To get the picture...
The Box pleat, consisting of a round pleat/box pleat, is probably the very first pleating for so-called “modern kilts”, that is to say the kilt that came after the “belted kilt” or “great kilt” (Feileadh Mor). From the end of the eighteenth century up to the Second World War period, all kilts were box pleated kilts.
Bob Martin, kiltmaker and kilt historian, the ardent proponent of the Box pleated kilt, calls it the “simple kilt“. I’ve had the privilege and immense pleasure of chatting with this remarkable gentleman. I would like to mention his spiritual son Matt Newsome, without forgetting the excellent Barbara Tewksbury, stars in the world of kilt pleating, who honored me with their insights and intuitions at the very beginning of my research on kilt pleating.
The box pleat in summary
In summary, Box pleated kilts are of traditional pleating requiring low yardage of tartan with rock solid historicity. They are lightweight and… economical!
The only downside would be that the low yardage of fabric makes them lack breadth, scope, swagger, swish… the characteristic swaying movement we enjoy so much whilst seeing a man strolling in a kilt.
I may add this is the main reason why I’ve elaborated my Double Box Pleated Kilt.
My desire to own the Harley Davidson tartan led me, by chance, to the site of a Kiltmaker, French moreover: Lady Chrystel. The latter, strongly interested in the challenge, brought in her wake her husband, Robert Amyot, who, thanks to his perfect command of English, was able and knew how to lead the negotiations and together, managed to weave the tartan so longed for !
Regularly wearing the kilt, it was only natural that I ordered the Aubigny-sur-Nère tartan and the Franc-Comtois tartan. My desire to get out of the conventional folding led me to order the three kilts with different foldings: Box (Aubigny-sur-Nère), Kingussie (Heritage Sequane tartan Franc-Comtois) and Double Box (Harley Davidson).
And it was personally that I made the trip to Haute-Savoie to pick up my order. The welcome was very warm, and the day passed in a friendly atmosphere.
Today, it is with great impatience that I am waiting for my fourth kilt, Military Rolled folding in Norwegian Night tartan.
I wanted to express my warmest thanks and show all my admiration for this magnificent work carried out by Lady Chrystel, underlining in this respect that it is very appreciable to be kept regularly informed of the evolution of the manufacture of the clothes ordered.
Things couldn’t have started more perfectly when, on leaving my house, I was stopped by a neighbor who is used to seeing me wearing a kilt. She told me that this one was particularly becoming.
I had bought the fabric right here in Scotland, in Selkirk, at Lochcarron, and I sent it to France to be transformed into a box pleated kilt by Lady Chrystel.
I can therefore only warmly recommend the work of Lady Chrystel; the kilt she made me with the Weathered Hunting Cunningham woven by Lochcarron and which I had sent to her is absolutely fabulous. I may have the pleasure of seeing you wear a similar one when you come to Scotland.
Borders – Scotland