Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a Freedom Kilt different from other kilts?
There are three major points of difference between a Traditional Style Kilt, other Modern Kilts, and a Freedom Kilt.
The first is how we build the internal strength.
If a kilt is to look well, and last for years, some internal strengthening must be built into the kilt. In a Traditional Style Kilt this internal structure is hair canvas that is attached to the straps and buckles.In truth, you strap on the canvas allowing the outer fabric to “float” on the outside without stress on the stitching of the pleats.
In a Contemporary Style Kilt we had to find another method of providing this internal structure.At Freedom Kilts we have found a way to allow the wearer to strap or button on his kilt and still allow the outer fabric to float and move without binding or puckering and allowing the pleats to swish properly.
The Second big difference is accuracy.
At Freedom Kilts the shop measuring tolerance is 1/32″, or one Twill line of fabric.There is no other Contemporary Kiltmaker I know of that holds their product to such a high level of accuracy.This accuracy applies not only to the width of each individual pleat width but also to every other aspect of the kilt.We designed a measuring system that allows us to produce a kilt that fits its wearer perfectly.The waistband will stay in place with out drooping or riding up on your waist.The Fell is the correct length regardless of the waistband height. And the Kilt fits snug but not tight enough to cause the pockets to gape open.
The third thing we at Freedom Kilts are very particular of is the pleat hang and swish.
We have borrowed tips from Traditional Style Kilts that allow our pleats to remain straight and parrallel throughout the life of the kilt.We increased the depth of the pleats because the stock, machine washable, fabrics we use are usually stiffer than a Wool fabric of the same weight. We choose our fabrics to have the qualities that allow the best swish and yet resist deforming from the stresses of sitting or working in your kilt.
We also used the same Traditional kiltmaking methods to minimize as much as possible the curl of the edges of the pleats and the aprons that is so common on other Contemporary Kilts.
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How long will it take for me to get my kilt?
To find out how long our current wait time is please look in the “News” section. We like to get a kilt to you between 6 and 8 weeks but sometimes the number of orders in front of you will prevent that. If you really need your kilt for a special event please let us know by phone or e-mail before you place your order.
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How much fabric will there be in my kilt?
If your kilt is to be made from one of our 35 solid and Camo fabrics the amount of fabric needed will depend on two things, the pleating you choose and your hip size.
If your kilt is to be made from a Tartan, your hip size and the size of the Sett of the Tartan will determine the amount of fabric needed.
On average a Freedom Kilt will use slightly more fabric than a Traditional of the same size. This is due to the generous pleat depth we build into our kilts. Our kilts also feature very large deep and reverse pleats to allow the aprons to drape between your legs when sitting.
We do not make, or offer, short yardage kilts such as the “5 yard” kilts you may see advertised elsewhere.
(Most fabrics today are sold as “double-width” or 54″ to 60″ wide. To make an 8 yard kilt we need to buy only 4 yards of “double-width fabric.)
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Can I have something that is not shown on the website?
Of course. We are custom kilt makers. Every Kilt we make is built to each customer’s individual specifications. If you have an idea for your own personal kilt we are only a phone call or e-mail away.
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Why do you have so many different options?
The options we offer were designed to meet the requests we were getting from our customers. Each customer can choose the exact fabric they wish for their kilt. They can choose how they want their kilt to fit, the pleating style, number of pockets and their placement.
Each customer has a different idea of what the perfect kilt should be. We believe that, instead of making our idea of the perfect kilt, that we should listen to our customers needs and wants.
Other kiltmakers make the same kilt over and over. They may use a different fabric or offer one or two unique features. We prefer to allow each customer to customize his kilt to his needs and preferences.
If you ask yourself the same question we ask each customer, “What do you want to do in your kilt?”, I think you will understand why we offer so many options.
Every Freedom Kilt is a totally custom made garment.
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Why do you ask for so many measurements?
We allow our customers to specify where they will wear the waistband of their kilt.This is quite different from other kiltmakers.If you look in a mirror at the waistband of a pair of jeans you will see that the front is significantly lower than it is in the back.This difference is called slope.In general, the lower you wear the waist of your kilt and the more stomach you have the more slope will be evident. By including slope in our measurement system we insure that the apron of your kilt will hang properly.Other companies charge extra for sloping the aprons. We feel that a proper fitting kilt should not have a large pucker or bulge in the aprons just because slope was not accounted for.
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A History of the Kilt
Many have researched and written about the history of the kilt better than I ever can. We know that the kilt we wear today is a product of Victorian Era Romance Period. Anything from an older and ‘simpler’ time took on an aura that bordered on hysteria, and Highlanders of Scotland and the American Indian were near the top of the list.
The kilt as we know it today, is a completely made-up garment. This is why the Contemporary Style Kilt with its non-tartan, wash and wear fabrics and cargo pockets is just as valid a garment as any other. The only things you need to ask yourself about your clothes are; Are they comfortable? Are they practical to my lifestyle? And do I look good wearing them. Here at Freedom Kilts we know the answers are YES! YES! And YES!!!
The Care & Feeding of your Freedom Kilt
At Freedom Kilts we try to produce a garment that will retain its good looks for years of everyday use. We choose our fabrics and fittings to be as durable and low maintenance as possible.
Solid colored and camo fabrics
If you chose one of our polyester/cotton blended twills (in the denim family), 100% cotton twills, or one of the canvas fabrics, your kilt is intended to be machine washable and dryable. To keep the kilt looking good over several years and repetitive washings, some care is required.
Your kilt should be machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle with similar colors.
Any detergent can be used but we suggest a liquid detergent suitable for cold water. This is because some powdered detergents and soaps may not fully dissolve in cold water.
You may dry your kilt in a machine but remember it is the tumbling action that causes shrinkage over time. Use a Cotton or Permanent Press setting and remove the kilt before the cycle has finished and while it is still slightly damp.
After laundering, hang your kilt with heavy-duty skirt or pants hangers following the instructions below.
Over time, the edges of the pleats will have a tendency to curl. This is normal for cotton fabrics. To remove the curl and return the crisp appearance, you can iron your kilt on a cotton or permanent press setting. Remember to lay out the pleats keeping the edges parallel and not flared like a fan. Alternately you can use a small steamer.
While the kilt is hanging, pass the steamer down the pleats allowing any wrinkles to fall out and smooth the pleat edges with your hand. A more casual appearance can be achieved by snapping each pleat by hand and then smoothing out any curls with your fingernail.
This kilt is made from 100% wool, with pockets constructed of pre-washed polyester/cotton black fabric, and leather straps.We ship the kilt to you with the pleats basted.Carefully cut the basting at each pleat and remove it.Do not try to pull the basting thread through several pleats at the same time — it can damage the wool.If your kilt gets dirty, and you feel you need to get it dry-cleaned, check to make sure that the cleaner you use is experienced with working with woolen kilts.This is particularly important when it comes to the pressing of the pleats.If you are unsure of the cleaner, ask him not to press the kilt, and do it yourself. Re-baste the pleats as they were when you received it so they are flat and straight. Then press down with an iron on a wool setting using a damp press cloth.It is the heat of the steam and the pressure that sets the pleat crease. Don’t slide the iron over the pleats but press, pick up and re-position the iron and press again.You will need to press both on the right side and then, turning the kilt over, on the wrong side.
Hanging and storing your kilt
Many shops sell what they call “Kilt Hangers”. Often at pretty high prices.
We are taking down and hanging kilts all day long and found a real simple and inexpensive way to hang kilts.
The really great part is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on special hangers.
Start with two inexpensive skirt or pants hanger. The kind with clips.
.Start by folding your kilt in half, with the apron edges together.
Then using two skirt or pants hangers, clip one on the aprons and one on the pleats.
Then fold it in half again so the two hangers come together.
This method will support the full weight of a 16oz kilt.
You are only going over two layers of kilt. No more kilts falling off the hangers onto the floor.
The pleats and aprons will remain wrinkle free.