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Wednesday
Aug272008

Tartan Fabrics - we've got your Measure!

Check out the fabulous Fabric RangeMost of us get a bit confused with all the different measurement scales around. Personally, I think in (metric) Celsius when it’s cold outside, but (imperial) Fahrenheit when the weather is hot. Well, it makes sense… 100 degrees is roasting, and 0 degrees is freezing. That’s all I need to know.

But this also causes us issues as a worldwide exporter. Most Americans have little idea how long a metre is… any more than Europeans understand yards. (In fact, they’re much the same size, just about 10% apart.)

And our weavers are just as bad. Most mills want us to send them orders measured in metres. But then they describe their fabric widths in inches, and weights in ounces. It’s a good old muddle.

So we’re doing our wee bit to help. Whichever system you’re used to, you’ll now find that all lengths and prices in our world-beating range of over 16,000 Fabrics available as cut lengths are now listed in BOTH imperial and metric measures. And when you come to order, you can specify yards or metres… whichever suits you best; we’ll know exactly what you mean and get it cut correctly.

And that’s not all! The other big improvement is that you can now order exactly the amount you need, without having to buy in whole metres. 4.6 yards? No problem! (And yes, I know that’s a decimal fraction of an imperial measure… as I say, it’s confusing… isn’t it!).

Monday
Aug042008

More Video - how to wear a kilt outfit

Following on from our recent video on how to measure yourself for a kilt, here is another mini epic, this time setting out to show how to put on and wear a full formal kilt outfit. Experienced kilt wearers may well know most of this already. But for those relatively recent to kilt wearing, there can be a lot of uncertainty as to how to put all the bits on properly. It’s certainly one of the most common types of question we’re asked. Hopefully this will make it all a lot clearer!

*Please note: *our growing video collection can always be found at http://www.scotweb.co.uk/info which is the best address to link to if you want to include this resource on your own web site. The reason is that this address will never change, whilst the video hosting link might if we update the video sometime.

Wednesday
Jul232008

Brand New Site Design - please give us your views!

We’re very excited today! After many months of hard work, we’ve just gone public with the full-scale redesign of our web site. So now we’re holding our breath to find out what everyone else thinks of it! How about being one of the first? Pretty please. :-)

At the moment the new design has been applied to only one of our specialist web sites: Scottish Cashmere Store. The site is fully working, and has more features and facilities than ever before… but all within what we hope is a clearer, cleaner, more efficient layout. I’ll describe below a little about what we’ve been aiming for. Please tell us where there is still room for improvement!

Scotweb’s New Look!This is a very big deal for us. We’ve had to go right back to basics and asked ourselves what we’re all about. Since we launched in 1995 (Scotland’s very first secure-ecommerce company) the web and the world has changed a lot. For example, in the past few years, the world of kilts and tartan has suffered massive damage from the spread of the dreadful ‘tartan tat’ outlets selling copycat rubbish. Our redesign (even including our new logo) is partly about making it clear that we have never touched that stuff, and never will. We only deal in quality, both of product and in our standards of service. Does it work?

But also, as we’ve grown to now offer by far the world’s largest range of kilts and tartan products (for example), we were finding our existing web site was just getting too dense and complex for many people to understand. So we’ve tried to find a new, better balance of making important information available, but without it being overwhelming. What do you think?

Bear in mind that our customers range from expert authorities and enthusiasts, to complete beginners. So the site needs to be easy enough for either to buy either individual items, or put together a complete outfit, with easy access to all the choices that are possible along the way, but guidance at every turn if uncertain. We’ve tried to build in processes that assist with this, with our Outfit Builder, our Tartan Finder, and with the purchasing process. Where could we do it better?

If you see anything at all that you either find confusing, not working, or just downright wrong… we would be extremely grateful if you could take a moment to let us know. There’s a Contact link, hopefully obviously positioned, at the top and bottom of every page!

Friday
Jul042008

How to Measure yourself for a Kilt

One of the most common concerns we hear from customers buying a kilt online or over the phone is anxiety about getting the measurements right. In fact, the online diagrams and instructions we’ve published for years are so well-refined that provided the guidance is followed, we very rarely have errors. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t more we can do to help!

So here is our latest video - a simple step by step guide to taking your own measurements for a perfectly fitting traditional 8 Yard Kilt. We’ll soon be adding another for casual kilts, where the measurements are different.

Note that not all kiltmakers use exactly the same criteria. But since we’ve been doing this longer than any other company on earth, we think we know the best way to get it exactly right!

Friday
Jun202008

Scottish Tartans Register Bill - a quick update

For anyone following the story of the proposed new official Scottish Register of Tartans, here’s some rather important news from the Scottish Parliament. A major milestone was reached yesterday:

The Presiding Officer: The fifth question is, that motion S3M-2072, in the name of Jamie McGrigor, on the Scottish Register of Tartans Bill, be agreed to.

Motion agreed to.

That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Scottish Register of Tartans Bill.

For more, please find here the link to the Official Report of 19 June 2008 (Debate on the Scottish Register of Tartans Bill: Stage 1)

Tuesday
Jun032008

Scotweb is back!

Apologies to anyone who has been trying to access any Scotweb web sites since Saturday (including this blog) or contact the company by email etc. Due to a serious fire and explosion (thankfully no one hurt!) at one of our major data centres in the United States, all our internet services have been totally unavailable for a few days.

But through much hard work both there and here by our own tech team, I’m glad to say that we are now getting back on our feet. There may be some ongoing syptoms such as missing images for a few hours, but we’re hopeful that all services will be functioning fully later today. Sorry again for any nuisance.

Wednesday
Apr022008

Burberry (TM)  Bullies

chav.jpgI believe Burberry used to be a brand with a bit of class about it. Pity that today in the public mind wearing their check has become so linked with salt-of-the-earth working class youngsters like our beer-swilling friend here - aka ‘chavs’, ‘neds’, or ‘schemies’.

But maybe that’s appropriate, going by my recent experience. From a company that I’d expect to behave with professionalism and dignity, came a quite remarkably nasty, and frankly stupid, bit of corporate thuggery. So in the time-honoured custom of giving the bully a bit of a deserved biff on the nose, here’s the full story…

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar272008

New Scottish Tartan Register Bill Published

scotweb_tartan.jpgYou may recall my posting a few months ago about the progress towards an official National Register of Tartan. Well, breaking news: the bill [full document] has been introduced to Parliament, and yesterday marked its Official Release.

The new body will be administered through the Court of the Lord Lyon and the National Archives of Scotland, giving it an immediate authority not just nationally but internationally. And contrary to the fears of a few instinctive naysayers, its function will be explictly enabling rather than controlling, helping to promote tartan awareness. The parameters of what should be allowed to be recorded have been drawn as widely as possible, with the primary concern merely to control deliberate abuse of the new system.

I’ll doubtless write more anon, as developments progress. But it’s been a remarkable achievement to bring together so many interested parties to create something that should be good for everyone who cares about tartan. Watch this space!

Tuesday
Mar182008

Kilt Outfits - now on video!

jacobite_chieftain_kilt_outfit.jpgIf you enjoy looking at wonderful photography of guys in kilts, you’ve a treat in store. Our recent photoshoot at the incredibly gorgeous Lennoxlove House, half an hour South of Edinburgh (seriously, if you’re planning a wedding, check it out!) turned out fabulously. The images will be appearing on the Scotweb site over the coming weeks. But just to whet your appetite, he’s some video as a taster! More to follow soon, so watch this space!

Check out the videos…

A sample video: Classic Braemar Kilt Outfit

Tuesday
Feb262008

40 Celebrities Who'd Look Great In Kilts

Mel Gibson sported one in Braveheart; Liam Neeson showed he’s man enough to wear one too. We’re talking about a kilt. It’s not just a skirt for guys — it’s rugged and handsome — and oh yeah, we get to see a little more of our favorite guys exposed. Here for your enjoyment, the 40 celebrities who would look great in kilts:

40. Keith Urban

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This country crooner is way too handsome to leave off the list. It’s only fair that we get a peek at what Nicole Kidman’s looking at.

39. Clive Owen

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He’s a phenomenal actor and he’s hot… uh… sorry, just daydreaming about seeing more of the fine Clive Owen.

38. Scott Speedman

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The Felicity and Underworld star has the chiseled good looks that would look oh-so-fine with tartan clothing.

37. Dennis Quaid

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As far as older guys go, Dennis Quaid has got it goin’ on. And we want more!

Click to read more ...