What’s the difference between a 5 yard and an 8 yard kilt? It’s a question we’re often asked, especially by those ordering their first custom made work kilts. The key difference between the 5 yard and the 8 yard kilt is, naturally, the amount of fabric used. This affects different features of your kilt, especially the kilt’s pleats and weight. Read on to learn more.
The front of a 5 yard kilt will look very similar to the front of an 8 yard kilt with two layers of fabric lying flat, one over the other. The difference is around the back, in the pleated section. As there is considerably more fabric to pleat into an 8 yard kilt, the sport kilts maker must make more pleats to use all 8 yards of material. The pleats are therefore more densely folded and look slightly less open when you move.You can see the difference between the pleating here, with the 5 yard kilt on the left and the 8 yard kilt on the right:
Another consideration is the difference in the weight of the kilt. A 5 yard kilt is about 37.5% lighter than the 8 yard kilt, though the exact weight of your kilt will vary according to your chosen tartan. When choosing between the 5 yard and the 8 yard kilt, consider where you’ll be wearing it. If you plan to wear your kilt to work or while being active, you’ll probably want to carry less weight around with you. If that’s the case, the lighter 5 yard kilt (often called the casual kilt) is for you.
If you’re looking for the most authentic Scottish kilt available, the 8 yard should be your kilt of choice. A traditional Scottish kilt is made of 8 yards of worsted wool. The extra three yards of material give your kilt an extra fullness for a look that speaks to confidence, heritage, and pride. The 8 yard kilt’s deeper pleats also mean the kilt will hang and swing better than a 5 yard kilt.
The difference in cloth length also makes a difference to the cost of your kilt. An 8 yard wool kilt will always be more expensive than a 5 yard wool kilt. In Scotland, a great 8 yard kilt is often handed down from one generation to another – a true investment piece. However, if you’re looking for an 8 yard kilt on a budget, the Kit society essential kilt makes a great alternative.