Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How to felt a kilt

As I mentioned in my previous post I've been rather unwell.  Possibly run down a bit due to stuff going on outwith my control but I think I'm over the worst of it now.  The house is officially up for sale and I'm officially back in the job market.  Heyho, not the end of the world but not what I want to be doing hence the general lack of mojo.  A friend on FB shared the pic on the right there ------->  Good reminder to myself that I can do this.
A couple of weeks ago a friend forwarded me a wee advert she'd seen with the message "Saw this and thought of you."  A new craft shop is opening locally and are looking for unique items to sell.  I emailed them the link to my Etsy shop (see above) and they want to see my felted stuff!  Who knows what might happen? :-)
So when I was browsing in my local charity shop I was chuffed to bits to find this old kilt for sale.  It's a bit tatty and a weird size.  Obviously made for a short stout gentleman!!  It was £35.  Total bargain for a kilt as they can cost up to 4 figures!  I bought it on impulse (btw did you know some charity shops accept debit and credit cards??) knowing all I would need to do was make and sell a cushion and 2 brooches to recoup the cost.

I laid it on the floor to have a good look at it.  No label but I was sure it was 100% wool.

I unpicked the lining at the waist and was delighted to see it was a traditional handstitched kilt.

I trimmed the edge at the waist ready to unpick. It took over an hour to unpick all the pleats!!!

I laid it out on the floor and measured it.  Just over 7 metres or 23 feet of tartan!!  A traditional kilt should be in one continuous piece.  This one was in 2 pieces so obviously not a top of the range one! But cleverly stitched nonetheless.

I bundled it up and popped it in the washing machine with an old towel and washed it at 90 degrees centigrade. Three times!!

It was a bit scary checking it after 2 washes to see if had felted properly.  If a kilt even has 5% non wool fibres it won't felt.  It frays when you cut it.  But it was looking good so in it went for the third wash.  It's a lovely colour and will make some lovely cushions.  I could make 10 cushions from it so lots of profit from a £35 investment.

Now that's given me back some mojo!! :-)


  1. Great find that, well done. As you say, you'll soon recoup the money - good colours too. Love the pic of it all laid out lol


  2. What a fantastic score. I found your blog through Down to Earth and have to say I'm so glad I did. I love tartan! My granddad was from Dundee and I visited there many years ago. I felt right at home. I love the things in your Etsy shop and will be getting some Christmas presents from there. Keep up the good work.

  3. Hi Ali, is this tartan the Murray tartan. If it is, I might ask you to make a cushion for me, Murray was my maiden name.

  4. Lusks, it looks very much like a version of the Murray of Atholl tartan but it has a white line through it. I found an exact version with a yellow line online but it might just be how colours show on the computer. I can't say for sure it's definitely a Murray tartan. I can let you have a look at it if you want

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