Kilts Take Center Stage at Wimbledon

It's that time of the year again in London, England, when tennis fans will make their way to the grass courts at Wimbledon, armed with bowls of strawberries and cream, and dressed in kilts.

That's right, the Scottish tartan is set to be the outfit du jour for many British fans, here to cheer on the national hope, Scotsman Andy Murray, seeded 12th.

With Britons Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski both out of the reckoning, all eyes are now on the 21-year-old Murray. And observers expect many of his more avid fans to don the kilt as a gesture of support for the young player.

So much so that a London dry-cleaning service, the American Dry Cleaning Co., has set up a special kilt-cleaning service to cater exclusively to those who are mad for Murray.

Benjamin Webb, a spokesman for the company, told ABC News that it is "trying to be ahead of the game."

"When Tim Henman was popularly known as Tiger Tim, I remember seeing people wear all these T-shirts with tigers on them," Webb recalled.

Now that Henman Hill — part of the grounds where tennis fans gather to watch Wimbledon, once known as Rusedski ridge — has been re-named Murray Mount by the tennis-watching public, companies are keen to cash in on the Scotsman's burgeoning popularity.

But this newfound fondness for the kilt is not just about Murray, according to Webb.

"Lots of British people are rediscovering their Scottish roots," he said. "At Ascot, several men showed up wearing kilts this year; it seems to be more popular than ever before.

"In the mid-90s, there was this series of films — 'Braveheart,' 'Rob Roy' and, then, 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' — which brought kilts back into the popular imagination."

And, with designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood making the kilt a must-have among the fashionable set, it's no surprise to hear that the popularity of the tartan is making waves even as far afield as Russia, where the famous literary family, the Lermontovs, ordered their own tartan, after discovering their Scottish roots.

Taking care of kilts is no easy matter, though. The American Dry Cleaning Co. claims to have reached out to the Scottish Tartans Authority on how to clean kilts correctly.

"They are extremely delicate items in spite of their rugged appearance," the company's Webb said.

"When we reached out for advice on cleaning kilts, we found a wealth of extremely contradictory suggestions on the best way to look after them."

The most unusual suggestion? "Leave the kilt on grass overnight and allow the morning dew to clean it," Webb said.

Unsurprisingly, that idea turned out to be "nonsense," in Webb's words.

The company finally approached the Scottish Tartans Authority, and has come up with a traditional kilt-cleaning wash (no heat allowed) with a special leather treatment for kilt straps (ranging from $54 - $100).

And, for those who can't bear to head to Wimbledon sans kilts, the company will offer each customer a free replacement kilt to wear during the 48-hour period in which their own kilt is being cleaned.

One person who won't be taking advantage of this offer, on or off the court?

Defending champion, Roger Federer, who, during a discussion of his sartorial choices on Sunday, said, "Look, I'm not going to wear a skirt. And I'm not Scottish so I'm not going to wear a kilt, either."

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