When you think of ‘Scotland,’ four things would most probably pop out of your head: bagpipes, haggis, kilts and Scottish Sir Sean Connery. Though the first three are stereotypes, all four undoubtedly form part of Scotland’s identity and history.
Though, Sir Sean Connery is no doubt a prominent figure, primarily being known as the first Agent 007 or James Bond, in real life, he was an active supporter of Scotland’s independence. And yes, he wore kilts.
He might not have fought in a war like Sir William Wallace (Uilleam Uallas) did back in the late 13th century, but in seven Bond films, he was ‘licensed to kill.’ In real life, being a true-blue Scotsman, he was ‘licensed to kilt.’
Apart from Sir Sean, the kilt has got to be the most prominent symbol of men’s Highland Dress. It encapsulates a true Scotsman’s pride and honour, embodying his heritage and tradition.
Traditional Scottish kilts were made from worsted wool woven with twill structure. This creates a distinctive diagonal-weave pattern. When this is woven, a particular sett or colour pattern is achieved, which is then called a tartan.
Without going in depth on the deep history of the Scottish kilt, like most items of clothing, the kilt has undergone a process of evolution over the centuries.
The Small Kilt
The advent of the modern-day kilt, although not without controversy and disputed by Scots, is attributed to Thomas Rawlinson, who was a Quaker from Lancashire. He was an English Iron master. His workers wore the traditional great kilt but deemed the belted plaid too cumbersome and unwieldy for working with iron and manufacturing charcoal.
Keeping practicality and efficiency in mind, Rawlinson designed a kilt that comprises the lower half of a belted plaid. This for a distinctive garment with pleats that are already sewn in. Et voilà! The small kilt, or better known as the walking kilt, was born.
Rawlinson’s tartan skirt-like garment was a fashion hit. This small kilt with its distinctive sewn-in pleats is still a feature of today’s modern day kilts.
Ozkilts Utility Kilts
The kilt is a longstanding and much respected emblem of Scotland. We do acknowledge that the kilt’s modern day adaptation is somewhat contradictory due to claims from historians.
The modern utility kilt is more of an updated version of the Tartan Kilt, which is designed to perform multiple functions with varying materials and styles. You can find utility kilts made of faux leather, denim, polyester, and cotton. There is no history behind the use of these types of kilts.
Wool is the predominant material used in kilts. Other designers, on the other hand, use different materials in making their kilts, Ozkilts included. Many manufacturers have modernised the kilt by using premium cotton and incorporating detachable cargo pockets to highlight its function and utility.
Ozkilts Utility Kilts use 100% heavy-duty cotton. Cotton fabric is a lighter material to work with compared to wool, which also means that it is not hot when worn compared to wool. This provides our Ozkilts wearers unparalleled comfort and breathability, especially down there.
Ozkilts Utility Kilts are perfect to wear during high activity, especially during hot months. Our Cotton kilts will not cling to your skin and leave it irritated. Since the fabric will not cling, it will also spare you from chafing that heavy fabrics can cause, such as denim or wool.
When it comes to construction, our kilts come in both knife pleated or box pleated designs. This design implementation allows our pleats to hold tighter than that of more traditional tartan kilts.
Additionally, our kilts feature either a deluxe leather or Velcro strap fastening system. This allows for micro-adjustments when worn and ensuring a perfect fit every time, even if you gain or lose weight. This system is our reinterpretation of the traditional buckle hip fastening system.
Further, our kilts also sport large detachable cargo pockets that you can carry your things in and freeing your hands to do other activities.
Both Irish and Scottish people used to carry their stuff in a Sporran – a traditional Scottish pouch that served the same function as a pocket or purse, together with their belt. This is because traditional kilts do not have pockets.
Modern utility kilts, on the other hand, come with large detachable cargo pockets on either side.
How We Make Our Kilts at Ozkilts
The history of traditional kilts is as intricate as their patterns. As this is a handcrafted item, it involves the tedious process of using fabric and a needle without the use of any machine.
Modern utility kilts are made by machine to a large extent, with some handwork involved. Here at Ozkilts we are proud that all our utility kilts are handmade from 100% cotton to ensure maximum comfort and utility during any activity.
What Sets Us Apart
What sets us apart from other Scottish kilt companies is their use of the traditional woollen tartan, while we use highly durable cotton blends. Many run-of-the-mill kilt makers exclusively use cheap materials and their kilts are sewn using machines.
Though the Scottish kilts have had centuries of tradition behind them, we don’t. And despite being an Australian-based kilt company, there is one thing that we have that differences we have does not matter. We love kilts.
So if you love kilts as much as we do, why not connect with us through our Facebook and Instagram pages and join other like-minded kilted folks. And if it is high quality and highly durable kilts that you are looking for, look no further than Ozkilts. To answer any more questions you might have, do visit our FAKQS page. And like ‘Big Tam,’ you too can have a license to kilt.