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Fraoch Lodge & The Cairngorms National Park

Where to see a kilt being made?

On February 11, 2019 By Rebecca Field

Review of Scottish Kiltmaker’s Exhibition

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The exhibition is very small but interesting nonetheless. There is probably the most extensive collection of tartan samples you’ll ever see in one section all labelled with the clan to which they are associated. Some you’ve probably never heard of or seen before, but they come in all shades of the rainbow. You’ll probably find one to suit your taste in the colour spectrum, even if your family is not associated with the clan.

You can also work your way around the sections of models displaying full Highland dress which have been acquired or donated to the exhibition; from military dress to the outfit worn in Braveheart.

There’s also a brief film including snippets from a couple of Carry On films showing the world-wide influence of tartan and the kilt in music and film as well as on Scotland as a whole. It also details how the kilt is made and shows the qualified kiltmakers at work in all stages of making a kilt. What I didn’t realise before visiting the exhibition is that every stage of these kilts is made by hand.

If you visit on a weekday, you’ll also get to see the kiltmakers as work. It’s basically a wee cottage industry in a large room upstairs from the shop. You need space to make a kilt due to the length of tartan which has to be measured out.

The whole visit is unlikely to take more than an hour, but will provide you with a talking point at the end of the day and some fascinating information to take home with you.

The Scottish Kiltmaker’s Exhibition in Inverness is part of the Tarten and Tweed (self-guided tour) based at Fraoch Lodge

Here’s a question to consider: how many sheep’s fleeces would it take to make one kilt?

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