A traditional kilt is a kilt made from Scottish worsted wool, using 8 yards of tartan cloth, hand stitched and hand pleated. A kilt made this way using traditional methods preserve the Scottish tradition and preserve the art of traditional kilt making.

There are several reasons why traditionalists prefer this type of kilt versus a light weight or more casual kilt. It is no secret that full 8 yard kilt will ?hang? and ?swing? better than the 5 yard kilt as the full 8 yards allows for deeper pleating at the back.

Traditionally all kilts were fully hand stitched by kilt makers, which is a lengthy process, taking on average around 15-20 hours for one kilt. Customers have often commented on how great it makes them feel knowing that the hands of a kilt maker have hand-stitched their kilt. There is no doubt that, when compared like for like a hand stitched kilt is superior in finish to a machine-stitched kilt. Even though the difference is not noticeable to the untrained eye the difference is still evident to people who understand the subtleties and to the wearer.

The Origin of the 8 Yard Kilt

The Highlander often had a large long piece of cloth in his own tartan (probably 28" wide which was the width of the looms in those days) and probably 7 or 8 yards long. If he was a big man two widths might have been joined together.

This plaid would be important to him. Initially it would cover him whilst sleeping on the ground. He would also wear a shift or shirt of linen or cotton and when he got up in the morning, he would place his large belt underneath the material, lie on top of the cloth, fasten the belt around himself and stand up.

He would then arrange the cloth so that it was flat in front of him, pleated or in tucks behind, and the long remaining piece would be thrown over his shoulder. On the belt would be a pouch in which would be his money - if he had any - and some oatmeal for his porridge in the morning.

While he was on a march over the hills, or in battle, the cloth might be gathered over one shoulder. If it started to rain, he could put it over both shoulders and if it started to rain really hard or to snow, he could put it over his head.

This was how the kilt originated and over the years its form gradually developed into the kilt we know today. For example, in the early days, the length was such that the bottom of it got wet in the heather and long grass, so it was gradually raised and raised and now, of course, the correct length of a kilt is just ?brushing the knee cap?.

A man's kilt today still contains normally 8 yards of cloth. If the kilt is properly made, fits well and hangs well, the wearer is not aware of the weight of the cloth.