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  1. #1
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    Evolution of the modern kilt.

    In my all to small amount of research that I have done on the subject of the evolution of the modern kilt, I have covered the transition from great kilt to philabeg, and the development of the sewn in pleats and the types of pleats that were popular in any of the particular periods. One thing that has seemed to escape me however, are the various methods to secure the kilt at the waist. I'm sure that I have just overlooked the information somewhere. I know that the great kilt and philabeg (with or without the possible drawstrings) were held on with just the belt, and I am aware of the modern kilt's buckles and straps (and snaps or Velcro in the case of sportkilts and utilikilts), but what type of information is there on the in between period? Once the pleats began to be sewn in, what methods were employed to hold the kilt on? As stated, I am sure that I have just overlooked it somewhere. Any help or recommended sources would be appreciated.
    Gloria Patri! Thither Yond! Jeremiah! Do-lang Do-lang! (All things I have shouted in a charge.) http://www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com

  2. #2
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    What leads you to think that there was some other method preceding the belt?
    Secretary and Ohio Commissioner, [URL="http://www.clanmactavish.org/"]Clan MacTavish USA, Inc.[/URL]

  3. #3
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    Well, all garments seem to go through some evolution before they reach their current state. I would assume that it wouldn't have been long after the pleats were fixed that someone tried to figure out a way to hold up the kilt with out the belt. The current method seems to be rather specialized. I mean that it just seems like quite a jump from the belt only to three straps and buckles, one of which threads through the kilt and buckles on the outside to support the inner apron. So I was just wondering about the various methods used in this transitional period. I have attempted to make a style that uses buttons at the waist, but that was based on a theory I had. I have yet to find any historical source to support the idea, so I was just wondering if anyone knew something on this subject.
    Gloria Patri! Thither Yond! Jeremiah! Do-lang Do-lang! (All things I have shouted in a charge.) http://www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com

  4. #4
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    In one of Matt Newsome's papers he states that kilts used to be fastened with pins http://albanach.org/articles.html?ht...asons_why.html and I am sure I have read somewhere that ribbon type tape was used to fasten kilts also (cannot currently find the reference though) Cheers
    Shoot straight you bastards. Don't make a mess of it. Harry (Breaker) Harbord Morant - Bushveldt Carbineers

  5. #5
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    Yes I've seen photos of old army kilts with no buckles, the fabric in certain places somewhat worn and torn from repeated pinning. I believe that this was standard in the Napoleonic period but I have no idea when straps & buckles started being used, and when pinning ceased.

    About the strap that threads through a hole in the kilt, it isn't always so, and some kilts were made with that buckle on the inside, so no hole needed.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 9th April 14 at 08:29 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  6. #6
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    27th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downunder Kilt View Post
    In one of Matt Newsome's papers he states that kilts used to be fastened with pins http://albanach.org/articles.html?ht...asons_why.html and I am sure I have read somewhere that ribbon type tape was used to fasten kilts also (cannot currently find the reference though) Cheers
    My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I think Peter (figheadair) has posted an article about a historical military kilt that indeed used a ribbon tape method of holding it closed.

  7. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  8. #7
    Join Date
    25th November 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Didymous View Post
    Well, all garments seem to go through some evolution before they reach their current state. I would assume that it wouldn't have been long after the pleats were fixed that someone tried to figure out a way to hold up the kilt with out the belt. The current method seems to be rather specialized. I mean that it just seems like quite a jump from the belt only to three straps and buckles, one of which threads through the kilt and buckles on the outside to support the inner apron. So I was just wondering about the various methods used in this transitional period. I have attempted to make a style that uses buttons at the waist, but that was based on a theory I had. I have yet to find any historical source to support the idea, so I was just wondering if anyone knew something on this subject.
    There was also the method which seemed to be a very long strap on the side of the under apron which went through a "button hole" on the wearers left, all the way round the wearers back and fastened to a buckle on the wearers right hip.
    Unemployment is not working!

  9. #8
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    20th February 14
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    John at Keltoi offers a military style kilt with ribbon ties-no buckles-as Tobus has mentioned. Good shot on his site to view.

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  11. #9
    Join Date
    2nd January 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I think Peter (figheadair) has posted an article about a historical military kilt that indeed used a ribbon tape method of holding it closed.
    Tobus,

    I think that you might be referring to this one which although it is the 42nd tartan was a civilian kilt. I don’t know of any early (pre-1830) military kilts that used a ribbon closure although as so few survive there may well have been some. Civilian kilts on the hand (or at least some of them) definitely featured this type of closure and several survive from the period pre-c1820 but the method seems to have been superseded by various strap and buckle arrangements from then onwards. I’ve also seen an interesting c1820 variation on a theme where the kilt had and inner waistband that buttoned up to give a sort of internal cummerbund; this had buttons along its top to which the aprons were fastened by corresponding button holes. As this is the only known example it’s impossible to tell whether this was once more common and represents a sort of transitional fastening arrangement or whether it was a local maker’s solution.

    Turning to military kilt pins; according to Bill Clements, former member of the Black Watch and also PM of the Atholl Highlanders, as late as WWII the 42nd kilts were fastened at the waist (hips) by two 6” steel pins with black glass bead heads. Apparently it took a bit of practice to get the fastening right but once accomplished then it was a very practical method. I have no idea if this was just a Black Watch that used these pins or whether other regiments did too.

  12. #10
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    25th November 11
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    i have a question on the ribbon/ties on the kilts that had them. were the sewn on? or was there and eyelet or something to loop it threw, to make it easy to replace it tears?

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