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The 55 Year Old McPherson Kilt – A Restoration

This kilt was brought to me by a gentleman in his middle eighties. He has had his kilt for 55 years and was keen to keep wearing it but didn’t know if it could be made wearable again. He wore it to significant occasions throughout his life and also to work – he was an architect and even ran up and down ladders in his kilt!

The kilt’s construction and stitching was failing. It no longer fitted him, the cloth was frayed and torn in places. It was faded slightly, due to some years working in the Sudan where he found the kilt comfortable to wear in the heat.

I restitched the broken stitching and patched the worst tear, repositioned the buckles, strap vent and the straps, replaced the canvassing and lining and realigned the apron and pleats with a final pressing.

The gentleman is so happy that he can wear his beloved kilt again. What a wonderful feeling when I waved them off.

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Before: The stitching of the pleats and the strap vent is too weak and unsupported. The position of the buckles is set too far back.

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Before: the Back view

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After: the pleats restitched and reinforced. The buckles and vent repositioned.

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Before: The original supporting canvas which was removed and replaced

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After: The pleats now supported with canvassing and pad stitching. The strap vent repositioned and remade

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Before: The strap vent stitching failed and positioned too far back

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Before: The apron does not fit well at the bottom and needs reshaped

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After: The apron realigned and sitting well at the bottom. The strap and its vent repositioned, reinforced with canvas and button hole stitching

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Before: The buckles positioned too far back

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After: The buckles re-positioned, apron and fringe adjusted with the original straps