The Celtic Croft has the most complete line of Kilts available anywhere. We have seven different styles to choose from, to fit any period or budget. Whether you are looking for a "Braveheart" kilt, a classic great kilt, or a modern style formal kilt, we've got your kilt!
What is a Kilt?
The kilt is a knee length garment with pleats on the backside and is most often made of woolen cloth in a tartan pattern. It originated as the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish highlands in the 16th century. Since the 19th century they have become associated with the wider culture of Scotland in general. With the creation of Irish and Welsh tartans kilts have also become more popular among Irish and Welsh heritage. Most historians seem to agree that the kilt was adopted by Irish and Welsh Nationalists around the turn of the twentieth century. Kilts are most often worn on formal occasions, highland games, and other sporting events, but in recent years the kilt has also been adapted into an item of fashionable informal male clothing, returning to its roots as an everyday garment.
The first kilts appeared in the late 16th century in the form of the great kilt, a full length garment with an upper half that could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder or over the head. The word “kilt” comes from the Scotts, however the word itself has a Scandinavian origin. The Scotts word derives from the Old Norse “Kjalta,” from Norse settlers who wore similar pleated, but non-tartan garments. The small kilt (phillabeg) or walking kilt (casual kilt) more similar to today’s modern kilts didn’t develop until the late 17th to early 18th century. These kilts are essentially just the bottom half of the great kilt. Traditionally kilts are made out of woolen cloth in a tartan pattern.
A pleat is a type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. There are two more popular types of pleats - pleat to sett and pleat to stripe. Pleat to sett is where each pleat is positioned so that the pattern (sett) appears to continue through the pleated portion of the kilt. There is also pleat to stripe, where a prominent stripe in the pattern is chosen and then the stripe is centered down the middle of each pleat. This is a traditional military style, and can look very nice. Some tartans just don’t look good pleated to stripe, however. If you choose this option we will let you know if it can’t (or shouldn’t) be done. Knife pleats are the standard pleat used on kilts but box pleats are available on our phillabeg, great kilt, and ancient kilts. Box pleats are knife pleats back-to-back, and have a tendency to spring out from the waistline.
Measurements and Sizing
At least three measurements, the waist, hips, and length of the kilt, are always required. Sometimes the rise (distance above the waist) or the fall (distance from waistline to the widest part of the hips) is also required. If a kilt is custom tailored and is properly made it will not be loose enough to spin around the waist nor will it cause “scalloping” of the fabric where its buckled when buckled on the smallest holes. The length of the kilt should reach a point no lower than halfway across the kneecap and no higher than about an inch above it.
Our goal is to make the ordering of your kilt as stress free and enjoyable as possible and we look forward to handling your order. Please enjoy our extensive online catalog of Tartan Fabrics, Highland Accessories, Scottish Tartans and Blankets and other quality Celtic products.