by Ruari Halford-MacLeod, class leader
Nine folk have started making box pleated kilts in an evening class at The Black Watch Castle and Museum.
After an introduction about the origin of the box pleated kilt, first worn in 1796 when military uniforms changed, and some instruction about how to set about making the kilt, nine intrepid souls went out and purchased their tartan. Two meters of double width cloth is enough to make a box pleated kilt.
There are four men in the class, as well as four folk who travel from Edinburgh.
Last Thursday the kilt makers gathered in the Copper Beech Cafe to set about marking up the cloth; calculating the number of pleats and their width and then marking the cloth with the front and inside aprons.
The homework for the kilt makers was to tack up all the pleats inside and outside the kilt and then press the pleats flat.
In this Thursday’s session the kilt makers will begin sewing in the pleats – what makes the kilt hang on the hips – and pinning in the inside and outside aprons.
The images above demonstrate tacking up the pleats on a box pleated kilt. Left, the box pleats are tacked in with a ladder stitch, bottom left. Where the pleats are to be sewn together a locking ladder stitch is used. Right, the box pleats being sewn in. Note the locking ladder stitch, below. Above, the threads of the tartan have been lines up with pins and brown thread is being used to sewn the pleats together.