kilt, BlackWatch

Traditional kilts

Black Watch

The tartan

Black Watch may very well be the number two tartan in popularity - after Stewart Royal. It is a universal tartan and therefore for any man to wear. Women will wear it too, because it is very often used for kilted skirts or just skirts. You may also see it used in interior design. The main colour is green/blue but on many of the pictures below it was necessary to lighten up colours in Photoshop, or the kilt had appeared black. Hence the name Black Watch.

The kilts (3)

In this gallery there are three different kilts in Black Watch tartan, starting out with a 5 yard off-the-peg kilt from Irish company, O'Neil of Dublin.

The next kilt is from Heritage of Scotland, a 5 yard kilt made-to-measure.

Kilt #3 is a very cheap kilt from Tartanista.

You'll notice that the tartans are not 100% identical. That is due to the fact that several varieties of the Black Watch tartan exist and that colors may vary from mill to mill and even from production to production. Also the fabric plays a role. No doubt the tartan used on for the Tartanista kilt comes from Pakistan or China.

#1 O'Neil of Dublin
The fabric is 10 oz. wool, meaning it is a lightweight kilt. The length is 23". Something special is that it is not lined, which you can see on picture 2/32. The sewing quality is excellent, however. And so is the fabric. O'Neil has an assortment of men's kilts in four tartans. Black Watch is one of them.

#2 Heritage of Scotland
The kilt is branded John Morrisom, being once the name of Heritage of Scotland's bespoke kilts, but today the company will use this designation for ladies' ready-made kilts only. The length is 23" and the fabric is 16 oz. wool. In some of the pictures, 11/32 and 12/32, it is worn with accessories for dress-up events.
If you compare this kilt with the O'Neil kilt above, it is obvious that the O'Neil kilt has more, but not as deep pleats. Just two different ways to handle 5 yards of fabric.

#3 Tartanista

The kilt is a 5-yard Value Kilt. It is cheap, really cheap. If your waist size is that of a teen-age boy, 30", it can be yours at £16.95. If you are a man with a little more substance it is £22.95 from 34" to 42", And from 50" to 54" you only have to pay another £2 on top. With three tartans, one of them being Black Watch, you can, besides 24", also have it 22" and 26".

I went for the short version, which I could wear either at shortest correct length (one inch above knee) or shorter.

And what do you get for that little money?
That was what I wanted to find out when I ordered this kilt. Well, pleats are NOT sewn down; you may take a look at picture 29/32. This I could already tell from the pictures on Tartanista's website, so that was what I expected. But it is lined and the thread which keeps it in place, cleverly also keeps the pleats together and thereby gives you the feeling of a fell.
The kilt has three buckles and straps of reasonable quality. Two straps of a better quality had been better than these three, however.
The sewing quality is pretty inferior, even the low price taken into consideration.
Acrylic fabrics tend to peel, but this "10 oz. 100% acrylic" one does it by far more than any other fabric, I have seen.

If you should buy this kilt, I suggest that

1) you never wear a sporran. Keeping a sporran away from the front apron should help against peeling.

2) you always wear it with a belt. On my kilt the buckle at the hip literally fell off it. It could just as well have been the more important one above it.

Value for money? The answer is NO. Despite it's very low price, it is by all means too bad to qualify for any recommendation.

I have been dealing with Tartanista several times and have a very good impression of the company. Freight is cheap, delivery fast and quality good, this non-value "Value" kilt being an exception. Pictures are showing the kilt when it was new.