How to Properly Pack a Kilt in a Suitcase


Continuing on with the Scottish theme I have written about lately, here is an article on the traditional Highland Dress of a Scotsman.The Kilt is the foundation garment for men donning traditional Scottish Highland dress. It is essentially a knee-length, pleated, tartan skirt.

An authentic kilt is made entirely by hand and is crafted from a single piece of tartan 9 yards long, this is thought to be the origin of the saying “The whole nine yards.” Tartan kilt fabric is expensive and hand crafting takes time, making the purchase of a kilt a true investment. With several hundred dollars, at a minimum, going into the purchase you’ll want to take excellent care of your kilt, particularly when travelling.

To properly pack a kilt in a suitcase, follow the steps below.

You will need:

  • 1 pair of inexpensive ladies tights, extra long or tall size
  • Scissors
  • Purchase a pair of inexpensive nylon tights, sized for tall women.
  • Remove the tights from their package and lay them on a flat surface.
  • Remove one leg from the pair with scissors. Cut the toe of this single tight leg open.
  • Close the all of the clasps, fasteners and buckles on the kilt.
  • Arrange the kilt on a flat surface with the front half (or apron) on top.
  • Moving from left to right, roll the kilt up taking care to keep the amount of fabric evenly distributed and the pleats straight.

Finish by tucking the fringe under the edge of the kilt roll.

Gather the material from the single leg, opened toe nylon stocking around your thumbs, forming a large, stretchy ‘O’.

Slide one end of the O over the top of the kilt and work the fabric down the length of the kilt roll, creating a kilt sausage in a nylon casing.

Put the nylon encased kilt inside your suitcase.

When you arrive at your destination, remove the kilt from the nylon and allow it to hang for a few hours prior to wearing. Any creases it picked up during travel should fall right out.


When wearing your kilt, remember the pleats go in the back.

Should you decide your kilt needs pressing, simply set your iron to ‘wool’ and run it across the edges of the pleats.


When packing the other pieces of your traditional dress outfit, remember to put the skean dhu in your checked bag, or they may take it from you at the security check point.

Each clan (or family), has its own colours and style of tartan (plaid). Whatever clan you may originate from, be it a Campbell, Stewart, Cameron, Graham or any one of the dozens of ancient clans, if when on a visit to Scotland you feel the need to buy one of these traditional outfits, one of the many traditional Scottish outfitters will be pleased to ensure that you are not only fitted in the correct tartan for your clan, but also help you with that initial fitting.

Sources- Scottish Tartans Authority