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October 2014

Happy Halloween

By USA Kilts October 31, 2014

How NOT to make an 8 Yard Machine Sewn Kilt

By USA Kilts October 30, 2014

While it's against our company policy to alter another company's kilt (you'll see why below), we have a pipe band in the Philadelphia area who now buys all their kilts from us who needed a favor. One of their older kilts (NOT made by us) was being passed down to a new member. As it was too long, the member came to us to have it hemmed. 

We 'bent the rule' b/c this was an existing band we service, so we wanted to help them out. After hemming the kilt, I decided to take a closer inspection of the craftsmanship to see how this certain kiltmaker crafts his kilts. Their retail price on an 8 yard kilt is $375 and I had a sneaking suspicion why, but I wanted to be sure. This kilt maker makes LOTS of kilts in the Pipe Band circuit and they have a reputation for being inexpensive. 

I took the lining up in the back of the kilt and here's what I saw... notice anything missing? Hint for those who don't know kilt construction: the canvas interfacing / reinforcement of the entire pleated section.



What you CAN'T see is that the canvas on the front apron doesn't connect to the straps either. Even though that canvas is in the kilt, it really doesn't serve any purpose as it's not put in properly. This kilt will 'stretch' over time and the wool will distort due to lack of internal construction.  Out of respect for our competitor, we won't post the name of the maker publicly. 

The old adage is true.  You DO get what you pay for. Even when one kilt maker is $75 or $100 less than the average price of a kilt for a pipe band, there is most likely a reason why. Above is the perfect example. In contrast, below is a kilt Rocky made for a customer, where we took pictures of during the construction process. While it's only 2/3 finished in these photos, it shows the internal construction which is missing from the kilt above.



Here's the front apron (back side) of ours. On THIS one I used a machine (vs. hand sewing) to sew the stiff canvas to the fringe side and through the straps. This means that as tight as you pull the straps, you're pulling the ENTIRE canvas section, not the wool itself (cutting down the 'distortion').

Hopefully this glimpse into the inner workings of a kilt helps to explain how a properly made kilt is constructed.

How to drink Whiskey

By USA Kilts October 23, 2014

We saw this ‘How to Drink Whisky infographic’ by John Cheung online today and decided to share it.  It really is great!


How to drink Whiskey

The neww site is up and running!

By USA Kilts October 14, 2014

We hope you like our new and improved website. There were 4 main reasons why we redid it:

 

1. To better show off the quality of our goods - All of our products are made in the UK, US, and Ireland. We're pretty darn proud of that fact. The quality of goods we offer is objectively higher than the quality of other items in the 'lower end' of the market. We aim to highlight that quality by showing more detailed shots of products (like we do on our homepage banners). This will take time (replacing all of our photos), but we'll get there!

Homepage Banner 

 

2. We put videos in their place - We have created a few dozen videos of Rocky explaining the difference between products, talking about product attributes and just giving overall tips to kilt wearers. We took those videos and put them on the appropriate product pages, right under the main pictures to highlight them better. We hope you find them useful!

Videos Tab on product page

 

3. We improved the speed of our package pages - Our old "package builder" system was functional, but very slow. We've revamped the way we approach packages and made it a "stepped process". This speeds up the page load times and gives us huge flexibility in the number of products we can offer in each package!  Check out the new package pages!

Package Deal 

 

4. We are now mobile friendly - Surfing on your phone and tablet has become the norm for many people. At USA Kilts, we want to stay on the leading edge of technology, so we've redone our website while constantly asking one question: How will this change affect mobile users? While we still have a few kinks to work out on mobile and tablets, we think the new responsive site is a HUGE improvement over our old one. Hopefully you do too!

Mobile version of USA Kilts website

 

We're always striving to improve our customer experience.  If you have any suggestions on how to improve our site, please let us know!