Are you celebrating the history of Ireland this year?
Whether you’re looking for pieces of clothing or simply into this topic, then why not consider the traditional Irish kilt?
It’s a great and more historically accurate alternative to the Scottish heritage that some people assume is the national garment of Ireland. We’ll take you through why the Irish kilt is a great pick and how you can find and make your own.
Origins of the Irish Kilt
The Irish kilt has a storied and long-standing history, with its roots stretching back as far as the 16th century. According to Irish folklore, it originated when Sir William Stanley, an Englishman with Irish ancestry, gave the gift of cloth kilts to the Irish people. Ever since then, the beloved Irish kilt has been a symbol of Irish pride and culture.
Today, this classic piece of clothing is decorated with colorful tartan patterns and has been embraced by society at large, no longer seen as only a sign of Irish identity. The Irish kilt is a reminder of the country’s shared history and cultural traditions, from the picturesque beauty of the countryside to the spirit and energy of the people.
Varied Styles of the Irish Kilt
From the start, the kilt was a symbol of status, class, and wealth in Ireland and around the world. The kilt was usually worn in the Highlands of Scotland and was an affliction of the Irish who were later influenced by Scottish culture. The kilt style and patterns varied between regions and families, but the basic design and construction were the same from the beginning.
The earliest Irish kilts were composed of random-length pieced fabric, typically earth-toned or dark green wool, and based on the traditional Great Kilt of Scotland. The simple pleated skirt was almost ankle-length, laced together at the front, and worn with a long woolen or linen shirt and a belt.
Over the years, the women’s Irish kilt has become more colorful and lace-trimmed with intricate embroidered designs, featuring broad pleats at the hips, knotted fringes, and tassels. Learn more on a Irish kilt to see the variety of clothing and jewelry they wear.
Modern Uses for the Irish Kilt
It has evolved over the centuries to become an iconic piece of clothing for Ireland, which is often seen at festivals, parties, or special occasions. Historically, the Irish kilt was worn by soldiers during the 18th and 19th centuries and was used by Gaelic Irish families during the 18th century. These Irish kilts featured tartan colors such as red, green, and yellow.
Traditional Irish kilts are still worn by men and women as a form of national pride, and they often come in colors that match their Irish heritage. In addition to its traditional uses, modern uses for the Irish kilt include weddings and formal events where a touch of Irish culture is desired.
Learning The Colorful History of Ireland
Throughout the years, the Irish Kilt has held a special significance to the people of Ireland. From religious connotations to the adoption of tartan specifically related to Ireland, this garment has marked the individual and group identity of the Irish.
Though still widely worn today, it is in evidence that the Irish Kilts will always be an integral part of the Irish culture and remains a timeless symbol of the Emerald Isle. Get a piece of the history of Ireland for yourself and explore the symbols of Irish heritage!
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