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."
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager for Cyber Secur...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...