Kilt wars break out as makers bring in strict new pleat regulations lay down the law on pleats awset up the
Monday 15 November 1999
The new Scottish Kilt Makers' Association is planning to issue a set of rules establishing the standard kilt as having 29 pleats. The standards' policeman will be William Law, a former Inspector of Kilts at the Ministry of Defence, which for a century has been the only regulatory body for Scotland's traditional dress.
A founding member of the new association, Ian Chisholm from the Inverness- based Chisholms' Highland Dress, said: "We feel that, over the years, some customers have been disappointed to find their kilts have been made shoddily from poor material. The balances are sometimes wrong in the settings and the size of the pleats, so you don't get a perfect line."
However, down the road at Hector Russell Kilt Makers, one of the largest firms in the country, they think the association is getting its knickers in a twist over nothing.
"We don't think we need this association," said David Sutherland, the company's operations' manager. "We already have in-house, trained assessors, who hold the professional development award in handicraft kilt manufacture. We don't believe we could achieve anything by joining. Perhaps these other companies think they need this because they do not have the resources to reach the national standard we have here."
Underlying the battle of the kilt makers is the huge increase in demand for kilts since the release of the movie Braveheart in 1995.
None of the kilt makers wants the industry to get a reputation for poor quality. Good kilts, made from tartan worsted material, now cost from pounds 300. Whereas a generation ago, a kilt would typically be bought by a middle-aged man, today it is more often a gift for an 18th or a 21st birthday and a sartorial necessity at football matches.
There are more than 1,000 types of tartan, with big companies such as American Express and Spar patenting their own variety. "We recently received a big order from a hotel chain down in England run by an Indian family," said Mr Chisholm. "So we designed a special tartan called MacKhan."
Traditional manufacturers such as Hector Russell remain firm. "We've been supplying the Highland regiments of the British Army for generations," said Mr Sutherland. "We don't need any lessons."
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Britain First insist their videos aren't racist in bizarre attack on comedian Jason Manford
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...
£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...