Pleat Progress


I’ve now sewn down 14 of 23 pleats. One of the things that seems a little bit vague on paper in The Art of Kiltmaking is what to do when you reach the end of your first 4-yard length of fabric (if you use double-width fabric, you’ll be working with two four yard pieces instead of one eight yard piece), but by the time you get to that point, it becomes clear; fold the last pleat on your first piece of fabric, fold the first pleat on the second piece of fabric, and pin it up and sew just like any other pleat. The ends of the fabric get sewn together inside the fold later on.


As I said in a post on X Marks the Scot, I always try to walk the fine line between “Prepared to fail” and “Prepared to be pleasantly surprised” whenever I’m trying something for the first time. I’ve had a few people warn me that cotton doesn’t hold pleats well (it may be necessary to stitch the edge of each pleat), and is prone to wrinkling and shrinking. I would expect all of those things to happen when running a kilt through the wash like a pair of pants, so as far as washing goes I’d probably opt for gentle agitation in the bathtub, squeezing (not wringing) and laying flat to dry… if it’s a wearable garment and if I warm up to the solid black look to wear it frequently enough that care & feeding are an issue; I’m already thinking ahead to kilt #2, which will probably be made out of polyviscose tartan. I understand Marton Mills is a well-regarded and affordable source - specifically their Balmoral range.