Page last updated at 08:53 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 09:53 UK

Bid to keep kilt-making in check

Ruthven Milne shows off a hand made kilt he has pinned up ready for sewing
Ruthven Milne shows off a hand made kilt he has pinned up ready for sewing

Some of the country's leading kilt-makers are meeting in Perth to determine exactly what is, and what is not, a Scottish kilt.

The organisers hope by outlining the skills needed to make a genuine kilt, they will be better able to protect the craft from cheap imitations.

Fashion and textiles body Skillfast-UK wants to create a set of National Occupational Standards.

They want to create a blueprint for the traditional kilt-making industry.

The meeting will cover general tailoring skills as well as construction techniques and specialist knowledge of tartan.

Kilt-maker Ruthven Milne said: "A kilt is a traditional garment, not a fashion garment.

"It is something that has been worn in Scotland for hundreds of years.

"It has changed over a period of time from a full kilt with a plaid down to a half kilt, which is just worn on the bottom half.

"It is hand-sewn, hand-made, made of very good quality material and it should have a traditional approximately eight yards, you can have more or less depending on the size of the person.

"There is a certain length it should be. It must be about an inch and a half from the floor when you are kneeling and it is pleated to the pattern that is in the kilt itself."

Jackie Cullen, from Skillfast-UK, said there was a "broad spectrum" of kilts produced in Scotland.

'Quality standard'

She said: "We are looking at preserving the traditional skills associated with the production of kilts in Scotland.

"The whole sector contributes about 350m to the Scottish economy.

"What we want to do is identify a quality standard through looking at the skills which are required in making this traditional product."

She said she wanted to maintain the distinctive, high-quality associated with Scottish kilts.


SEE ALSO
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