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5 Places to Find a Kilt Maker in Edinburgh

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Scottish kilts have a long history and tradition, which was kept alive to this day and on formal occasions where there are any Scottish people you may see men wearing kilts. If you are not from Scotland or the UK you probably haven’t seen many kilts, but for those travelling to the country and willing to buy authentic kilts we will be exploring where you can find kilt makers in Edinburgh.

What Is the Significance of Kilts in Scotland?

Although Scottish people are proud of their history and their kilts, this unique ritual may seem strange to non-Scots, therefore we will attempt to explain it. For someone of Scottish descent, wearing a kilt is a sign of clan loyalty. The battling army’s most effective weapon may have been the kilt, which was first worn by inhabitants in the Scottish Highlands. 

Before the 18th century, joining the British army was a requirement to wear a kilt in the Lowlands or Britain. Because of the swift and deft manoeuvres of the Highland soldiers, the English were worried that if they let everyone wear a kilt, it would spark the idea of a revolution.

A kilt serves more than just clothing. In Scotland’s Highlands, where the weather can get fairly gloomy, those who wore it were able to move much more freely. It had a tight weave constructed of strong wool that shielded the wearer from the rain. The pleated kilt provided the soldier with armour-like protection during ancient battles in Scotland. 

This item could be rapidly removed and spread out to serve as a blanket that the owner might use to stay warm on frigid nights. Finally, if the army wanted to advance with a much faster force, the garment could be swiftly removed, providing the soldier more freedom of movement.

Read More: Scottish Wedding Traditions: An In-Depth Guide 

Kilts, the traditional apparel of Scotland, are still widely worn today. One occasionally sees a variety of plaids, each of which represents the distinct clan to which the wearer belongs. It evokes the sense of pride that the people who lived above Scotland’s territory carried, although it is much shorter than the ones that the Highland soldiers formerly wore.

Photo by Borthwick Castle

Where to Find a Kilt Maker in Edinburgh?

nana and daniel aberfeldy and dewar's distillery wedding
Photography by Wildling Weddings

Several stores are selling authentic kilts in Edinburgh. Here is the list of the most prominent kilt makers in Edinburgh:

Geoffrey Kilts

Geoffrey Kilts is a family-run business that was founded in 1971 and has a wealth of experience and training in the craft of kilt manufacture. Geoffrey is a graduate of the London-based Tailor & Cutting Academy and became certified as a Master Tailor in 1969. This, together with the fact that his mother made kilts during World War II, supports the notion that Geoffrey was destined to pursue this line of work from the start. 

They offer both traditional and modern Highland Dress and are a supplier of Scottish-made products. When you choose Geoffrey as your kilt maker in Edinburgh you get a full bespoke tailoring service in addition to high-quality items. They cherish traditional values and the personal touch and provide guidance and knowledge when you’re thinking about making a purchase.

Kinloch Anderson

If you are striving for a fascinating man in a kilt appearance, Kinloch Anderson is a location of dreams. Kinloch Anderson, a long-standing retailer of Highland attire, focuses on custom-made, traditionally produced kilts, fabric and apparel. All kilts are produced in their facility in Edinburgh with extreme care for quality and every last detail. 

The expense is justified by the small elements, such as the personalised label within the kilt, flawless pattern matching on every item, and matching waistbands. In light of this, Kinloch Anderson is the kind of store to go to if you want to buy a kilt rather than just wear it sometimes.

Kinloch Anderson is a kilt maker in Edinburgh with a store which was opened more than a century ago on George Street in Edinburgh. Today you are ordering kilts from the sixth generation of kilt makers in Edinburgh, who have some major projects behind them, including uniforms for British aviation.

The company, which started as a modest bespoke tailoring shop, has now become a global brand through the careful nurturing of heritage and history. The business has almost 95 years of experience supplying the British Royal Family and now maintains three Royal Warrants of Appointment as tailors and kiltmakers.

Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers

For more than 30 years, Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers in Edinburgh has been creating kilts, using anything from the standard tartan suspects to unique designs. The quality is what distinguishes Nicolson from the competition. The hand sewing procedure and shaping ensure that this traditional garment is behaving as it should when worn, which requires a tremendous lot of work. 

Pleat lovers will be happy to learn that Nicolson pays close attention to the number sewn into each kilt. They have created some fantastic and unique tartans for institutions like Flodden, John Muir Way, The University of Edinburgh, and SiMBA tartans.

If you are unsure which tartan is for you, they can research if you email them the name you’re interested in. They will find tartan associated with your family name and this mystery can turn into a fabulous piece of traditional garment for you. However, if you know your tartan and they do not have it on their website, they will contact suppliers and find it for you, so this is a place for anyone looking to get a new kilt in Edinburgh.

21st Century Kilts

This company was named one of The 10 Best Independent Shops In Edinburgh by Guardian. 21st Century Kilts is a popular designer store that specialises in custom kilts. The company was founded in 1996 by Howie Nicholsby after he worked for several years with Geoffrey Kilts, and it was officially introduced in 1999 during London Men’s Fashion Week. Nicholsby, a renowned craftsman, is adamant that kilts make for practical, everyday apparel. 

This Scottish store is without a doubt the most fashionable place to find a cutting-edge take on a classic, offering everything from leather, pinstripes, and purple and gold denim. This exceptional kilt maker from Edinburgh was featured in Vogue, GQ, New York Observer, and more magazines worldwide.

Howie spends a lot of time abroad, attending events like the NYC Tartan Day celebrations, the Scottish Highland Festivals in the United States and Canada, a monthly fitting in London, and other exhibitions throughout the UK and the world. This is why if you want to order your kilt from 21st Century Kilts you need to make sure to schedule a meeting ahead of time because he sees each customer individually. 

Slanj Kilts

Slanj is the place to go if you’re having trouble deciding on a tartan and the appropriate attire. They will help you find your tartan, match your outfit, and provide everything you need for any formal occasion in your life. They have a magnificent assortment of colourful tweed jackets, endearingly funny Scottish t-shirts, a lustrous collection of kilts, and enough trews to last you the entire day. 

From Billy Connolly in an infinite supply of suits and kilts to the drummer for Kings Of Leon wearing a kilt, Mike Myers wearing the popular Superlion t-shirt, to Sean Connery wearing their tartan dinner jacket, Slanj has quite the reputation.

They can design a unique kilt for you, or you can hire an outfit for the occasion, there are many options they offer for every budget. If you want to order online they have a self-measuring guide on their website, and also they ship domestically and internationally all of their products.

kara and mark edinburgh elopement vennel edinburgh castle
Photography by Wildling Weddings - Eight Yards Kilts

Kilt Makers FAQs

There are many kilt makers in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland where you can order custom-made kilts. Also, some of the stores have a webshop so if you are not from Scotland they may ship internationally.

This depends on the amount of material used and the availability of the tartan. Could be anywhere from several hundred to nearly £1000. 

Before it is suitable for usage, authentic Scottish tartan goes through a difficult procedure. There is little room for error when dying wool because each fresh run must be a replica of the prior one. Wool must be dyed in the exact hues needed for the desired design.

Many Scottish men dress up for formal occasions like weddings and other special occasions by donning kilts, which are frequently considered a symbol of Scottish pride and heritage. Kilts are no longer just connected with Scotland, men from all over the world are now more likely to wear them.

Yes, absolutely. It is not cultural appropriation to wear a kilt. Anyone can wear it with pride and respect for Scottish culture because it is a garment that is supposed to be celebrated and shared with the entire world.

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