These are the same style kilts worn in the movie Braveheart! Our Ancient Kilts are perfect for Renaissance festivals, weddings, reenactment events, or a distinctive look at your next Highland games. Depending on who you talk to, they may be historically accurate or not, but our Ancient Kilt is much cooler and more practical than a Great Kilt for hot weather wear. We recommend them to anyone looking for the Renaissance Highland look.
The Ancient Kilt is basically a Phillabeg with an extra 2-3 yards of tartan attached. This extra tartan serves as a sash or fly plaid, worn over your shoulder once the kilt is pleated. An Ancient Kilt is different from a Great Kilt because it is made from a longer piece of single-width fabric (25-30 inches wide). This means you don't have the bulk of fabric above the belt that you do with a great kilt. (Great kilts are made from double-width fabric, 54-60 inches wide).
This kilt is custom-made in the USA from medium weight (12/13 oz.) premium wool tartan, woven in Scotland. A medium weight Ancient Kilt is a good choice for durability, and it makes for good crisp pleats (if you choose). It's also still comfortable enough for hot summer wear. If you live in a very hot climate though, we recommend light weight tartan.
This is a custom, made-to-order product just for you. Premium wool tartans generally take 4-12 weeks to get to us, depending on availability. Once your tartan arrives to us, it will take us a day or two to complete your kilt (add a day for cheater pleats) and then your kilt will ship to you! Please click here for more information on custom-order items.
Pleating instructions are included with each kilt. Traditionally these kilts are pleated each time you wear them. We ask for size information to be sure that your kilt will fit you correctly, but we do not pleat the kilt for you unless you also select Cheater Pleats™ as an additional option.
Note — Modern kilts are generally pleated so that the front apron of the kilt closes from left to right. For years this is how we've Cheater Pleated™ our Ancient Kilts. However, many customers brought it to our attention that this makes it difficult to wear the plaid over the left shoulder, which is also customary.
So, we've decided to make all Ancient Kilts the other way — front apron closing from right to left. This makes the aprons "backwards" compared to a modern kilt, but it allows the plaid to flow up and over the left shoulder. (This is the way Mel wears it in the Braveheart movie.)
Incidentally, plaid over left shoulder is not a hard and fast rule. It most likely originated as a practical way to keep the plaid off your sword arm. If you are left-handed, you will probably want to wear the plaid over your right shoulder. Just let us know — we can Cheater Pleat™ your kilt either way you want!
Depending on waist size, pleats will vary between one and two inches wide (pleats will get wider as waist size increases). If your waist size is close to one of the limits above, consider the next size larger if you want deeper pleats or pleats closer together.