With Robert Burns’ birthday and its accompanying celebrations just around the corner, lots of kilts are emerging from the closets where they have been hibernating for at least several months. Some have been in there for years, and are only now coming out into the light of the day, only to have their owners sigh in dismay as they discover that something has changed – either that kilt has mysteriously shrunk while in the closet, or its owner has changed size. Or, the kilt has fallen off of its hanger, and looks like a heap of rags. Now what?
There is a quick fix for the suddenly too-small kilt. You can get extender straps, which are available online, and just buckle or sew them on. You will be able to put the kilt on, but there will be a gap between the apron edge and the inverted pleat. At least you will be covered, and you will not be uncomfortable at dinner.
The heap of rags is another story. The first thing you can do is to hang the kilt up properly, and steam it a bit with an iron without touching the tartan. Give it 24 hours, and many of the wrinkles will hang out. If further attention is needed, get a pressing cloth (mine is a piece of muslin, but old cotton sheets work great) and a spray bottle, and press the aprons from the wrong side with the iron set on “wool”. Do not iron directly on the tartan. You can press the pleats IF you carefully line them up, but generally I would only do this if the bottoms of the pleats were basted together.
Once you have the kilt straightened out, brush off that jacket, polish your shoes, and get ready for a fantastic evening of haggis and poetry!