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Reflections in a kilt

About the blog

This weblog is mainly to describe slices-of-life in a kilt and with the objective, of course, that more men shall make the kilt a valuable addition to their wardrobe.

The more we are the easier it is.

Is kilt making in Scotland on its way down?

Uncategorised Posted on Wed, February 10, 2021 08:40:12

It might very well be the case. At least two major kilt providers are now concentrating on imported kilts. In September or October last year Kilt Society stopped taking orders on their fine custom kilts and shortly afterwards Heritage of Scotland, without notice, had stopped too. I have bought several excellent made-to-measure kilts from Heritage of Scotland, when they were still branded John Morrison.
No doubt, competition from Far East in general and through 2020 and continuing in 2021 the Corona pandemic must be a big problem, the latter especially for kilts to be worn at special events, which to a great extent must have been cancelled and with 2021 so far worldwide looking problematic, too.
I don’t know how enterprises like Kilt Society and Heritage of Scotland are organized. I always thought that they had their custom kilts made by kilt makers working free-lance, at home, but if they have been on the payroll, it is obvious that no or few orders mean that fix cost must be reduced. And probably starting before Corona.
When I was a customer at Heritage of Scotland delivery time for a John Morrison kilt was max 42 days or 6 weeks. And contrary to many other vendors they delivered on time or earlier. Later it could be “anything between 9 and 15 weeks”, as far as I remember their website. Most unsatisfactory, of course, and one reason why this vendor to me turned out to be a less obvious choice.
Longer waiting times could be because of growing demand, but more likely, it was due to fewer kilt makers working within the company, eventually ending up with no one at all. Again, meaning departure from this part of the business.
There are still Scottish providers of custom kilts, also at reasonable prices. But otherwise, it might become a market dominated by “imported” kilts, being they ready-made or sewn-to-measure. Like it is the case with other clothes, from cheapest ones to most expensive brands.
And are kilts worn the way I think they should be worn, as daily attire or attire for the spare time, rather than for too seldom occurring events, the condition is affordable kilts.

Kilts and Brexit

Uncategorised Posted on Tue, February 09, 2021 18:49:34

If you are living in the UK or in the US or Canada, Brexit probably has meant nothing regarding prices on kilts and accessories. But to European Union citizens like me it has. Where it until January 1, 2021 was just about ordering what you wanted, pay at check out and wait for it to be delivered, it had not only become more complicated, but it has also made things from UK more expensive – and that despite the “free trade” agreed upon in the very last minute, so to speak.
Yes, there is no customs duty to pay when you buy from an English or Scottish seller – provided the good is manufactured in UK from components, made in UK. And how do you know?

Buying a kilt made in Pakistan from a British vendor means customs duty and VAT hereof. Fortunately, only if the price of the kilt does exceed 150 Euros equalizing about 120 GBP. And, fortunately, hardly any Pakistani made kilt amounts to that. But be careful not to order accessories together with it, which might also be “imported” and could therefore bring the total value above the limit.
And even if no customs duty applies, you must pay local VAT and a customs clearance fee, which might be around 18 GBP. Make sure that the seller has deducted British VAT, before you pay!
The VAT rate of your EU-country might be lower, the same or higher than the British VAT. But one thing is for sure, every online purchase in UK is now around 18 GBP more expensive than before Brexit. On a kilt costing 250 GBP it is 7% more. But on a sporran, costing 25 GBP it is 72% more!
Probably, spontaneous purchases by EU-citizens shall become rare. Unfortunately.