The STA's biggest beef, however, seems to be with the ever-growing
popularity of lightweight kilts, which led them to claim in Monday's paper that
shopkeepers were misleading tourists by selling cut price acrylic kilts, for as
little as £19.99.
You'll not get a "real" kilt for less than £240
apparently, and therein lies the rub. How many locals, let alone tourists on a
budget, have a spare £240 to blow on a "real" kilt?
However, don't be misled into believing that the kilt police are driven by an
altruistic desire to save our heritage. The organisation might sound like some
historic body formed by the clan chiefs generations ago, but is actually a
fairly new collective formed in 1996 by Scotland's leading weavers and tartan
retailers ... no vested interests there then. Really, who cares what your kilt
is made of, as long as you wear it with pride.
Ok, first of all, whether the STA was formed in 1996 or in 1796 really has no bearing on the point of their article. The Scotsman author is just setting up a straw man. And yes, the STA membership is made up of some of the top tartan manufacturers and kiltmakers in the country. It is also made up of tartan scholars and academics, as well as a large body of interested individuals. And the STA watches out for the interests of its membership. Why shouldn't it? But the point to be made is that STA membership consists of many competing tartan producers. The STA here is not advocation for one company or another, but rather for the Scottish-based Highland Dress industry as a whole. And really, what Scotsman wants to see the tartan trade leave their country for the shores of some third-world nation? Recall not that long ago when the MOD was contemplating having the tartan for their regimental kilts made overseas? People were up in arms!
But the main complaint of the editorial seems to be that the STA is guilty of elitism, claiming that the only "real" kilt must be a heavyweight, hand tailored, eight yard masterpeice costing hundreds of dollars. However, this is not true! In the original STA aritcle itself, they state:
Most weavers and kiltmakers have no objection to cheap 'fun kilts' appearing onNotice how the Scotsman peice never even once mentioned this -- the main point of the STA article. Rather it attackes the STA for a position that they themselves plainly state not to hold.
the market, regardless of their country of origin or what they're made of.
After all, youngsters introduced to the 'kilt' through them will no doubt
graduate to the real thing one day. No... the objection is that people are
being misled into buying these cheap kilts under the impression that they're
Scottish and that the design, fabric, and workmanship are the output of
Scotland's traditional weavers and kiltmakers. That is regarded
as a travesty!
Apparantly the author of the peice cannot even be bothered to read (or understand) the very article that he is commenting on. And the sad fact is that most people, not being members of the STA, will only hear about their opinion through reading garbage like this, without ever having the opportunity to find out what the STA actually said.
This author's expertise in the kilt stems from the fact that he rented one for a wedding once. And he is critcizing the STA for a position that they do not even hold. So, tell me... is it really the position of the Scotsman that cheap foreign-made acrylic kilts should be more widely available on the Scottish market? That is a position that I find very hard to defend!