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Talk & Demonstrations

The tartan and the kilt

Talk & demonstration

Delivered at Askival or venue of your choice by arrangement. The workshops can range from 45 minutes to 3 hours and tailored to the interests of the group.

1. The Tartan and the Cloth
➢ Discover the origins of the tartan, the “fall and rise” of the tartan, and how it is associated with the Scottish heritage.
➢ Learn about the influences that affected the tartan and the kilt: The Jacobites; King George II; The Dress Act 1746 which was part of the Act of Proscription; the Revival; Walter Scott and King George IV visit to Scotland; the military i.e. Gordon Highlanders and the Black Watch. ➢ Find out about the Tartan and the Kilt in action, the part it played in the Highland Regiments. What was it like to wear during the extreme conditions? ➢ Tartan today – nationally and internationally.
➢ The Tartans – Look at, touch, and discuss Learn about the range of tartans; the different weights of cloth; and clan setts which are available in different styles and use of colours.
➢ Designing a tartan
➢ See how versatile and magical the tartan can be in the art of kilt making.
2. The Kilt
The Evolution of the Kilt
➢ From the feilidh-mor (the big kilt), the feilidh-beag (the little kilt), and then the tailored kilt.
The Art and Craft of the traditional tailored kilt
➢ The Tartans – Look at, touch, and discuss Demonstrate and describe: the process of the traditional tailored kilt making and why it is constructed the way it is; the math; the intuition; the variations of pleating… ➢ The difference between good and bad kilts, how to tell a well made tailored kilt and how it should fit.


Visitors and groups up to 25 people are welcome by arrangement to visit the studio and discover the art of kilt making. I talk about the history of the kilt and the Highland attire, the tartans, and the construction of the kilt. There will be kilts in construction and finished to view.

Classes are open to all ages and abilities. Dates by arrangements. I aim to work with students to accommodate work life balance and location

“There is something special when creative people get together.” – Joy Mangano

“What a great morning we had with Marion. Her presentation left all of us with so much greater appreciation and understanding of kilts and those gorgeous tartans. Our visit was a very rich experience for all of us.

Marion was able to teach us about not only the construction of the kilts but the emotional connection they have to Scots was really eye-opening. I personally was very moved by the accounts you related to us about the effect of troops wearing their kilts and having a piper accompanying them into battle. It conjured up such a powerful image for me, I can see why their enemy would have been very frightened by such a mighty and unified front coming at them! It was a high point for me and for all of my tour members. And we all loved her lovely tartan scrap bundles!”

Kathy Brassil, Handcrafted Holidays Washington USA