Category Archives: Highland Accessories

We’re talking about Santa. But what about Burns?

Highland_kilt_made_in_scotlandHandmade_highland_kilt_scotland_peter_johnstonBespoke_trews_by_peter_johnston

Everybody is talking about Christmas. But what about when the tinsel comes down? Burns Night will creep up on us. We’ve been caught out in the past with a ‘nothing to wear’ moment, but not this year, we are planning in advance. 

If there’s any Scottish blood in your veins, chances are that you own, or are considering purchasing, a kilt or tartan trews. A recent survey* revealed perceived Scottish values as tenacity, independence, patriotism, loyalty and honesty so its easy to understand why comments such as “makes me proud . . . makes me feel connected to Scotland . . . enhances my sense of who I am.”
 are often associated with wearing quality highland dress. 

Compare the 4-5yards of cloth required for a gents bespoke suit with the minimum 8 yards required for a hand-made Peter Johnston kilt and you start to understand the quality and movement of the hand folded pleats. 

A quality kilt needs to hold its shape, hang well and move with a graceful swing. With over 40 years’ experience in the art of kilt making, our traditional kilt makers work by hand, each kilt using around 6000 stitches and over 12 hours’ hand work, using a minimum of 8 yards of heavyweight 16oz 100% pure new worsted wool; its labour intensive work. We chalk, cut and canvass by hand and use natural heavyweight canvasses and trimmings throughout construction.  

We apply the same level of care and attention to making trews. They have distinctive features that require the skills of specialist bespoke cutters and tailors who can expertly cut and hand craft a fishtail back, cut a pattern narrow in the leg but high in the body to sit about three inches above the natural waistline. In addition, in order not to break the check of the tartan setting, our trews are without side seams – a design feature that requires care and skill in creating trews that are both pleasing to the eye and a good fit.

A traditional kilt or trews is usually a lifetime purchase. Chances are that yours will serve you well at weddings, christenings, burns night suppers, rugby matches and more. So, how to care for them?  

  • Only store your kilt or trews once they have had a chance to fully dry out. Wool is a natural fibre so drying out is essential to avoid mildew. 
  • Hanging – we like the newest hangers that clamp the full width of the waistband therefore avoiding any sagging spots. If space allows, hang free and unsquashed.
  • Role it – this is a great method for storing and travelling with kilts. Lay it flat, inside out and roll. Lay your rolled-up, flat kilt in a drawer or at the bottom of your suitcase. The beauty of this method is that it keeps your pleats in alignment. 
  • Moths – wool moths are attracted to dark spaces. Do use mothballs and periodically brush your kilt or trews to remove any sign of moth larvae. They are incredibly hard to see so ensure you brush every pleat and crease. 

Follow this advice and with a little TLC your kilt or trews should last you a lifetime. 

Bespoke kilt and trews making is in some ways, the antithesis of fashion. Having been around for hundreds of years they are still completely relevant today. Highland dress garments are sophisticated examples of a tailor’s skill. 

THE PETER JOHNSTON BESPOKE HIGHLAND DRESS COLLECTION INCLUDES BESPOKE KILTS, TREWS, HIGHLAND JACKETS AND ACCESSORIES. EACH PIECE IS MADE IN SCOTLAND USING TIME-HONOURED TECHNIQUES AND CRAFTSMANSHIP. EVERYTHING IN THE COLLECTION CAN BE PERSONALISED. 

To make a bespoke appointment simply email bespoke@peter-johnston.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0)131 225 4318

*US Survey (Campbell Rinker)