The History of Kilts – Why do Scots wear a skirt – TwistyFaster

Surely you have done many times this question. The skirt worn by the Scots is called kilt and tartan fabric. The checkered estate is much more than a fabric or a garment; it is part of the identity and history of Scotland and is a symbol of Scottish pride.

The History of Kilts - Why do Scots wear a skirt - TwistyFaster

Scottish Skirt History

According to archaeologists, the Celts have been weaving for three thousand years. Its colors were obtained from plants, roots and trees of the places where it was woven. Although the most known origin of the Kilt dates back to the 15th century and is associated with the inhabitants of the Highlands, the Scottish Highlands.

In those times, the garment was called “feileadh mor” and consisted of a tartan fabric about 5 meters long that was placed around the waist and the working part was worn over the shoulder in one way or another depending on the weather or the work they were to be done, and was fastened with a clasp.


These skirts are said to have been used to keep the bottoms of the pants from getting wet, due to the large rains that fall in Scotland throughout the year. Over the years this garment was simplified, the upper part disappeared, leaving only the kit, the kilt, as we know it today.

The Highlanders and the kilt

Following the defeat of the Jacobites in the 18th century and the incorporation of Scotland into the United Kingdom, the typical Scottish costume was prohibited but never disappeared thanks to the Highlanders, the Royal Scottish Regiment in the service of the British Army. These upheld clan traditions including music and clothing, wearing the kilt even on the battlefield.

Highlanders were brave warriors, strong and resilient and became the insignia of the British Empire. Highlander regiments were formed outside of Europe, in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and were key in preserving Scottish folklore. The kilt was even used by the Highlanders even on the battlefield. In the First World War, a khaki family Scottish skirt was specifically designed for the Scottish regiment. Today the Kilt is only used by the military as a uniform in official acts.

The History of Kilts - Why do Scots wear a skirt - TwistyFaster

Types of tartans

Irish tartan kilt design identifies a clan in Scotland. The word clan comes from the Gaelic clan, which means descendant or son, and refers to tribes and families. All Scottish tartans are registered and regulated by the Scottish Tartan Authority, the Scottish tartan authority. There is also a regulation regarding use, it is not allowed to carry a kilt of a tartan whose clan does not belong to or has not been authorized by any member to wear it.

Scottish real tarts

There are also the real tarts, which can only be used by members of the royal family and by the Stuart house. One of the examples of these royal banners is Balmoral’s which cannot be used by anyone who is not authorized by the British royal family.
The Royal Stewart is the official tartan of the Royal House of Scotland and King George V authorized the use of Royal Stewart for the bagpipes of the Scottish Guard Regiment.

Scottish Company tartans

There are even corporate corporations adopted, the oldest of which is the Highland spring Scottish mineral water company. Even the Scottish Parliament has its own tartan!

Mourning tartans

There were also mourning tartans, they were black and white. This Scottish skirt was used only in funerals.

Hunting tartans

And hunting tartans, which were used only for this sport practice and the colors brown and dark purple predominated to blend with the environment. Currently, only men in Scottish suits are seen in celebrated ceremonies, at Highland games and at parades at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.


Although the kilt is also used by celebrities such as actors Gerard Butler and Sean Connery, among other proud Scots, to attend awards collections, and still being used by fashion designers, reinforcing the influence of Scottish culture on the world. The tartan is a symbol of the country, as are William Wallace (cuyotartan is not the one that appears in the Mel Gibson film); the thistle, the national flower; the Stone of Destiny and the cross of Saint Andrew.

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