Today's blog comes from Emma, a multi-tasker who flits from the dispatch department to customer service depending where we need her most.Being the newest member of the team my knowledge of the business and our lovely products is growing all the time. I’m now even able to distinguish the Grahams from the Gordons and the MacLachlan from the MacLennan, however I suspect it’ll be a while before I can recognise all 500 of our tartans! One of the most exciting jobs in the office is answering the telephone. With every call comes the opportunity to chat to a new customer to discuss their specifications for their custom made items, guide them through the ordering process or answer any questions they have about our products. One question I was recently asked:
‘Should I have my kilt made to Sett or to Stripe?’Well, I wasn’t sure about this one and I hadn’t been asked this before so off I went to find out. Basically it’s all about the pleats. Pictured left is a kilt made "To Stripe" and to the right is "To Sett". It is quite impressive how different they look and now we will try to explain how this look is achieved.
To SettTo Sett is to have a continuation of the pattern of the tartan through the pleats so that the front looks very similar to the back. This is the most popular way to have a Kilt made. The size of the sett (pattern) in your chosen tartan will affect the number of pleats you have and the mark of a quality kilt maker is amongst other things their ability to match the tartan in the pleated area. The average man requires between 25 and 34 pleats, and many more or less will make the pleats look too narrow or too wide.
To StripeTo stripe is to have every pleat identical with a vertical tartan stripe centred on each pleat. This way the back looks different to the front. This is traditionally the way that military kilts were made and it was said they were made this way to give a more striking and uniform effect. This method was also more cost effective as in some tartans more pleats per metre of fabric can be achieved by pleating "to Stripe" and these days some schools even pleat to alternating colours to minimise the use of fabric. Really it’s up to personal preference which way you would like to have your Kilt made. To Sett is the most popular but can take a little more time and fabric than to Stripe. In addition some people prefer the look of the ‘swish’ in a kilt made to Stripe than to Sett. However depending on the sett size not all tartans look good to Stripe so choose your tartan first, then decide how you want to have it made.
Either way, if you are looking to invest in a Kilt we are always glad to take you through all the steps to help you choose a Kilt that is exactly what you want and looks fantastic.