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The Knife Edge Pleated Kilt

The Muted McKenzie pleated to the stripe

Different types of pleating allows choice in the pleating of various tartan setts. There are essentially two main styles of pleating for kilts, knife edge pleating and box pleating.

This is the term used to describe pleats which, when sewn, reproduce the sett (or design) of the tartan in the pleated area. The ease (or on the other hand, the difficulty) of producing correct pleats wholly depends upon the design of the tartan, particularly the intricacy of the various checks and overchecks. It is the experience of the kiltmaker, which is important in visualising the end result.

MILITARY PLEATING ~ pleated to the stripe

Military pleating as the name suggests, is the style of pleating used for the production of kilts worn by Scottish Army regiments. It is said that military pleating was introduced to create a more striking effect and to introduce a very defined appearance of uniformity amongst the ranks. Military pleats should have a prominent line or lines running the length of each pleat.

Graham of Mentieth tartan front apron

Graham of Mentieth Tartan pleats to the sett

MILITARY PLEATS (alternative)
This is a variation of conventional military pleating where a prominent design feature runs the length of each alternate pleat as opposed to each individual pleat. A good example of this style of pleating is displayed in the kilts of the well known Queen Victoria Boys school of Dunblane which are made up from Hunting Stewart tartan with the pleats running in the alternating colours of red and yellow to the fore.

Hay Leith Tartan to the black broad stripe

Hay Leith Tartan to the Stripe in construction

The Muted McKenzie Kilt pleated to the stripe

Another interesting method of pleating, ‘to horizontal’, involves choosing block of colour without a vertical line in the sett for the folds that creates the illusion of a series of strong horizontal bands across the rear.

The McGregor tartan pleated to the Band

The Nicholson Tartan to the Band showing the flash of red as the pleats twirl.

The Nicholson tartan pleated to the Band