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  1. #1
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    Belted Plaid construction.

    Forgive me if this has already been addressed on another thread, although I suspect I would have come across it if it had.

    I have a question about the construction of the 18th century belted plaid.

    I understand that the cloth was woven with a selvedge.

    But if a length of single width cloth were cut in two for the plaid, there would then be two edges of cloth without a selvedge.

    How were these edges finished?

    I would also like to know what method of stitching (if any in particular) was used for the joining of the two single width lengths into the double width plaid.

    Cheers for all your comments in advance,
    Maxim.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    24th September 04
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    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
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    I think you may be thinking just a bit wrong.

    If one single length of fabric is halved and joined to make one wide piece then the long finished selvedge edge would be joined to the other long finished selvedge edge. You would then hem the short ends where the fabric is cut.

    However weaving of wide lengths of fabric was possible well before the time we associate with the Belted Plaid. Some could have been made from one length of wide fabric.

    The truth is that we simply do not know for sure what the belted plaid was. There is no historical evidence. Yes, there are examples of joined pieces of fabric but they are usually light weight fabric used for curtains and other decorative purposes.

    It is pretty certain that those in the Ren Faires or SCA who hand pleat a length of modern fabric out on the ground and then lay down on it are not using historically documented methods.

    We do know that wide boiled woolen blankets were woven and available as far back as the 1400's.
    We also have evidence that the Irish Brat was worn long before the kilt and painting/drawings of the time show something more akin to a blanket than a kilt and are very similar to those early woodcuts accepted as being the belted plaid.

    Another garment with a long documented history is a Match Coat. It is my belief that this match coat is probably more accurate a representation of what a belted plaid was that what you see at the Ren Faire.

    Take a look at this explanation of the match coat. http://wildeweavery.com/images/match...atchcoat05.gif



    What always amuses me about those guys hand pleating modern fabric on the ground - is that while they are spending all that time demonstrating they are telling the crowd how practical the garment was. The say that people would wrap themselves in this length of single or double width fabric to sleep and then pleat it up to wear. I always want to ask them "What is the first thing you need to do when you wake up? Are you trying to tell me that you go through all this trouble before visiting the latrine?"

    It makes far more sense to me that you would sleep in your wool blanket. Then, in the morning, wrap the blanket around your shoulders just as you see the N. American Indians portrayed, and go do your business.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 22nd August 16 at 09:53 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
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    Crieff, Perthshire
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    Have a look at this paper - Joined Plaids and in particular, Figs 5 and 6.

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to figheadair For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
    Join Date
    18th January 16
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    Cheers for the swift reply Steve.

    I was indeed referring to the area that is cut , and thus to "hem the short ends where the fabric is cut" answers my first question perfectly.

    I did happen upon an article by Peter MacDonald in the time between posting and your reply which was also very useful to me.

    It is titled: Joined Plaids- Settings & Construction. And can be found on this page, for those interested: http://www.scottishtartans.co.uk/research.htm

    I also remember reading a thread on this forum some time ago discussing the match coat theory that you mention, and found it very interesting.

    Thanks again, Maxim.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    18th January 16
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    Figheadair,

    I actually happened upon that article just minutes after starting this thread.

    It was very informative indeed and, had I already read it, would not have started this thread.

    Alas, perhaps this thread will at least help someone else with similar queries.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    26th September 05
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    Memoirs de la Maison Grant

    "........ the broad belt within the keepers, the gentleman stands with nothing on but his shirt;
    "when the servant gets the plaid and belt round, he must hold both ends of the belt till the gentleman adjusts and puts across in proper manner the two folds or flaps before;

    "that done, he tightens the belt to the degree wanted; then the purse and purse-belt is put on loosely; afterwards, the coat and waistcoat is put on and the great low part hanging down behind, where a loop is fixed, is to be pinned up to the right shoulder, immediately under the shoulder strap ....

    "that properly adjusted, the pointed corner or flap that hangs at the left thigh to be taken through the purse belt and to hang, having a cast-back very near as low as the belt to be pinned in such a manner that the corner or low-flyer behind hang as low as the kilt or hough (knee) and no lower; putting at the same time an awkward bulky part of the plaid on the left side, back from the haunch, stuffed under the purse belt.

    "When the shoulder or sword-belt is put on, the flyer that hangs behind is to be taken through, and hang over the shoulder-belt. NB No kilt ought ever to hang lower than the hough - scarcely that far down.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    14th January 11
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    Langley, BC, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke MacGillie View Post
    Memoirs de la Maison Grant

    "........ NB No kilt ought ever to hang lower than the hough - scarcely that far down.
    Hough

    The English dialect dictionary, Volume 4
    By Joseph Wright
    "1. sb ...the lower part of the thigh of a man..."

    Northumberland Words, Volume 29
    "HOUGH, the back of the knee where the hough sinews are."

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