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History of a kilt

The exact origins of the kilt are uncertain, but this garment, along with the many clan and district tartans in which it is produced, has become a powerful symbol of Scottish identity, history and culture. Although based on traditons of dress which developed in the 'Highlands' of Scotland, you could say that the kilt forms the basis of a national dress that has come to represent Scotland in it's entirety.

The large 'Wraparound' kilt , The 'Feileadh Mor', The 'Feileadh Bhreacain' or the 'Belted plaid', as it has variously been known, is undoubtedly the predecessor of what we recognise as the kilt today. A large piece of material, generally of heavy and dense weave, would have been drawn together by a thick belt, thus transforming it into a piece of clothing, this process probably being expedited by the person in a backward lying position for greater ease. Certainly, then, a rather crude garment, but not one without some very practical benefits when compared to an article of more sartorial complexity. The obvious versatility of the material lent it many uses beyond clothing; at times, for example, the whole thing could be unravelled and used as a blanket covering. It allowed great feedom of movement and could be shed very quickly in situations of combat. The 'Belted Plaid' would have been made from material that might have had considerable qualities of water resistance and would, originally, have had a bold check design that would develop ,in time, into something approximating to the tartan that we know today. This, the earliest form of kilt, has become familiar through films such as ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Rob Roy.’ The evolution into ‘The Feileadh Beg’ or ‘Little Kilt’ of latter periods and ,indeed, the present day, is a much debated subject, but it is, to the dismay of many a Scot, to an Englishman that the credit (or blame) is usually accredited. Rawlinson headed an ironworks in Lochaber, in the Fort William area, and, either in the pursuit of employee safety or, more likely, enhanced profits, he is said to have developed the much smaller kilt with tight pleats at the back and with two leather strap-fastened aprons overlapping at the front, for his workers to wear at work. This has become the standard today. It does not, perhapsHealth Fitness Articles, take a giant leap of the imagination to see the dangers or inefficiencies inherent in operating heavy industrial plant whilst wearing a large draped garment (Do not try this at home).

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