Quality Control

I do many alterations to kilts made by other people.  Although the quality of the garments varies, I got one a few weeks ago that was noteworthy for all of the wrong reasons.  Here’s a photo:

There are a number of issues with this kilt.  The most obvious is the puckering at the lower part of the pleating, and the showthough of some of the stitching.  Incorrect steeking and application of interfacing is what causes this.  The other issue is the small “steps” between pleats, which cause it to “go uphill”.  This matching is THE most visible thing a kiltmaker does.  It HAS TO be perfect.  The red stripes aren’t centered perfectly either.  The top band is poorly handled, and puckers badly.

This kilt will never sit straight on the wearer, and never look right to my eyes at least.  Most customers would never know that there was a problem.  I can’t fix everything about a kilt like this without taking it completely apart.  My job here was to move the buckles and straps so that the kilt would fit after the owner lost a significant amount of weight, so that’s what I did.

I see work like this many times during the year.  It’s not what I would send out with my name on it, but it’s out there.

Here’s my most recent order, for a Lincoln, NH police officer.  It is New Hampshire tartan, pleated to the stripe.  With this type of pleating, accuracy is key.  This is a work in progress, not pressed at all, but I think that you can see how picky I have to be about matching.

This kilt will have 29 pleats, and the white and red stripes need to go absolutely straight across.  It’s a real challenge, but I’ll persist until it’s perfect.