If you have questions, we have answers. Many people are interested in kilts, and all things Celtic, but are unsure of the history of this famous garment. Read on for some answers to our most commonly asked questions.
Kilts are Scottish and Irish, believe it or not. More traditionally kilts are Scottish, dating back to the sixteenth century. However, Ireland has a rich tradition of kilt-wearing, as well.
The main difference between Scottish and Irish kilts are the tartans. Scottish tartans represent clans or families, and there are 25,000 registered Scottish tartans. Irish tartans are based on counties or districts. There are also tartans for militaries, royal families, and police, to name a few.
Traditional kilts were long strips of wool wrapped around the wearer. These were easier to make than pants. Plus, kilts kept the wearer warm in the cold, wet Highlands.
Soldiers wore kilts during a battle and used Claymore Swords.
Finally, a kilt was made from tartan. Each clan had its own tartan that would be easily recognized by others.
If you have ever been to the Scottish Highlands, you know it can be quite chilly, rainy, and rugged.
Kilts, in their original design, were made of wool and allowed for smooth movement when riding horses and navigating the landscape. They also came in handy in battle. Wool is ideally suited for the outdoors because of its natural water-repellent properties. So kilts made of wool repelled moisture and held their shape.
The design of extra material wrapped around the wearer meant there was always a built-in blanket or sleep mat.
A traditional kilt would have been eight yards of tartan cloth made from Scottish worsted wool. It would have been stitched and pleated by hand. Worsted wool is very high-quality and did an exceptional job standing up to the elements. It is also resilient and holds its shape spectacularly, just what a kilt-wearer needed.
The answer is yes: anyone can wear a kilt. However, you need to be aware of tartan and how you wear it, as well as accessories. Tartan represents clans in Scotland or counties in Ireland, so choose a tartan that fits your heritage or background.
Particular styles of wearing kilts are specifically for chiefs, or Lairds and their Lady. Furthermore, certain accessories or methods are more formal and for specific events.
Well, that depends. Many wearers fall back on the adage, "That's for me to know and you to find out!" However, there is no agreed-upon answer. Historically, the answer is nothing is worn underneath a kilt.
However, today the answer seems to be more 50/50 with half going commando and half opting for underwear.
In 1746 after the Battle of Culloden at the end of the Jacobite Uprising, the English crown banned kilts.
Because Scots went into battle wearing kilts and it was easily recognized as a Highland garment, kilts became an outlawed garment in an attempt to stifle Scottish pride. While daily kilt wear declined, its link to Scottish identity only increased.
Fortunately for kilt enthusiasts, England lifted the ban in 1782.
Did you know Vikings lived in Northern Scotland and Northeastern Ireland from the 500s and beyond? However, there is no evidence that Vikings wore what is now known as a kilt. Even Scots didn't wear kilts until the sixteenth century.
Vikings did wear a knee-length tunic, as did many cultures throughout the world. However, it was not an extended length of fabric wrapped around the wearer as we view traditional kilts.
Mostly, wearing a belt with a kilt is a matter of personal preference. However, there are times when you should not wear a belt. For example, when you wear a formal kilt with a dress sporran.
A belt and belt buckle is another way to display your clan or interests, as well.
Yes! Anyone can wear a kilt. Whether you are 100% Scottish and wouldn't have it any other way or just love the Celtic culture, you can wear a kilt.
Thankfully, many types of kilts can be perfect for all kinds of events. Whether you want a daily kilt for your normal activities or a formal kilt for a wedding or dinner, there is a kilt for the occasion.