Kilts have been in use for longer than you think, kilts are not just about Scottish tartans and clans. There is more to kilt fashion history than plaid patterns that graced the battlefields of the Highlands way back in 1538.
This is the earliest mention of kilts. Probably, kilts were around before too. Moreover, kilts have evolved over the years to look like what they are today. Read on to know more historical trivia about kilts.
The Kilt as a Continuous Piece of Fabric
It is difficult to imagine that the kilt and the shoulder sash were part of a single long piece of fabric. But history does throw up some interesting titbits and this is one of those!
How men wore this garment also makes for interesting reading! A leather belt would be placed on the ground and the long fabric pleated and folded would be placed on top of the belt.
The person wearing the kilt would lie on down on top of the belt, reach over to fold the fabric to cover his front and then fasten the belt around his waist.
Once the belt was secured, the loose end of the garment would be placed over his left shoulder and secured with a pin or broach. This completed the look of the kilt.
It is a wonder how men wore such a garment to battle considering it was a risk the garment could come unwrapped while the men were engrossed with fighting enemy soldiers.
Sewn Kilts, Secure Kilts
It was only around the year 1725 when kilts were simplified and sewn together instead of wrapped around. This was a blessing because now kilts were not just worn on battlefields; they became a part of everyday wear.
Around these years, tartans with colourful designs and inspired by nature and its colours became really popular. In Scotland, specific areas and clans chose tartan designs to represent and identify their clans.
Kilts became not just a clan icon, but a symbol of pride and belonging.
Kilts for the Royalty
By the 18th century, the use of kilts spread far and wide. The British Army chose the kilt as the uniform for its Highland Regiments.
The British Royal family also indulged in kilt fashion. From Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to their little Prince, ribbons, trims and plaid fabrics were quite a hit. Other ladies and gentlemen from the royal household were not far behind. Kilts in every plaid design were internationally popular by the year 1890.