I thought I'd have a bit a fun today and turn my usual blog posting over to Rita - one of the long-time team members at SMW Headquarters! When I asked her what she's like to write about - the answer was quick and definitive -
Rita here, from Team Tartan!
I’ve been working here at SMW for a couple years now and in that time I’ve learned a lot about the rich, cultural history of Scotland. Scot and I thought it would be fun if I shared with you a bit about one of my favorite topics, kilts! Below are some of my favorite lesser-known facts about kilts.
1) Kilts: The Original Swiss Army Knife
A kilt, a blanket, a scarf, even a tent! The original kilt was just about as utilitarian as it gets. With a bi-fold over the belt, the top half was often worn over the shoulders for added warmth.
2) No pockets? No problem!
Because kilts aren’t equipped with pockets, sporrans serve as a wallet that have the added functionality of keeping the front flap of your kilt safely in place.
3) Kilt pin safety
The nature and weight of wool means that it has little to no give, so pinning the top layer to the bottom will risk tearing these tartan treasures. The kilt pin is meant to be pinned only to the outer flap of the kilt to add weight. Typically they’re pinned between mid-thigh and upper knee.
4) Pleats must be precise.
Probably the most fascinating thing I learned is that the pleating technique is done just so that the tartan pattern has uniformity with the flat pieces. The result is both impressive and beautiful.
5) Keeping those pleats in place can get tricky.
Sitting is the easiest way to mess up the beautiful pleating. So in order to keep the tartan from wrinkling, Scot recommends the “sweep and scoot” method when sitting down. Carefully sweep the pleats flat to your bum as you sit on the edge of a chair and scoot back.
6) The Gentlemen's Commando.
Traditionally, wearing a kilt means going sans underwear. But with a little care, you can keep to tradition while also keeping things PG. Kilts are incredibly heavy, so unless it’s particularly windy, you’re not likely to encounter andy Marilyn moments. However the added weight of a sporran and kilt pin serve as an extra measure for keeping things under wraps (pun intended).
Thanks for the great information Rita!