A Brief History Of The Kilt
The kilt and plaid originated when the wearer took a piece of material, wrapped part of it around his body and fastened it with a belt which gathered it into loose folds, which in later development became the more accurate pleating of the modern kilt.
The other end of the material was thrown over the shoulder where one corner was usually pinned with a brooch to either another part of the tartan or to the shirt.
This combination of the kilt and plaid known as a ‘Breacan-Feile’ is still represented in modern dress although the kilt and plaid proportions have been separated for convenience.
The kilt worn today is the ‘Feileadh Bheag’, or little kilt, which originally had large box pleats that were stitched, while the neat tight pleats of todays kilt are the result of military influences in the nineteenth century.
The word ‘kilt’ has now come to be the universal term for the colourful ‘skirt apparel’ that constitutes Scotlands national dress although its origins are not entirely clear cut.