The kilt, also known as the kilt, is much more than a simple piece of clothing for the Scots. At the time it was widely worn, it was a display of Scottish men’s devotion to their country and clan. For this reason, the skirt was a symbol of “masculinity” for the Scots. On the other hand, it also had an important function in daily life. “Kilt” was the most important assistant of Scottish men in the difficult terrain conditions in the highlands of Scotland. However, it was banned by the British Crown for “political” reasons. But the soldiers did not stop wearing these skirts. Here’s what you need to know about the Scottish kilt, one of the most striking symbols of Scotland.
The emergence and the first examples of the kilt
In the 16th century, the Kilt was the clothing of men living in the “wild” highlands of Scotland. Even in the rest of Scotland, it was seen as the garb of the “barbarians”! So much so that the settled Scottish people insulted their relatives living in the mountains by calling them “red-legged” for wearing skirts!
Despite all this, skirts were a good choice for shelter from the cold weather in the highlands of Scotland. Scottish skirts were made of checked, woolen and thick fabrics. On the other hand, kilts of different colors represented different clans. However, the fabric and color of the skirts were closely related to the economic conditions. In addition, the color or fabric of the kilts could change seasonally. This was due to the seasonally changing fabric and dye resources. On the other hand, the most astonishing thing about the early examples of Scottish skirts was that the skirts were made of almost 8 meters of fabric!
Scottish skirts first appeared in the 16th century, under the name “Feileadh Mor”, meaning “big skirt”. It was a one-piece outfit made of 8 meters of fabric. The top of the large skirt fell like a cloak over the shoulders and covered the whole body. The skirt part of the lower part of the dress went all the way down to the knees. So the “big skirt” was much longer than the classic kilt we know today.
The big kilt was a great convenience to the highland Scottish men in many ways. For one thing, they could easily be protected from the harsh cold thanks to the woolen fabric. On the other hand, this suit also allowed them to move easily in mountainous terrains, thus allowing them to change places in a short time. Moreover, since it is a garment that can be dried easily, it can be easily worn even in rainy weather. Another advantage of oversized skirts was that they could be used as a blanket at night!
Small skirt or modern kilt
The first form of the kilt, similar to what we know today, appeared in the early 18th century. An Englishman named Thomas Rawlinson decided that the big skirt was really big. On top of that, she cut her kilt in half! The top of the dress was not used, but the skirt continued to be worn. The first to wear this new skirt was, of course, Thomas Rawlinson. Over time, people and townspeople in Rawlinson’s inner circle also began to wear the skirt. Soon, even the “highland” Scots adopted this new skirt. Thus, the “filleadh beag” was born, which is used to mean little skirt or walking skirt. Moreover, it has become a very popular outfit in a short time!
Small or large, all skirts are prohibited!
By the middle of the 18th century, the kilt was at the peak of its popularity. However, with the Dress Code enacted on July 1, 1746, all types of kilt were banned! With this law, the English Crown wanted to put pressure on the Scots, who had tried many rebellions before. The banning of the skirt, an extremely precious symbol for the Scots, was a purely political move. Of course, there were Scots who resisted the skirt ban. However, those who violated the ban were first sentenced to 6 months in prison. If they continued to wear skirts of any size, they would be exiled overseas for 7 years!
However, there was an exception to the ban on wearing skirts. The “mountainous” Scottish regiments in the English army were exempted from the ban! In fact, each regiment had their own unique skirts in different colors and patterns! The Crown forbade the wearing of skirts in everyday life, but did not dare to touch this symbol, which was very important to the Scots in the army.
The Dress Act was repealed in 1782. The lifting of the ban was made possible by the “highland” Scots, who now increased the population in the cities and became an important political force. In addition, after the Dress Ban, the kilt ceased to be a clothing specific to highland Scots only. The kilt has become a casual wear worn by many men. For this reason, new forms were often devised…
The kilt, which emerged due to the difficult living conditions in the mountainous regions of Scotland and later became an important symbol of “belonging”, continues to exist today. The kilt is very common, especially in Scotland and other Scottish-populated countries. It is possible to see men wearing kilts in traditional ceremonies, wedding ceremonies and events such as sporting events.
On the other hand, the Scottish skirt is an important part of fashion today. Quite interesting and modern kilt designs are also worn by world famous names from time to time.
After all, one of the most important parts of Scottish culture, the kilt continues to exist, albeit in different forms.