Highland Outfit- Essential Accessories
Thursday 6th July, 2017 | Posted by Marchbrae
Completing the Kilt Outfit
When purchasing a kilt there is a lot to consider; measuring correctly (see our helpful blog for guidance), which cloth weight is preferable and which tartan to choose. However, once these decisions are made and the kilt is being woven it is time to decide how you will dress the kilt.
There are certain accessories that are essential to completing your highland outfit and here is our guide.
The kilt pin is placed at the bottom right hand corner of the front panel near the fringe edge. It is used for decoration and to stop the kilt flapping open. It is often assumed to be used to hold the kilt closed however it should never be pinned through both layers of cloth as this will alter how the kilt hangs. The kilt pin can vary in design from a basic oversized safety pin to swords, national emblems, animals or Celtic knots. Many kilt wearers choose a sword kilt pin with their clan crest displayed on.
With Sgian meaning knife or dagger and Dubh meaning black, this small single-edge knife is traditionally worn inside the right-hand stocking or ‘Hose’ against the calf, with only the top of the hilt visible. The sgian-dubh may have evolved from the sgian-achlais, a dagger that could be concealed under the armpit used by Scots of the 17th and 18th centuries. Courtesy and etiquette would demand that when entering the home of a friend any concealed weapons would be revealed. It suggests that the sgian-achlais would be removed from its hiding place and displayed in the stocking top held securely by the garters.
Although decorative now, traditionally the sgian-dubh would have been a practical tool in daily life.
The Sporran, Gaelic for purse, is a traditional part of the highland outfit that provides a practical solution for a garment without pockets. Originally it would have resembled a leather pouch that hung on a string around the hips. Today it is worn at the front of the kilt, held by a chain that is fed through the kilts belt loops and fastened at the back.
Day sporrans are the most casual representation usually made in full leather and of basic appearance. The semi dress sporran usually has a fur front and leather back, it is more ornate than a day sporran and can be worn for formal or informal occasions, we include this in our Argyll Outfit. The dress sporran is typically made in fur with a metal cantle and is recommended for formal occasions, this is included in our Prince Charlie Outfit.
Our sporrans are hand made by William Scott Sporrans, who have been in business since 1923. Malcolm Scott has personally been making sporrans for forty years and it was his father who patented the design as we recognise it today.