Everything You Need to Know About Poly-Viscose Fabric

Kilts, Tartan

Maybe you are like so many of us that suffer from an unfortunate allergy to wool. Or you just might be looking for something luxurious to the touch that can still take a beating while tossing the caber. In either case, poly-viscose fabric is the right choice for you.

The Celtic Croft invites you to enjoy a more contemporary feel in your kilt and tartan using poly-viscose fabric. We get it—you still have questions about this blend. We mean, is it REALLY a good substitute for wool?


Nature Vs. Nurture: What is this “Non-Wool” stuff anyway?

Poly-viscose kilt flashes from The Celtic Croft

Rayon (viscose) plus Polyester equals “poly-viscose” fabric. This type of material marries the best qualities of each of the two fabrics. Viscose, while man-made, is plant-based and feels natural like wool. Polyester throws off wrinkles and shrinkage like a strong hammer throw at the Games.

The blend creates functionality while maintaining a look that isn’t readily distinguishable from wool’s original tartan fabric. Poly-viscose fabric is nearly indistinguishable from traditional, more expensive wool fabrics.

Another brilliant benefit is its machine washability. Stain treating becomes a dream with a material like poly-viscose.

While poly-viscose fabric is machine washable, it’s not advisable to wash a tailored kilt in a washing machine. Doing so can damage leather straps, pleats, and Cheater Pleats™. 

Poly-viscose phillabegs, ancient kilts, and great kilts can all be safely washed in a front-loading washing machine on the gentle cycle. Take care of your tailored kilts and tenderly hand-wash them, or send them out to the local dry cleaner to ensure your kilt’s long and happy life.


Why would I choose poly-viscose fabric for my kilts and tartans?

men wearing kilts and sporrans

We all want to be able to look in our closet, regardless of what climate we live in or what time of year it is and pick out our favorite kilt. With its versatility, poly-viscose affords you this ability. 

As a cost-effective material, one that wears great in the heat and the cold, it’s a perfect alternative for those who can’t or choose not to go with traditional wool. It wears well, drapes beautifully, and is long-lasting and tough.

How is a poly-viscose kilt going to feel?  

Poly/Viscose Tartan Scarf-Special Order

Silky smooth. No, seriously! Rayon is often compared to silk in its texture and smoothness. On its own, Polyester couldn’t hold itself up to a “feel good” test in the material. But the two together are like whisky and Ceilidh Dancing—a smooth and enjoyable pairing.

The viscose allows the wearer to enjoy the smoothness often neglected in something that has more cotton. The Polyester’s typical shine is toned down a bit by the viscose’s natural fibers without losing the silky feel. 

While viscose absorbs moisture, Polyester tends to repel it, so the blend allows for breathing without keeping body heat trapped, and simultaneously making it more easily washable and wearable.


This sounds grand for other clothes—but what about for a kilt?

Poly-Viscose Basic Kilt

Kilts serve their wearer with functionality, a display of Scottish heritage and pride, and elemental protection. And let’s face it, they are comfort incarnate and look amazing, too. 

With tartans galore to choose from, achieving the kilt look you’re going for is as easy with poly-viscose fabric as with traditional wool. With its makeup, you lose nothing in the beautiful patterns of a priceless tartan, nor in its comfort. 

Achieving the perfect kilt without the wool is an affordable and fun to create option.


Outlander Kilts

OUTLANDER Tartan Great Kilt

With the overall design, look and feel of the poly-viscose fabric, you don’t have to feel like you are sacrificing your quest for authenticity by wearing kilts designed with it. Most of our family of wearers have stated that you can’t see a difference from an aesthetic standpoint. 

The feel of it is so lovely. Its durability and machine-washable* nature make it an excellent choice for those even with the most discerning tastes.

There is no doubt that Outlander has created a surge of excitement and enthusiasm surrounding Scottish heritage and history. The costuming of the show has been one of its greatest achievements for kilt-lovers everywhere. 

While we offer many tartans in the poly-viscose blend, we know our Celtic Croft family holds a special place in their hearts for Outlander. Celebrate your love of Outlander by purchasing the Outlander poly-viscose tartan fabric or a made to order great kilt made of this versatile fabric. 


Is my poly-viscose kilt made the same?

Poly Viscose Medium Weight Formal Kilt (tartan list P)

If you are asking, “Does my kilt now magically have pockets?” or “Do I still wear it the, um, right way?” the answer is simple: it’s still a kilt. It is still designed for functionality, for clan representation, and to look fantastic at any important occasion. 

No, you still very much need a sporran to carry all your stuff. Yes, you still wear the kilt the “right” way (our blog post “Kilt Fashion: What Is Worn Under A Kilt” will help you out with this question). 

In terms of design, there isn’t much difference. The care of it is a little different, with the ability to machine wash specific garments on gentle, but the pleating options are the same for our wool kilts or poly-viscose kilts. 


Wow! Poly-viscose IS a fantastic alternative to classic wool! Any last-minute tips?

Tartan Infinity Scarf

We are glad to educate our family on fantastic, reliable, and cost-effective alternatives for our kilt enthusiasts or first-timers! 

Just like with everyday clothes, accessories can make or break a good looking kilt. All kilts can be completed with accessories to provide the wearer with the authenticity they crave. Or add to the ambiance of a special occasion. Or make the wearer the Highlander warrior they already are deep down. 

The Celtic Croft’s line of unique accessories doesn’t begin and end with kilts and sporrans. Footwear, badges, pins, hats, and yes, awesome weaponry are available to complete your closet. We also haven’t forgotten our ladies of Scotland, as we carry a line of poly-viscose earasaids, shawls, gathered skirts, and more. Even our wee ones in the family can rock the poly-viscose fabric!

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