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Discussion in 'Clothing' started by David Ritchie, Oct 28, 2009.
I'm looking for a proper mid 18th century kilt to add to my kit. Anyone know of a good source?
Depending on how "mid," you may be looking at a great kilt, which was simply a large blanket pleated and held together with a belt and perhaps a pin. There's also debate about whether tartans were associated with specific clans before the nineteenth century; a lot of historians say no.
Colmoultrie: Were the pleats sewn in?
Kilts depend on several factors, Early kilts pre-rev war are generaly what is called a great kilt, this was just a 54" wide x 9yard long peice of tartan wool fabric. The modern small kilts were in limited use by some in scotland but was mainly used by scots working in smelter plants. The english banned the kilt and all scottish garments after culloden in 1746. The only use alowed was by the english highland regiments ie Black Watch. Civilians were not allowd to were it.
The wee kilt as seen today was an invention of the Victorian era and part of a revival movement.
If you are portraying a highland soilder in the british army then you would be wearing the blackwatch tartan and it would be a great kilt.
Black watch tartan is faily common but is still expensive, USAKilts has tartan fabric for $75.00 per yard. Some fabric store will also have tartan wool avaiable but it is a lighter weight than standard tartan fabric.
Good luck with your outfit.
Pleats were not sewn in in the great kilt. As Flintlock75 said, it was just 9 yards of heavyweight wool.
Mr. flintlock75- Out of curiosity, could you provide some insight as to how a guy wears that nine yards of fabric in the great kilt? Thanks GWW
Here's a link that seems to be pretty good, talking about how to wear the great kilt.
Unless you were part of the Scottish Black Watch stationed in America, then a kilt would not be appropriate to add to your kit...
Hard to Describe, there are several variations to folding the fabric.
1. Fold plaid in half length wise, It should come 10" above the waist to right at the top of the Knee.
2. Lay out belt to be used to attach to waist.
3. Layout plaid 24" past buckle or Enough to cross your front and just cover the right leg.
4. Take plaid an layout pleats along the length of the belt so all pleats are in the back.
5. Lay on plaid with the belt at waist position.
6. Take plaid from long end and bring it around your front and place tail over Left Shoulder, arrainge so plaid covers front.
7. Bring short end of plaid over the front and pin 8" up from bottom.
8. Fasten belt with plaid under it.
Stand up and adjust plaid so it overhangs the belt.Adjust length at Knee with excess material going over belt.
9. Attach Plaid to shoulder with a Pin or Broach, The trail of the fabric should reach to the bottom of the hem.
I am sure there are some web sites with pictures.
I hope this helps
also, as a side note, to some it's considered an insult if you wear a tartan that isn't in your bloodline, just an fyi.
But, if you're trying to go for a kilt style that's before the 19th century, than it won't have the specific family tartan, also it will more than likely be a scratchy wool at first, it'll soften with wear and use and have muted colors.
Worst case, just look for a tartan that's more muted in colors rather than the vivid reds, blues and golds that one sees today.
I have a renaissance character that wears a great kilt, if you'd like help with pictures on how to make a great kilt, feel free to give me a ring! :thumbsup:
First off a great kilt is not 9 yards! Think about it 9 yards is 28 feet! At a Highland games
once one of my friends got some wool at a sell out price, he got 9 yards and he tried to wrap up in it. The way we learned to wrap up in a great kilt
1. lay your belt on the ground then spread your plaid over it. When you fold it you will have a right apron a center of folded pleats as wide as your hips and a left apron.
2 set down on the material with your hips even with your pleats. setting down on the pleats where
if you are regimental your McNuggets would be about 2, 1/2 inches from the edge of the fabric.
3 Then lay back and flip the right apron over your front, then flip the left apron over and belt it up.
Here is a picture of me wearing a great kilt made from 4 yards of 60 inch wide blackwatch.
I am the one on the left.
A fine looking bunch there! :thumbsup:
This was a He Man Military Musket match and the Young lady trounced both us Highlanders! That is Manyklatch on the right!
Black Hand, I am a direct descendent of James Ritchie (bn. 1655) in Moffat, Scotland. He was a Scot Covenenter, later living in Ireland. His great-grandson, Gilbert Ritchie (1758-1854) lived in Pennsylvania, and served as a private in the Pennsylvania line during the revolution.
Now, since Ritchie is a sept of Clan McIntosh, I could wear that tartan, but for the 1740-1770 period, this would be innaccurate. Right?
Most folks who wear great kilts at Rendezvous and are portraying non government tartan, go by Mary Joes or a wool dealer and get 4 yards of of a wool plaid that you like, most get earth tones green and browns. This is because only two of the
modern tartans can be documented prior to 1745.
Most highland games have a primitive camp with people dressed like this. You may be given a bit of grief if you walk around the clan tents where folks wear the modern stuff but I doubt it. The big week long rendezvous always have a Highland Games where most folks wear non official tartans.
Thanks for the good info. I am really trying to work up a charactorization that reflects my heritage. I want to portray someone who was born between the F&I war and the revolution.
lookin' good....ALBA GU BRATH
Forget the kilt in your kit unless you are doing some fantasy SCA crap or something. just wasn't worn in this country in the 18th century. Some say there is no better garment for fighting or fornicating but it is just a schoolgirl skirt....
They were worn by Oglethorpe's Scott gards in GA and by various Highland units in the F&I and Rev War.
There are also references of units switching over to wearing breeches, meaning that they were wearing the kilt before they switched.
There was a civil war northern unit that wore kilts. They were the 79th New York Highlanders. They modeled themselves after the 79th Cameron Highlanders of the British army. They were formed in 1859 entirly of Scotish immigrants with 4 companies. In full dress they wore kilts,a doublet, sporran, hose, garters, and silver buckeled shoes. In the field they changed to Cameron tartan pants with dark blue blouses, and a regulatin kepi which replaced the Glengary cap with it's checkered border. A few kept thier kilts and trews. This information came from "The Fighting Men fo the Civil War" By Willian C. Davis published by Salamander Books Ltd. London. Page 21 with a full color drawing of a sarg. in uniform. On page 20 middle of the page is a balck and white photo of a first sarg.
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