Wikimedia history write-up Highland chieftain Lord Mungo Murray using belted plaid, around 1680. The history of the kilt stretches back to at least the end of the 16th century. The kilt first appeared as the belted plaid or fantastic kilt, a complete length garment whose top half might be worn as a cape curtained over the shoulder, or raised over the head as a hood.
Words kilt comes from the Scots word kilt implying to tuck up the clothes around the body, although the 11th edition of the Encyclopdia Britannica (vol. 15, p. 798) says the word is Scandinavian in beginning. The Scots word originates from the Old Norse kjalta (definition lap, layer of a gathered skirt).
The belted plaid (breacan an fhilidh) or excellent plaid (feileadh mr), likewise called the fantastic kilt, is most likely to have actually evolved throughout the 16th century from the earlier “brat” or woollen cape (also recognized as a plaid) which was used over a tunic. This earlier cloak may have appeared in colour or in different check or tartan layouts, depending on the wealth of the wearer; this earlier style of clothes had not altered considerably from that put on by Celtic warriors in Roman times.
The belted plaid was initially a length of thick woollen fabric made up from two loom-widths stitched to offer a complete width of 54 to 60 inches (140 to 150 cm), and also up to 7 lawns (6. 4 m) in size. This garment was gathered into pleats as well as protected by a wide belt.
A surviving men’s belted plaid from 1822 has a belt loopholes sewn inside it at each pattern repeat, such that it can be unpleated completely into a covering, or quickly pleated with a hidden drawstring belt (with a 2nd belt put on outside, to squash the pleats, as in the picture of Lord Mungo Murray above).
It was worn over a line (a full-sleeved chiton stopping below the waistline) as well as can additionally function as an outdoor camping blanket. A summary from 1746 states: The clothes is absolutely very loose, as well as fits males inured to it to go via wonderful tiredness, to make very fast marches, to substantiate versus the inclemency of the weather condition, to wade via rivers, as well as shelter in huts, timbers, and also rocks upon celebration; which men dressed in the reduced country attire could not possibly withstand.
The exact age of the excellent kilt is still under argument. Earlier carvings or images prior to the 16th century appearing to reveal the kilt may show the line. The earliest written source that absolutely defines the belted plaid or excellent kilt originates from 1594. The wonderful kilt is mostly related to the Scottish Highlands, yet was likewise utilized in inadequate Lowlands backwoods.
Sometime in the late 17th or early 18th century the tiny kilt (fileadh beag, anglicised as filibeg or philabeg), making use of a single width of fabric worn suspending listed below the belt entered into usage, becoming preferred throughout the Highlands and northern Lowlands by 1746, although the excellent kilt or belted plaid remained to be worn.