I’ve been enjoying keeping up with the work being done at The Kiltmakery. I follow them on Facebook and love seeing daily posts about new kilts being made, the process of making those kilts and even some brain learnin’ when they post facts about kilt and tartan history. I suggest you follow them too. I’ve got it on my list to have them make me a kilt very soon. It will be my first tailor-made kilt. I have dozens “off the rack” kilts and I’m looking forward to finally having one custom made for me. The only problem is, I can’t yet decide what tartan I want. My clan tartans are Wallace and MacDonald but I have a good many of those already from Heritage of Scotland, Kilt Society, Sport Kilt and some other shops which I can’t remember the names of. I’d like something different this time. Maybe even a tartan I don’t own yet. I’m seriously considering the MacDonald Ancient. I think it’s gorgeous and every time I see someone wearing it I want one.
One of the things I’ve been most impressed by The Kiltmakery is how much cheaper it is to have a kilt custom made than I thought it would be. I’m going to be paying a chunk of money for sure but it’s roughly the cost of three economy kilts. Not bad at all. If you’re like me and have spent a lot of money on cheaper, off the rack kilts, I feel like we owe it to pay a bit more to a real kilt maker at least once in order to help keep the art alive. It’s a way to support our culture and heritage and ensure artists will be custom-making kilts for generations to come. I’m a mural painter (among other things) and my own industry has recently been dominated by cheap, printed wallpaper murals. I understand that, and don’t really have a problem with it but thanks to the people who want to spend a little more to get original hand made art, I can still make a living. If you are a regular kilt-wearer, save up for at least one kilt made by a professional maker and made just for you. We’ll all be the better for it.
While I’m on the subject of custom kilts, I think most of us are aware that there are many tartans that aren’t clan tartans. There are regional tartans, territorial tartans, country tartans and state tartans. Some organizations have their own tartans. There are even tartans to honor certain individuals such as Elvis Presley and Princess Diana. I’m curious, though if you think there should be a limit to that type of thing. It’s obviously a commercial move to sell more tartan fabric and kilts but do you think it cheapens the meaning of clan tartans? Is it a good idea to have a Verizon Wireless tartan? A Kardashian tartan? A tartan just for beer or coffee drinkers? Should there be specific tartans for political parties or religions? How about a vegan tartan? Feel free to tell me your opinion. I’d love to hear what you think about the tartan issue.