About Cargokilts "Freedom of Movement" radically engineered

CARGOKILTS collage 001

THE CREDIBLE JOURNEY How it all began!

  • -1- Cargokilts essentially formed from a very peculiar full centre-fold advertisement in a liberal newspaper in the late 80’s.

    -1- Cargokilts essentially formed from a very peculiar full centre-fold advertisement in a liberal newspaper in the late 80’s.

    A prominent industrialist in South Africa bragged about his new yellow Ferrari, sporting the caption “The country’s best babe magnet”.
    We were young then, full of beer at the time, and with dangerous levels of testosterone in our blood.

    The whole idea of a babe magnet, which could be of extra assistance in the event of our good looks or most attractive personality failing us, sounded like an exquisite idea, however, a Ferrari was a tad above our budgets.
    In fact, any form of motorised transport at that stage which wasn’t borrowed from Dad, was too.

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  • -2- "We were discussing this situation at length at the local watering hole and salivating over the lasses."

    -2- "We were discussing this situation at length at the local watering hole and salivating over the lasses."

    As if out of the blue, a friend, and an exchange student from Scotland with his broad Aberdeenshire accent, stated the painfully obvious: “Aarhg laddies, a kilt is a better fanny trap than a Ferrari, let’s get some”. 
    Kilt hire was something which was basically unheard of back then, and we did not have the budget to travel back and forth to one of the big cities for that purpose, so, we contacted the only other kilt wearing community we could think of, i.e. the military. 

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  • -3- "At last we got through to the  . . .

    -3- "At last we got through to the . . .

    ... Regimental Sargent Major of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment, and we were told in no uncertain terms, as only an RSM can, to let go of the idea of abusing their kilt or make our own;
    and this is exactly what we did."
    We knew about mechanical design, and could probably build a steampunk sewing machine out of bits of scrap, but none of us knew a thing about sewing. We also would far rather spend our limited cash on beer than on tartan, and thus, we made a plan. We liberated some unused curtains, black bull-denim ones, and went to the drawing board. 

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  • -4- How Cargokilts came to be . . .

    -4- How Cargokilts came to be . . .

    We knew that kilts had to have pleats, but that was about it. During working out the pleats, someone pointed to a regulation regarding the carnival procession which stated that you may carry alcoholic beverages if it was on your person, and that none may be carried in rucksacks or any other form of bag. The kilts thus had to have pockets…
    And THAT, dear reader, is how the Cargokilt was conceived. A non-bifurcated garment to act as babe-magnet of note, with enough pocket space to comfortably carry six beers, made of durable fabric to withstand most of the abuse one could throw at it, and be machine washable at the Laundromat. 

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  • -5- The Weft & the Warp of it . . .

    -5- The Weft & the Warp of it . . .

    Incidentally, that RSM who told us off so many years ago, phoned and said they wanted a hundred and fifty new kilts for the regiment. It was then that the task of finding a tartan to match the Murray of Atholl tartan which was specified (1914 vintage) started. 

    It just wasn’t available, but the sheer quantity of tartan required justified weaving it. We thus embarked on a most frustrating journey of finding a weaver who would weave the tartan to specification, not charge an arm, a leg and a few other very vital body parts.
    Said weaver was never found, but, we did come across an unused loom. Made in Glasgow in 1902 and capable of weaving a double width tartan with a self-edge. 
    Loom was procured, tartan was woven (what a learning curve) and kilts were made, delivered, and may it be said, to the delight of one of the most traditional Regiments out there.

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  • -6- Cargokilts can weave any tartan!

    -6- Cargokilts can weave any tartan!

    Today, we are capable of weaving any tartan. Our preferred fibre-blend for tartan is 75% wool, 25% acrylic, since this makes the tartan moth proof, whilst retaining the luxury of pure wool. It will hold a pleat better than pure wool, and it is suitable for home washing, thus reducing the cost of ownership of your kilt.

    Our set-up is such that we can easily weave 50m of a bespoke tartan and we also offer a tartan design and registration service.
    From our very small and humble beginnings, in a country which is not really known for wearing kilts, we have grown the market for Cargokilts to cult status.
    We produce and stock over 100 different tartans and have to date exported our products to 54 different countries. Each item is still hand made to the specifications of the customer. It may take longer to get your kilt from us, but the fit and craftsmanship will be perfect.

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Why choose cargokilts?

Kilts and Scottish attire are made to measure, thus resulting in the perfect fit. We have instructions on how to do this, but ideally we welcome you to visit our showroom in Springs, South Africa, for a personal fitting. We understand that this is not always possible, so do call us and we will guide you through the process.

The Perfect Fit

Kilts and Scottish attire are made to measure, thus resulting in the perfect fit. We have instructions on how to do this, but ideally we welcome you to visit our showroom in Springs, South Africa, for a personal fitting. We understand that this is not always possible, so do call us and we will guide you through the process.
It was only years later, in 2010 that the hobby became a business and we started to work in Tartan. We now weave, stock and build Kilts and other Tartan items in over 100 different Tartans. Our set-up is such that we can easily weave 50m of a bespoke tartan and we also offer a tartan design and registration service.

tartan in vogue

It was only years later, in 2010 that the hobby became a business and we started to work in Tartan. We now weave, stock and build Kilts and other Tartan items in over 100 different Tartans. Our set-up is such that we can easily weave 50m of a bespoke tartan and we also offer a tartan design and registration service.
Cargokilts are in essence still exactly the same as those first working prototypes were, and most of what we produce is still made in black bull denim. Other colours and camouflage patterns are readily available.

The original Cargokilt

Cargokilts are in essence still exactly the same as those first working prototypes were, and most of what we produce is still made in black bull denim. Other colours and camouflage patterns are readily available.
Today, we are capable of weaving any tartan. Our preferred fibre-blend for tartan is 75% wool, 25% acrylic, since this makes the tartan moth proof, whilst retaining the luxury of pure wool. It will hold a pleat better than pure wool, and it is suitable for home washing, thus reducing the cost of ownership of your kilt.

We can weave any tartan

Today, we are capable of weaving any tartan. Our preferred fibre-blend for tartan is 75% wool, 25% acrylic, since this makes the tartan moth proof, whilst retaining the luxury of pure wool. It will hold a pleat better than pure wool, and it is suitable for home washing, thus reducing the cost of ownership of your kilt.
Your kilt will come at a very reasonable price, when you consider that it is created using only the finest traditional loom woven tartan, or, in the case of Cargo (or utility kilts,) tough as nails Bull denim. We carefully select those who supply our buckles, studs and leather, sifting out unreasonable expenses without compromising quality, and supporting those who share our views.

quality is never compromised

Your kilt will come at a very reasonable price, when you consider that it is created using only the finest traditional loom woven tartan, or, in the case of Cargo (or utility kilts,) tough as nails Bull denim. We carefully select those who supply our buckles, studs and leather, sifting out unreasonable expenses without compromising quality, and supporting those who share our views.
To date we have exported our products to 54 different countries and the export market is currently our biggest business. All garments and accessories are handmade to your specifications.

Exported worldwide

To date we have exported our products to 54 different countries and the export market is currently our biggest business. All garments and accessories are handmade to your specifications.