Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [albanach] kilt history

Expand Messages
  • Matthew A. C. Newsome
    ... laying it out ... stand up ... never ... they ... keepers on a ... again at ... Well, certainly some eighteenth century depictions show belted plaids on
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 11, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Shel writes:
      >I decided a while back to put on my plaid every
      >morning to learn something about donning the thing. I started by
      laying it out
      >on the floor or a bed, and found it very time consuming. I learned to
      stand up
      >and put it on faster and more easily. If highlanders put them on and
      never
      >took them off in the field, I suppose that would be fine, no matter how
      they
      >were put on. Do you think that that was the case? After sewing
      "keepers" on a
      >plaid, I found it very simple and easy to put it on no matter what the
      >conditions. A drawstring would certainly do the same and I will look
      again at
      >your reference. I would like to see how the drawstring is installed.


      Well, certainly some eighteenth century depictions show belted plaids on
      soldiers that look mussed up enough for one to believe they had been
      slept in a few times. Again, I'd have to dig through my books to find
      specific examples for you.

      As to how the draw string was attached to the plaid, all we have to go
      by in the surviving example from 1822, which is admitably way after our
      period, but it's all we have. The earliest example we have of a
      drawstring, from the Murray portrait (which, BTW, also shows a border on
      the plaid), shows a drawstring that certainly could have been fastened
      this way.

      In the 1822 example (which is a MacGregor tartan), the drawstring is
      attached at the waist of the kilt, by means of small loops of cord or
      string, sewn in at the rate of one for every repeat of the sett.
      According to an article by James D. Scarlett, this is sewn on to the
      inside of the plaid. According to Bob Martin, this is sewn on the
      outside. I have the highest respect for the opinions of both men, and
      both, to my knowledge, have examined the actual garment in question, so
      I'm not quite sure why they differ. Both excellent historians, Jamie is
      a weaver and Bob a kilt maker, so I tend to give more weight to Jamie
      when it comes to making the cloth, and to Bob when it comes to what is
      done with the cloth. In any case, my drawstrung plaid has it on the
      outside and it works just fine.

      You begin by taking hold of either end of the string, and pulling it up
      into a U shape so that the plaid falls in natural gathers at the center.
      With your plaid to your back, you tie the drawstring around your waist.
      At this time, you will have to do a bit of pulling and tugging at the
      cloth to get it all in place. Finally, you but your belt on to secure
      the whole thing. The belt will hide the drawstring.

      I'm still more used to putting on the plaid without the drawstring, so
      to me that is still faster, but I can easily see how, with practice,
      this way is more convenient.
      Aye,
      Eogan

      The History of Highland Dress: <http://albanach.org>
      http://albanach.org
      The Scottish Tartans Museum: <http://scottishtartans.org>
      http://scottishtartans.org
      District Tartans: <http://district-tartans.com>
      http://district-tartans.com



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Sharon L. Krossa
      ... The plaid worn belted was a development from a plaid (rectangular tartan mantle) worn unbelted and so was originally just a different style of wearing an
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 11, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        At 8:12 PM -0500 12/10/04, Unspecified wrote:
        >I'm not really having trouble. I decided a while back to put on my
        >plaid every
        >morning to learn something about donning the thing. I started by
        >laying it out
        >on the floor or a bed, and found it very time consuming. I learned
        >to stand up
        >and put it on faster and more easily. If highlanders put them on and never
        >took them off in the field, I suppose that would be fine, no matter how they
        >were put on. Do you think that that was the case?

        The plaid worn belted was a development from a plaid (rectangular
        tartan mantle) worn unbelted and so was originally just a different
        style of wearing an outer garment serving the same function as a
        cloak or modern (heavy) coat -- something one put on and took off
        repeatedly throughout the day as circumstances warranted (going
        inside, going outside, the weather getting warm, the weather getting
        cold, etc.). So at least to start with (in the late 16th century)
        they would not normally have put them on and never taken them off
        throughout the day.

        Later what began as a style of wearing an outer garment of the cloak
        genre developed into a lower garment of the trousers/skirt genre, and
        after that shift in purpose occurred it would have been something
        that was put on in the morning and worn continually throughout the
        day. However, I haven't yet really researched exactly when this
        transition occurred, and it may have been a long and uneven
        transition period -- and/or it may even only have been with the
        development of the small kilt that it occurred (and perhaps only the
        small kilt was used in the skirt/trouser genre with the belted plaid
        continuing to be used in the original cloak genre). Note also that
        there may be insufficient evidence to determine exactly when said
        transition occurred.

        (Just to make things more complicated, it may be that between early
        use in the cloak genre and later development into the skirt/trouser
        genre, there might have been a period of wearing it in the old
        fashioned suit jacket genre -- that is, something put on in the
        morning and worn all day except when in circumstances where being
        half-undressed is okay.)

        Sharon, ska Africa
        --
        Sharon L. Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.