What’s the best material and weight for my needs?
We supply a very wide range of fabrics, so we can’t answer every question here. If in doubt, our customer service team is trained to advise on every need, so please just ask! Meanwhile, here are some broad pointers.
This depends mostly on your use. For garments, most people prefer natural fibres, such as wool or silk. But for homewares such as tablewares an easily washable artificial fibre might be better. Garments like kilts should normally always be in Pure New Wool. But we also offer polyviscose and other man-made fabrics, which may be preferred for either hypoallergenic qualities or ease of cleaning.
Tartan accessories and garments (with the exception of kilts) are mostly made in lighter weight tartans, or perhaps even in tartan silks. This is largely a matter of taste. A woollen tie, for example, could be made in anything from a featherweight 8oz fabric up to a heavy weight 16oz. But such a heavy wool would be rare for a woman’s skirt. In general, lighter fabrics are smoother, and heavier can be more coarse, so you may wish to bear this in mind when choosing items such as scarves that sit against the skin.
Tartan for a traditional kilt is most popular in Medium Weight wool (e.g. 13oz) but most traditional in Heavy Weight (e.g. 16oz or even 18oz ‘Regimental’). Medium weight gives a good balance of warmth, crease-retention, durability, swing, and ease of wear. With heavier fabrics you gain greater durability, creasing, and swing, but it is literally a heavy garment. If you live in a very hot climate, you might prefer a Light Weight fabric; this is cooler to wear, but is likely to need more regular pressing of the creasing at the rear, and may not swing quite so impressively when moving.