Description and History
The belted plaid consisted of a piece of tartan fabric approximately 4 or 5 yards in length and about 50 to 60 inches wide. Since the weaving looms in those years wove fabric in 25–30 inch widths, the actual item was generally constructed from 8 to 10 yards of such single-width fabric by stitching two 25–30 inch pieces together to get the 50–60 inch width.
It was typically worn as a kind of mantle or cloak cast about one's shoulders. In the latter part of the 16th Century, some in the Highlands of Scotland began putting a belt around their waist on the outside of the plaid, after first pleating or gathering the fabric.
The first clear reference to the belted plaid occurs in the year 1594. In that year, a group of Highlanders from the Western Isles went to Ireland to fight under Red Hugh O'Donnell. Writing about them, Lughaidh noted how they could be distinguished from the Irish soldiers:
"They were recognized among the Irish soldiers by the distinction of their arms and clothing . . . for their exterior dress was mottled cloaks of many colors. . ., their belts were over their loins outside their cloaks."
The belted plaid was used not only as a garment, but also for bedding at night, the wearer wrapping himself in it and sleeping directly on the ground.
It was made from wool or a wool/linen combination and twill woven in a pattern of colored stripes which today has become known as tartan, though originally the word tartan referred to the type of cloth (like linen, or cotton) and not the pattern of colors as the word almost exclusively signifies today.
These patterns (or Sett) were apparently chosen based on a sense of fashion or the availability and expense of natural dyes in the area of manufacture. The modern notion of "clan tartans" whereby each clan or name is associated with a particular design did not exist at that time, but instead dates back to the early 19th century. Thus if one desires to wear the belted plaid at Highland Games, it would not be inappropriate (much less incorrect) to wear any tartan pattern of one's choosing or invention. In fact, not all such garments were woven in strict accord with the modern definition of tartan pattern.
Read more about this topic: Belted Plaid
Other articles related to "description and history, description, history":
... Slaugenhopia continued to be classified as a trimerorhachid until 1999 when a new dvinosaur called Thabanchuia was named from South Africa ... Thabanchuia is a member of the family Tupilakosauridae and shares many similarities with Slaugenhopia ...
... Aberglasslyn House (circa 1840), a private residence, looks over a bend in the Hunter River and is built completely out of sandstone ... Aberglasslyn House is one of the most important early Colonial homes in Australia ...
... descriptive language, and organizing the description are the rhetorical choices to be considered when using a description ... A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic ... The focus of a description is the scene ...
... Gerald was a keen and observant student of natural history, but the value of his observations is lessened by credulity and inability to distinguish fact from legend ... He gives a vivid and accurate description of the last colony of the European Beaver in Wales on the River Teifi, but spoils it by repeating the legend that beavers castrate ... Likewise he gives a good description of an Osprey fishing, but adds the mythical detail that the bird has one webbed foot ...
Famous quotes containing the words description and, history and/or description:
“He hath achieved a maid
That paragons description and wild fame;
One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“American time has stretched around the world. It has become the dominant tempo of modern history, especially of the history of Europe.”
—Harold Rosenberg (19061978)
“I was here first introduced to Joe.... He was a good-looking Indian, twenty-four years old, apparently of unmixed blood, short and stout, with a broad face and reddish complexion, and eyes, methinks, narrower and more turned up at the outer corners than ours, answering to the description of his race. Besides his underclothing, he wore a red flannel shirt, woolen pants, and a black Kossuth hat, the ordinary dress of the lumberman, and, to a considerable extent, of the Penobscot Indian.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)