Outfit.

The Shoulder Plaid is a modern ‘tip of the hat’ back to the traditional ‘Great Kilt’ and the ‘Féileadh Mòr’. Historically the Great Kilt was a large piece of cloth that wrapped around the whole body and draped over the shoulder of the wearer.

As the modern Kilt was developed, the cloth over the shoulder was lost. A Fly Plaid brings back this traditional look, while providing a more comfortable experience for the wearer.

Tartan Shoulder Plaids are usually made in the matching tartan to the wearers Kilt and most popular with Groom’s to make themselves stand out on their special day!

How a Shoulder Plaid is made

To start the Shoulder Plaid a piece of cloth is cut in a square or rectangle. The size and shape depends on the type of Plaid and how it will be worn.

The Cloth cut for a Tartan Shoulder Plaid
A Large Rectangle of Cloth Cut for a Tartan Shoulder Plaid to be Made

In this instance the edges of the Shoulder Plaid are fringed. By carefully pulling at the threads with a sharp object the threads are easily pulled around the edges creating a frayed effect. This is done for all four sides in this case.

The Edges of the Cloth are Frayed
The Edges of the Cloth are Carefully Frayed, Creating the Finished Edge for the Tartan Shoulder Plaid

Tartan Shoulder Plaid

The cloth is then marked out at one corner that will be stitched to create the part of the Plaid that will sit through the Epaulette when worn. This stitching is added to hold the shape of the Plaid when it is worn.

Shoulder Plaied - Stitching is added
Stitching is Added to Make sure the Shoulder Plaid Sits in the Correct Position when Worn

The finished Shoulder Plaid is given a final press and is ready to be worn!

How a Shoulder Plaid should be Worn

The Shoulder Plaid is easy to wear. The stitched edge should pass through the left shoulder epaulette of the wearers jacket. This end can be fastened to the front of the jacket with a Plaid Brooch or a Simple Pin – making sure that the Brooch only goes through the Jacket, and not the underlying waistcoat or shirt.

To wear the Shoulder Plaid Correctly, Pass it throught the Epaulette of the Jacket
The Shoulder Plaid Passes through the Epaulette on the Shoulder of your Jacket

Extra Tip: A hidden safety pin can also be used to give the Plaid a better shape by pinning some of the cloth to the back of the jacket, just below the top of the shoulder.

Plaid Brooches come in a variety of styles and designs, much like Kilt Pins. Different finishes are available to match up with the rest of the silverware of your outfit.

The Plaid can serve other functions after wearing. Once photos have been taken wearing the Plaid it can be taken off and used as a table runner, table cover etc. to add a tartan touch to your surroundings.

Houston’s offer a range of Shoulder Plaids to match with Hire outfits and also provide Made to Measure Shoulder Plaids. These can be made in any tartan of your choosing.
View our Shoulder Plaids here!

We also stock a wide range of Plaid Brooches, from Clan Crested Brooches to Solid Silver Plaid Brooches.

View our Plaid Brooches here!

Categories
Highlandwear Jackets Scotland Tweed Jacket

Kilt Jacket Alteration Guide – Fine Tuning for Bespoke and ‘Off the Peg’ Jackets

With all Made to Measure Bespoke Items there is often need for a little fine tuning to achieve the perfect fit. A Jacket may be passed down through a family or the wearers weight may change – minor alterations can keep the Jacket fitting perfectly. If needed, these small adjustments are quick and easy to complete allowing you to look your best in our Jackets! From a Tweed Braemar to a Prince Charlie Jacket – all can be altered so you look your best!

Various Tweed Jackets
Tweed Jackets are Increasing in Popularity with Highland Wear Outfits

Who can do these Alterations?

If any minor alterations are needed to your Jacket, we recommended taking it to a local tailor, seamstress or someone with sewing experience. It would be helpful for them if you could pin the parts of the jacket you wish to have altered and mark the areas with chalk.

Sleeve Adjustments

In the case of your Jacket Sleeves being too long, our Jacket Sleeves can be easily shortened. Simply pin and chalk the area that needs shortened – buttons can be reattached in a new position if needed.

Tweed Jacket Sleeve Ready for being Shortened
Tweed Jacket Sleeve Chalked and Pinned to be Shortened

Shoulder Alterations

The Shoulders of our Jackets can also be chipped if needed, creating a chiselled fit around your shoulders. Firstly mark off what needs to be reduced and pin the fabric to the new position. The tailor will then be able to clearly see what needs to be done.

Here you can see the Shoulder of a Tweed Jacket Pinned and Chalked to be Altered

Back Seam Alterations

The centre seam down the back of your Jacket is another area that can be altered. This seam can be taken in, creating a better fit around your back if needed. Sometimes the back seam will also contain some extra cloth, allowing for the back of the jacket to be widened slightly. Again, chalk and pin the cloth to the correct fit for the tailor to see.

Here you can see the Back Seam of a Tweed Jacket Pinned and Chalked to be Taken In

Side Seam Alterations

At either side of your jackets, under the arms, are side seams. These can be taken in if there is too much space on the side of the jacket, giving a more fitted finish to the jacket. Marking out the area that needs worked on is just the same as with the back of the jacket. The stitching is simply unpicked and the cloth of the jacket folded in to the desired fit and restitched.

Pinned and Chalked Side of a Tweed Jacket Ready for Alterations
The Side Seams of a Tweed Jacket Chalked and Pinned Ready to be Altered

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We hope that this alteration guide allows you to look your best while increasing the life of your Jacket! If you need any more advice regarding Jacket alterations or anything else relating to your Highland Outfit you can contact the shop, where we will be more than happy to help!

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Scotland Scottish Clans Scottish History Special Weave Tartans tartan traditions Weddings

How to Choose a Tartan

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!

Tartans for Scottish Kilts

Where to start!

Choosing a Scottish Tartan For Your Kilt
How to Choose a Tartan for your Kilt - There is a Tartan for Everyone!

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.

Autumn Bute, Ancient Bute and Grey Bute Kilts
Grey Bute, Ancient Bute and Autumn Bute Heater Kilts, Tartan Designed by Ken MacDonald

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.

Royal Links

Royal Balmoral Tartan
Royal Balmoral Tartan, Designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria

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!

Categories
Gifts Highlandwear How Its Made Kilt Kilts Kilts for Sale tartan traditions Weddings

Tartan Flashes – Insight into How they are Made

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

Tartan Flashes
Tartan Flashes - From Cloth to the Finished Product!

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

Marking out and Cutting the cloth for Tartan Flashes to be made
Marking out and Cutting the Tartan Cloth for Flashes to be Made

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!

Flash Tubes Stitched
The Edges for the Cloth are Stitched Together and Sealed at one end to create Tubes

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.

Stitched, Turned Inside Out, Pressed and then the Ends are Fringed to Create the Flash

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!

Finishing Tartan Flashes
The Tartan Flashes are completed by Stitching on the Elastic Straps!

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Tartan Flashes can be made in any Tartan or in Plain colours. They start at £12 for Plain Flashes and £30 for custom Tartan Flashes. You can view our range of Flashes here and contact us for any special requests!

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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.

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Kilts Scotland tartan

Ken’s Creations – Glasgow’s Miles Better Tartan

An Aerial Shot of the Glasgow Garden Festival

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. We have already looked at his Bute Heather range, this week we will put the spotlight on the ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ tartan, which was designed for the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival.

Glasgow's Miles Better Tartan, Image Courtesy of Scottish Tartan Authority

1988 marked the year of the Glasgow Garden Festival, the 3rd of its kind to be held in the

UK. These National Garden Festivals were an opportunity for redevelopment of industrial areas in cities that were no longer being used. After successful Festivals in Liverpool and

Stoke, Glasgow took its turn at staging the next event.

When asked to design a tartan for the event to be used for the staff’s uniforms Ken jumped at the opportunity. The resultant tartan is the ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better‘ tartan, named after the slogan used to promote Glasgow around the time of the Festival. The tartan designed can be view below:

Ken’s reasoning behind the colour choice was to keep with the colour scheme that was already being used for the Glasgow Garden Festival and other branding around the ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ Campaign.

When HRH Prince Charles came to visit the festival he was presented with two Kilts by Ken in the ‘Glasgow’s Miles Better’ tartan for his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Ken MacDonald and Prince Charles
Ken MacDonald presenting 'Glasgow's Miles Better' Tartan Kilts to HRH Prince Charles

The festival was a great success, with 4.3 million visitors in the 152 days it ran. The festival helped to restore Glasgow’s status as both a national and international City of Culture, a title which was placed on the city in 1990. Its legacy has seen a regeneration of the Riverside – the Glasgow Science Centre, SSE Hydro, the Glasgow Tower, Riverside Museum, BBC and STV’s new headquarters, among other buildings have all been constructed on and near the site of the Garden Festival.

Glasgow Garden Festival
An Aerial View of the Glasgow Garden Festival, 1988

 

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Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Sporran tartan

Sporrans – How to Wear Correctly and What are Sporrans for?

Traditional Leather Pouch Sporrans
Leather Sporrans in Old Traditional Styles, Note the Pouch like Shapes

Sporrans come in many different styles and designs, varied for every occasion. This weeks post will cover a history of the Sporran, why it is worn, the different types of Sporrans and look at the range that Houston Kiltmakers stock, from Plain Leather Day Sporrans to Clan Crested Specialist Dress Sporrans.

History of the Sporran

The word Sporran is the Scottish Gaelic word for purse. Most Kilts did not (and still don’t) have pockets cut into the material. This left the wearer with no place to store small items they were carrying – this could have been money, lead musket shot in times of war or perhaps even small quantities of food. The Sporran became a handy pouch that could be worn with a Kilt to give the wearer somewhere to store these items. In modern times these pouches store items such as mobile phones, wallets – even a small hip flask can be concealed inside!

Types of Sporrans

Traditional Sporrans were usually no more than a simple leather pouch. Modern Sporrans come in many different varieties. There are 3 main Sporran Types: Day, Dress and Semi-Dress.

Day Sporrans most resemble traditional Sporrans and are used at less formal event (the name suggests it is for day to day wear). They are often made of all leather with no metal cantle.

Clan Crest Engraved on Leather Day Sporran
A Leather Day Sporran with a Clan Crest Engraved

Dress Sporrans are the most formal style of Sporrans, worn at events such as Weddings and other events where you will be looking your best. Usually made in a wide range of Animal Furs, Dress Sporrans usually can be customized with different cantle style and a choice of a Shiny or Antique finish.

Dress Sporran with Antique Cantle in Light Racoon Fur
A Light Brown Racoon Dress Sporran with Antique Cantle

Semi-Dress Sporrans combine elements from both the Dress and Day Sporrans, often animal fur for the body and leather for the Sporran flap. These are sporrans that can be worn for all occasions when you want to look that little bit sharp. Think of it as a smart but casual sporran!

Black Rabbit Sporran, Semi Dress with Clan Crest
A Clan Crested Black Rabbit Semi Dress Sporran

In addition to these variations of Sporrans there are also Specialist Sporrans, which come in many styles and can often be customized with different cantles, clan crests etc. Horse Hair Sporrans are most commonly associated with Pipe Bands and have long strands of horse hair hanging down from the front.

Pipers Horse Hair Sporran
A Horse Hair Sporran, typically worn by a Piper

How to wear your Sporran Correctly

The Sporran, after the Kilt, is one of the most important pieces of your Highland Outfit, so making sure that it is worn correctly is vital. You should be able to draw a straight line down the front of your outfit and your waistcoat buttons, tie, sporran, buckle and Kilt centre line. (See Picture Below) The only exception to this is when dancing with a partner, the Sporran can be moved to the side in this case to prevent damaging the ladies dress.

Sporran should be approx. 3 finger widths below Belt Buckle
Your Kilt Outfit should all be Worn Inline, with the Sporran Hanging Approx. 3 Finger Widths Below

The top of the sporran should hang down approximately 4 or 5 inches from the top of the Kilt – around 3 finger widths below the top of the Belt Buckle (See Above).

 

Follow this link to see the full range of Houston’s Sporrans, many of which can be customized with different Cantles, Furs and some can be engraved with Clan Crests!

 

 

Categories
Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilt Pin Kilts tartan Weddings

Kilt Pins – How to Wear a Kilt Pin Correctly

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.

Kilt Pin Only Goes Through Outer Apron
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).

See our full range of Kilt Pins HERE.

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Highlandwear Kilt Kilt Hire Kilts Kilts for Sale Scotland tartan Weddings

Ken’s Creations – Bute Heather Range

A Mix of Kilts in the Bute Heather Range Tartans

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.

(L-R) Bute Heather Grey, Bute Heather Ancient and Bute Heather Autumn Kilts

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 Picturesque Isle of Bute

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!

Kilts and a Dress in Matching Bute Heather Modern Tartan

Tartans from the Exclusive Bute Heather Range and available to both Buy and Hire, and can only be found at Houston Traditional Kiltmakers!