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Restoration & Alterations

A new lease of life

Kilt Alteration & Restoration

Have you a precious kilt that has been with you for a large part of yours or your family’s life and doesn’t fit any more or looks the worst for wear? Has the kilt belonged to someone dear to you and needs reconditioned and refitting?

You can send the kilt to me for assessment or have a zoom consultation.

The tartan cloth woven in the UK is of excellent quality and has great value. Once the kilt is deconstructed and the cloth cleaned it can start a new life.

Never give up on the kilt especially if the cloth is good. I’ll always do my best to enable you to keep a much loved kilt in your life.

My technical understanding of the kilt’s construction and traditional tailoring knowledge and skills, enables me to refit or restore your elderly or slightly damaged kilt to as near its former glory as is practicably possible, allowing you to enjoy the company of your beloved kilt for many years to come and pass it on.

If it is moth eaten, I can replace some of the the damaged cloth to ensure it looks good and fits well.

In October 2023 Helen McCook of the Royal School of Needlework and the College of Master Kilt Tailors are working together to further develop the restoration and alteration component of the accredited training programme to include Textile restoration, reweaving, invisible and visible mending.

I normally wet clean the kilt before working on it. So a kilt clean and the necessary adjustment, or deconstruct and reconstruct, mending holes, reshaping or replacing aprons, new canvases, lining, sometimes straps and buckles, replacement cloth will basically cost between £298 and £690 plus the cost of any new tartan, top quality buckles, and top grade leather accessories.

A total deconstruction, clean the cloth, and rebuild using the craftmanship of the bespoke tailor with as much future proofing as possible with the cloth provided will cost £1100. This will include new canvases and linings, possibly waistband, leathers, and buckles. Remember the cleaning and deconstruction and replanning is additional to a new creation with new cloth.

A bespoke tailored kilt is £1500 including the cloth, which takes 7 to 8 days work plus 2 fittings if possible (I can guide a measure session b y zoom if you are too faraway to visit)  as apposed to 1 to 2 days work on kilts, said to be hand made for the commercial market.

Your kilt with its life stories will look amazing and ready to be with you for many, many, more years

Alteration of 4cm plus will require the aprons to be dismantled, resized and possibly repositioned. Sometimes the number of pleats may need to be increased or decreased.

Restoration may range from unpicking completely and carrying out total reconstruction with new canvasses and linings to re-stitching and reinforcing worn pleats, repairing minor tears or moth holes, or replacing straps and buckles that have seen better days. Even discretely inserting a new piece of tartan if the tartan can be matched.

The amount of future proofing in the kilt’s present construction will also determine the amount of work involved in the refit.


Before: Often the cloth is still looking good but the original construction has not endured the wear and tear. Here the belt loop and the vent are limp and worn as they have no support from canvassing

After: The belt loop, buckle chape have been remade with new fabric and along with the strap vent, all reinforced with canvassing. New button hole stitching to reinforce the vent.