The Great kilt, also known as the belted plaid, is a traditional Scottish garment that dates back to the 16th century. It is a large piece of woolen cloth that is draped around the body and fastened at the waist with a belt. The Great kilt was worn by Highlanders as a practical and versatile garment that could be used for a range of different purposes, from protection against the elements to a makeshift blanket or shelter.
The origins of the Great kilt can be traced back to the early days of the Scottish Highlands, when woolen clothing was a vital part of daily life. The first kilts were likely to have been simple lengths of cloth that were draped around the body and secured with a belt. Over time, the design of the kilt evolved to become more structured and practical, with the addition of pleats and a separate piece of cloth for the upper body.
Fabric For Great Kilt
By the 16th century, the Great kilt had become a standard part of Highland dress. It was made from a single piece of woolen cloth that measured between 6 and 12 yards in length and was usually around 25 to 30 inches wide. The kilt was typically worn with a shirt, a jacket, and a range of accessories, including a sporran, a sgian dubh (a small knife), and a brooch or pin to fasten the fabric at the shoulder.
The Great kilt was a versatile garment that could be worn in a variety of different ways. For everyday wear, it was draped around the body and fastened at the waist with a belt, with the excess fabric tucked into the belt or gathered into folds at the front. This provided protection against the wind and rain, as well as a degree of warmth in colder weather.
For more active pursuits, such as hunting or warfare, the Great kilt could be worn in a different way. The fabric could be draped over one shoulder and fastened with a brooch or pin, leaving the other arm free for movement. This allowed the wearer to move more freely and made it easier to handle weapons or tools.
The Great kilt was also used as a makeshift shelter or blanket. If the weather turned particularly bad, the kilt could be spread out on the ground and used as a waterproof layer to protect against the elements. It could also be wrapped around the body as a makeshift blanket, providing warmth and comfort in cold or damp conditions.
Despite its practicality and versatility, the Great kilt was not universally popular. In the 18th century, some Scottish authorities sought to ban the wearing of Highland dress, seeing it as a symbol of rebellion and defiance. The Dress Act of 1746 made it illegal to wear Highland dress, including the Great kilt, and many Highlanders were forced to abandon their traditional clothing and adopt more English-style clothing.
However, the ban was eventually lifted, and the Great kilt continued to be worn by Highlanders throughout the 19th century. In the 20th century, the kilt underwent a revival, and it is now a popular garment worn by Scots and non-Scots alike, both as a traditional item of clothing and as a fashionable and practical garment for a range of different occasions.
Today, the Great kilt remains an iconic symbol of Scottish culture and heritage. While its practicality and versatility may not be as essential in modern times, its rich history and distinctive style continue to captivate and inspire people around the world.
Is a great kilt still wearable in today’s era?
The Great Kilt, also known as the Feileadh Mòr or “big wrap,” is a traditional Scottish garment that was worn by Highland clansmen for centuries. Made from a single length of woolen fabric, the Great Kilt is a versatile garment that can be worn in a variety of different ways, depending on the weather, occasion, or activity.
While the Great Kilt has a long and storied history, it is not as commonly worn today as it once was. There are a number of reasons for this, including changes in fashion, shifts in cultural identity, and practical considerations.
One factor that has contributed to the decline in popularity of the Great Kilt is changes in fashion. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Great Kilt was a popular garment among Highlanders and Scottish soldiers, and was even worn by members of the British military. However, as fashion trends shifted towards more tailored and fitted garments, the Great Kilt fell out of favor. Today, many people view the Great Kilt as a relic of a bygone era, and prefer more modern and practical styles of clothing.
Another factor that has contributed to the decline in popularity of the Great Kilt is changes in cultural identity. While the Great Kilt was once a symbol of Scottish identity and national pride, today many Scots identify more strongly with contemporary Scottish culture, which may include elements of traditional dress but also incorporates a wider range of modern styles and influences. As a result, the Great Kilt may be seen as less relevant or meaningful to some Scots today.
Practical considerations have also played a role in the decline of the Great Kilt. While the garment is versatile and can be worn in a variety of different ways, it is also bulky and can be difficult to manage. The Great Kilt requires a significant amount of fabric and can be heavy and unwieldy to wear, particularly in wet or windy weather. Additionally, the Great Kilt requires a degree of skill and practice to wear properly, which can be a barrier to entry for some people.
Symbol Of Scottish Heritage
Despite these challenges, there are still some individuals and communities who continue to wear and celebrate the Great Kilt. In Scotland, there are a number of Highland Games and other cultural events where the Great Kilt is worn and celebrated as a symbol of Scottish heritage and tradition. Additionally, there are a number of companies and artisans who specialize in creating high-quality Great Kilts for men, and who cater to a niche market of enthusiasts and collectors.