Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | June 22, 2011

Factoid #9: Belted Plaid (Predecessor to the Scottish Kilt)

Factoid #9:

The Belted Plaid, sometimes called the great kilt, is a woolen rectangle (approx. 15 feet by 5 feet) that is pleated then belted around the waist. It was first mentioned in a 1594 document. The famous Scottish kilt (or little kilt) didn’t appear until the 17th century and was rarely seen before 1700.


  1. Wow! I’d like to see a picture of this.

  2. I love kilts- men in kilts are so hot!

    • Hi Alica, You are so right! For how to wrap a kilt, be sure to check out the links I posted in these comments. Cheers, Ashley

  3. Very interesting. I’ve wondered how they put such a large piece of fabric over a comparatively small body. 🙂 And DANG those kilts are expensive!!

    • Hi Michelle,
      Plaid wrapping is a unique and costly process. But, on the right Highland laird or warrior …
      Cheers, Ashley

  4. I heard this before – funny how we all think Scots have been in plaid since time began.

    • Hi Tam,
      So true. In fact, some novel covers and movies have kilts on their Highlanders prior to 1580.
      Before 1580, the handsome laird or warrior should be dressed in a mantle, léine (tunic), and belt or European court attire.
      Cheers, Ashley

  5. I wonder if this was the precursor to the Belted Galloway Cow (also called the Oreo Cow, because it is black in the front and the back and has a white band around the middle-they breed them here in Newport RI). I’ll have to do more research! Thanks for this tidbit!

    • Hi Jayne, Interesting. Please let all of us know what you learn in your research. Thank you, Ashley

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