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James MacMillan

Question for traditional kilt wearers.

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2008 at 10:15 AM, Barley_Bird said:

Also of note, in the older kilts, narrower aprons are nothing new. A lot of the old box pleats had a narrower apron and very simple construction. Not even tapers really.

Defining a traditional is the real trick. Victorian era kilts are far from "traditional." By then, they were Victorian fashion, and had become a symbol of the age of excess.

Prior to that point, the little kilt, box pleated, (if it was even tailored at all) was the garb of peasants and common men. Typically pleated to nothing. Held in place with a bit of rope, a belt, a sash, or pins. For many, it was far more important to have a kilt than to have a nice looking kilt. There are surviving examples of two old kilts sewn together to make one very raggedy looking kilt as evidence of how important it was to have a kilt. Kilts from these times are somewhat rare, as they were literally worn to tatters and rags. A kilt would be worn for a while on one side of the fabric, then pulled apart, worn on the other side of the fabric, (there is your weathered and ancient colours right there) and then it was turned upside down, pulled apart, and re-sewn, and then eventually turned inside out, and re-sewn again. Now that's traditional.

For the typical Highlander, at the time, before the Victorian era was in full effect, pride was taken in whatever one had, be it a new span of tartan from a local weaver or the most ratty looking rag mended and repaired one time to many tied around your waist.

The real tradition is found in the kilt as a symbol and what that symbol means. Everything else is mere minor details.

Seems many disremember that part of the proscriptions was about dress, not just weapons.  The very clothing was outlawed as too provocative of rebellion.

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