Customer photo courtesy of Scotweb
Edinburgh Castle guard - Photo courtesy of Corgi
42nd Regiment Officer circa 1780
A reader expressed doubt about how it could take Corgi eight hours to make a pair of socks adding The Trad should add a "Gullible Approved Badge." That's a stamp up there, mate and these are tartan hose not socks. With help from Corgi and a little research I learned why it takes eight hours not to mention some other tartan facts.
"To start with the yarn is specially twisted and dyed for us and is not generally available. It is a 4 ply pure merino wool. We knit the leg part of the sock on a flat knitting machine and it is then linked together by hand into the tube shape of the leg. By knitting it flat we can vary the thickness of the leg to allow more room for well developed calf muscles.
This 'tube' is then picked up stitch by stitch by hand on a 100 year old hand sock knitting machine and the foot section is added completely by hand. The toe is then linked closed, again by hand. Finally the sock is washed, then pressed in a 60 year old flat bed press on specially shaped wooden boards." Chris Jones, Corgi Hosiery
There are a number of hose patterns Corgi make to be worn with a kilt. The idea is not to match the hose to the kilt but rather for the hose to compliment the colors of the kilt. As an example, I've seen both red and navy checked hose with the Black Watch kilt as well as a burgundy and white check.
When it comes to who can wear tartan, Alastair Campbell of Airds, writes in Brian Wilton's, Tartans, "So the answer to the question 'What tartan am I entitled to wear?' is - Any tartan you fancy. The sole considerations are good taste - some tartans are appalling clashes of color!"
And you don't have to wear a kilt. When the Urban Outfitter designer showed me the Black Watch golf jacket, I mentioned the ugly lining should be replaced in three panels with the 42nd's regimental colors of green, navy and burgundy. This is where - what you wear - not only looks good but has some intelligence and thought behind it. Even if it's just you who understands what's going on.