Part of the reason for getting into this whole "year of the kilt" thing was to learn about the culture and everything that goes into the kilt-wearing world these days.
One thing that I've learned is that... not all kilts are what they appear to be, even when purchased from Scotland.
As I mentioned in the 6th episode of Year of the Kilt, I purchased two 8-yard kilts from two different companies, both based in Scotland, at two very different prices. Lo and behold, they are made by the same manufacturer - this one based in a small city in Pakistan that specializes in scottish exports of many varieties: kilts, bagpipes, sporrans, you name it, they make it. Companies in Scotland import these cheap knock-off kilts, often made of acrylic-wool blend or almost entirely acrylic, which happens to be highly flammable and doesn't share any of the water-shedding properties of wool. Not to mention, it is far lighter than wool.
Here are a few articles you might peruse before making your next knockoff kilt purchase.
After all this reading, I have come to a conclusion. To me, it doesn't matter one bit whether the kilt is made in Scotland, USA, Pakistan, whatever - as long as it fits, it lasts, and is comfortable. Some people are all into the Scottish heritage and hand-made blah blah blah. Not me. I'm not a Scot and I don't care where it comes from.
That being said, the leather on my Pakistani kilt looks to be fraying a bit, even after a mellow cycle in the wash and air-drying. That doesn't count as "lasting" and as such is a bit of a disappointment... but I will have to see how it holds up through future washes.
Ok, this isn't exactly a secret. I've owned my 5.11 Tactical Duty Kilt since they came out a few years ago... And I never realized there was a 7th snap, low on the left. This is the one that helps with what gets revealed with the "squat factor" that I discussed on a previous episode.
Offroading this last weekend, we managed to get my buddy's Tacoma stuck in some serious mud. I was wearing my typical camping kilt, which is fashioned after the Great Kilts of old. Essentially just 5 yards of fabric pleated up and belted on. It works great as a blanket, kilt, shade, tablecloth, and anything else you could use 5 yards of fabric for.
I ended up out of my boots and getting DIRTY, scooping the mud from underneath the front of the truck with my hands. We had a great time and got everybody un-stuck eventually.
I wear this kilt when I'm bumming around the house or when camping, almost exclusively. There is something about the versatility of such a simple garment that lends itself well to being out and about in the boonies.
Video this week might be a little delayed - I'm having trouble working out my schedule to film.