A Black Watch kilt

    A Black Watch kilt

    ……………………………………

    A Black Watch kilt

    To: Utilikilt wearers

    Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 16:08:54 -0000

    Subject: [utilikilt] suggestions for where to buy a tartan kilt

    I want to purchase a tartan kilt.

    I’d like it be of reasonable quality, but not have to pay a huge sum of money for it.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or experience that may help me in this endeavor?

    This is a very good question. Well-made traditional kilts currently cost between $500 and $800, depending upon the material and quality of tailoring. This is not an impulse buy. And there are very few alteratives; no department store kilts that I’ve ever seen.

    It’s been suggested that making ones own isn’t too hard. I’m pretty handy with a sewing machice, but I don’t have the time to give such a project a try just yet. There’s a guy on eBay who makes one kilt a week; usually the bidding stops around $200. I’d prefer to have something made in Scotland, and better yet something older, from a time when craftsmanship was still something of which to be proud. Something in the Black Watch tartan, a culturally acceptable choice for non-Scots. (The B. W. tartan is shown at left.)

    I’ve been searching eBay every few days for older kilts, preferably in the Black Watch tartan, preferably of military vintage, but to little avail. Most of the military surplus kilts aren’t made in waist sizes greater than 32 inches; I’m a 36. It’s been rather frustrating.

    I was beginning to wonder whether the decision to eschew modern manufacture was a really bad idea. Luckily I happened to stumble over something which appeared to meet my needs:

    This a really amazing old traditional Black Watch tartan kilt. It is beautiful quality made of heavyweight warm wool. There are markings on the hessian lining which we can’t read – you may have more success and there is a label saying Kilt No. 1, 1957 pattern, A. & S. H. O. R & PIPERS. The label says that the kilt is for a man of 5′ 11′ – 6′ in height, made with a 36″ waist and breech of 43″. It is by Thomas Gordon & Sons Ltd., Glasgow; stamped Jul 1961.

    The thick leather straps and buckles are almost definitely original. Please note this kilt is entirely HAND STITCHED and is in overall great condition considering its age: we don’t think we have seen such quality in the many yards of thick heavy wool material and box pleats. There are 2 little holes hidden right inside the pleats so unseen and a couple of very lightly marked areas, hardly worth mentioning, which look like surface dirt, and should come off easily – they are not stains.

    The overall condition of this kilt is excellent: top notch: why buy a modern one for hundreds when you can have the real thing for less? Please ask if you have more specific questions regarding condition.

    Size: Kilts are worn low down on the hips below the stomach rather than around it! Three adjustable leather straps make the waist suitable for any sizes between 34″ – 36″ and possibly a little more! Drop (length) is 26″.

    Hey, that’s my size! And the pictures of the kilts inside and outside surfaces look pretty good. The pictures of the kilt being worn (by the auctioners husband, as I found out) look pretty good too. (It’s encouraging that he’s wearing the kilt with a sporran which looks similar to the one I purchased, a

    from the Black Watch 73rd (Overseas) Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada), Canadian Expeditionary Force.)

    With an auctioneer living in Haggis County, Scotland, how could I not bid? Bid, and win. So now I’m waiting for it to arrive, and at a fraction of the price of a modern one. I’m hoping the purported measurements actually fit. We’ll see…

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me . Thanks!

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