Forum: Highland / Highland - Guys

Highland - Guys
Kilt weight for guys
By fusilli Comments: 31, member since Sun Oct 06, 2013
On Tue Oct 13, 2015 03:56 PM

Thinking I should invest in a standard dancing kilt for doing competitions I went to my local kiltmakers who do dance outfits for people fairly often, mostly women and girls predictably. They had a whole book of dancing tartans samples but said they were too flimsy for me and ruled them out immediately. I assumed they were intended for small girls but should have thought to ask the actual weight. How light is too light for guys? I heard 13oz is appropriate for any adult, male or female. Kids might have anything down to 10.

13 Replies to Kilt weight for guys

re: Kilt weight for guys
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Wed Oct 14, 2015 02:43 AM
My understanding is the only time you'd wear a 16 oz men's kilt is for formal events. For dance you want 11.5 oz to 13 oz. and about 7-8 yards for an adult. You will need movement in the kilt and lightness for higher jumps.

My 16 year old son wears kilts we have bought here from women. The dance kilts are unisex. 13oz should be just fine,
re: Kilt weight for guys
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Wed Oct 14, 2015 05:59 AM
What I've understood is that there is Light, Medium, and Heavy weight, with Dancers weight between Light and Medium.

Light weight cloth is generally considered to be in the 10 to 11 oz range. Medium weight cloth is 12 or 13 oz. And heavy kilt weight is considered to be 15 or 16 oz per yard.

Kids generally wear Light, teens wear Medium, and adult men wear Heavy weight. There really is no match for a well-made Heavy weight kilt, they truly look best and last longest.

As a male dancer I think Medium weight would be best > it gives you a nice mix between the lighter Dancers weight (which was developed for girls and women) and the Heavy weight which is too heavy to dance in.

Pipe bands generally wear Medium weight kilts (as far as I know) as they will look good on anybody.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By JustDancing4Fun Comments: 601, member since Mon Nov 13, 2006
On Wed Oct 14, 2015 07:12 AM
Pipe Bands wear worsted 16oz weight for kilts.

I have a 16 oz aboyne outfit as the plaid was on sale for a super price. It was meant for a pipe band, but they never raised enough money to get the kilts made. My mom's student has this plaid for her kilt.

My mom has some kilts that are worsted and a bit heavier. I've always liked the heavier to dance in.

Kilties are usually done in 10 oz, and kilts are in 13 oz.

Hope that helps some!
re: Kilt weight for guys
By fusilli Comments: 31, member since Sun Oct 06, 2013
On Thu Oct 15, 2015 05:26 AM
Edited by fusilli (261976) on 2015-10-15 05:27:17
Cheers are there any particularly good for making male dancing kilts? Most assume highland dancers are female, small and slim (one I phoned said 'when does she need it') or good at formal gents kilts in heavier tartans.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By JustDancing4Fun Comments: 601, member since Mon Nov 13, 2006
On Thu Oct 15, 2015 09:25 AM
Where are you located? Canada (which Province?) or USA (which State?) Europe?!

I think this will help us give you some options!
re: Kilt weight for guys
By argyle24 Comments: 51, member since Thu Sep 11, 2008
On Thu Oct 15, 2015 02:49 PM
As a kiltmaker, here is my response to your question.

A kilt is a kilt. Period. Men, women, pipers, dancers - all wear kilts, all of which are constructed in the same way. There is no "pattern" to make a kilt - construction is based purely on measurements. On account of that, a kilt made for a female usually has a greater differential between the waist and the hip - that's just how female bodies are built. A man's kilt will not have as much differential there. The construction methods are no different for a female dancer's kilt than for a male dancer's kilt than for a male bagpiper's kilt. Women who are not dancers may choose a kilt skirt - and that is a whole different type of garment.

As to weight of fabric, most dancer's kilts - male or female - are made from the dress tartans, which are made in 11-13oz weight or "light" class. This is also what kilties are made out of, albeit it with much, much less material. If you would like a kilt made out of a dress tartan, then you would have a kilt out of material of this weight. Once you have 7-8 yards of that around you, you'll likely not find it to be "lightweight"! A great many male dancers will choose dress tartans, so you'll not be odd man out if you do so yourself.

Per SOBHD standards, any registered tartan may be used for a kilt, so you are not limited to just the dress tartans, which incorporate a fair amount of white. You may choose any tartan, and should you like, pick something of a heavier weight such as a 16oz. That said, there is a reason a full yardage 16oz kilt is nicknamed a "tank" - it's heavy. As a dancer, you're competing/performing in a very athletic sport - it may only add an extra few ounces per yard, but it is a noticeable difference. In a single 6 step fling, you jump 192 times. You have to make that extra weight jump with you all 192 times - and that's just one dance. Another way to think about it is to think of track runners - come race time, they use racing flats to add as little weight to what they're carrying as possible because it adds up quickly and impacts the amount of effort you put out over the course of the event - or dance.

A kilt made out of a dancers tartan is not flimsy, and I would hazard a guess that the kiltmaker you spoke with may not have understood you were a dancer interested in a kilt, as opposed to a gentleman looking for a formal kilt for various Scottish events. World Champion dancers Daniel Carr and David Wilton, among many, many others dancers in dress tartans that weighed in at 11-13oz (the differential in weight can vary slightly dependent on which mill wove the tartan)

Good luck with selecting your tartan and getting your kilt made - it's an exciting process and there are hundreds of great choices out there!
re: Kilt weight for guys
By fusilli Comments: 31, member since Sun Oct 06, 2013
On Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:52 PM
Edited by fusilli (261976) on 2015-10-16 12:57:24
Hey great answer argyle, you sound quite experienced. I do know the construction of a kilt is the same as long as we do mean kilts not tartan skirts. The fabric and weight seems the problem, and yes it felt a little he didn't understand, though £450 sounded ott as well.

Strangely enough I'm in Scotland - no problem finding a formal gents kilts or kids dancing ones as there is huge demand for those here. Adult highland dancers are sure a rarity.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By Dancing_Pigletmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 601, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Mon Nov 02, 2015 01:46 PM
My mum makes both my sons kilts but they are both dress tartan and the same weight as the girls.

Where in Scotland are you? Have you tries all the usual places such as Piob Mhor, The Reel Highland Dance Supplies, Tailor Frank. There are probably more but these should all be capable of making a kilt to fit a male.

Hope this helps.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By fusilli Comments: 31, member since Sun Oct 06, 2013
On Fri Nov 27, 2015 08:04 AM
Is anyone familiar with the Bruichheath tartans from House of Edgar? I came across them recently and they are 13oz which I think is standard for adults, male or female. Some collections are 11 or 10oz, and if those are the ones the kiltmaker dismissed I can understand. The Red Lewis looks familiar.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By argyle24 Comments: 51, member since Thu Sep 11, 2008
On Mon Nov 30, 2015 08:46 AM
Yes, I used House of Edgar's Bruichheath tartan for my own dance kilt. The fabric is 13oz and has a nice feel to it. I did experience bad dye bleeding issues with the Gigha Cherry tartan specifically.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By fusilli Comments: 31, member since Sun Oct 06, 2013
On Wed Dec 23, 2015 04:46 PM
I quite like the red lewis in the HOE so think I'll try that. By all accounts 13oz is the standard for adults. DC Dalgleish only seem to do 11oz which by all accounts is for childrens kilts.
re: Kilt weight for guys
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Wed Dec 23, 2015 07:50 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-12-23 20:08:05
16 oz. is a 33% (1/3rd) increase over 12 oz, so not an insignificant additional mass.

(I've made a hybrid; part pleated tartan at the back / part canvas utili-kilt at the front; not for dance, band or formal wear obviously)
re: Kilt weight for guys
By macgregorje Comments: 25, member since Wed Jun 12, 2013
On Thu Feb 11, 2016 09:49 AM
My Son danced in competitions and he always said a little weight on the kilt helps but not super heavy!!! 16 is too much. Best of luck to you.