History of the kilt

History Of The Kilt

History of the kilt

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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 great kilt, a full length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder, or brought up over head as a cloak. The small kilt or walking kilt (similar to the 'modern' kilt) did not develop until the late 17th or early 18th century, and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt.

The word kilt comes from the Scots word kilt meaning to tuck up the clothes around the body, although the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (vol. 15, p. 798) says the word is Scandinavian in origin. The Scots word derives from the Old Norse kjalta, from Norse settlers who wore a similar, pleated garment.

The great kilt



The Breacan an Fhéilidh (belted plaid) or Féileadh Mòr (great plaid) is likely to have evolved over the course of the 16th century from the earlier 'brat' or woollen cloak (also known as plaid) which was worn over a tunic or léine, as was the style in Ireland. This earlier cloak or brat may have been plain in colour or in various check or tartan designs, depending on the wealth of the wearer; this earlier fashion of clothing had not changed significantly from that worn by Celtic warriors in Roman times.Matthew Allen Newsome, "The Early History of the Kilt" The Scottish Tartans...
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