bag pipe

The kilt is an iconic garment that has been around for centuries.  It originated in Scotland and was worn by the Scots as a symbol of their independence.  The kilt remained popular with Scottish men until the 1800s when it became more common to wear trousers or kilts designed specifically for women.  Today, people all over the world can be seen wearing this traditional dress!  Discover everything you need to know about this iconic piece of clothing below.

What Is A Kilt?

A kilt is a garment that consists of a length of fabric worn around the body and fastened at or near the waist, to wrap around the upper part of the wearer’s legs.  The cloth can be anyone color or pattern, but most often it features checkered patterns known as tartan in Scotland.

What Are The Different Types Of Kilts?

The type of kilt that people wear is determined by the tartan pattern, with each design representing a different geographic region within Scotland.  There are seven main types: Strathspey Kilt (green and black), Atholl Kilt (black and gold), Hunting Weathered Kilt (black and green), Ross-shire Kilt (green and red), Gordon Tartan, MacAlister, Cameron.

How Do You Wear A Kilt?

Kilts are worn by inserting the head through a hole at the top of the kilt, which is then joined together with pins or ties. The kilt is then fastened around the waist, and the pleats are wrapped over a belt that can be worn on or off to adjust for comfort.

How To Tuck In A Kilt?

To tuck in a kilt, simply tie it at the front with one of these methods: pinning it, tucking it into your belt, or wearing a kilt pin.

What Is The Tartan Pattern?

Tartans are made up of two colors (sometimes more) that represent the geographical region where that tartan was first designed to be worn.  For example, in Scotland, there is an unbroken tradition of wearing the regional dress, or kilt, including the tartan pattern.

What Are The Kilt Folds?

Three types of folds can be made with a kilt: pleat, choke, and fall.  A pleat fold is when two half-widths of cloth come together to form an inverted V shape.  A choke fold is when the two half-widths of cloth are sewn together and then closed.  The fall fold is where a kilt fits loosely around the waist, with one side being longer than another to allow it to be worn over outer garments like jeans or trousers.

Kilts For Men And Women: A Brief History Of This Iconic Garment

In the past, kilts were originally worn as a man’s garment in Scotland. The kilt was usually made of wool or tartan fabric and could be either calf-length (reaching to just below the knees) or knee-length.  Women also wore the kilt until around 1800 when they began wearing dresses instead.  When the kilt became a more general men’s garment, it was later adapted to become a woman’s dress.

The word “kilt” derives from the Scottish Gaelic language (Gàidhlig), meaning: to tuck up, pleat or plait.  In most non-English languages with roots in Celtic Europe, such as French (kilte), Irish (cilt) and Welsh (ciltedd), the word kilt follows that origin.  The first written record of this form dates back to 1538, when a gentleman in Edinburgh died “in his Kelt”.

A growing number of Gaelic speakers refer to it as ‘the kailzie’ or ‘the kailzie skirt’ and it is pronounced ‘kilt-eh’.

The kilt is a traditional Scots garment and became a symbol of national identity.

We hope that this article has provided you with a better understanding of kilts and their significance in Scottish culture.  Remember: wear yours proudly but always remember where Scotland came from – its people, history, traditions, and values!


Kilt: What To Know About This Iconic Garment

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