Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (2023)

Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (1)

table of contents

  • 1 Kilts in Ireland
  • 2 History of Irish kilts
  • 3 Authentic Irish tartan?
  • 4 frequently asked questions about Irish kilts
    • 4.1 Irish in Kilts - Do Irish people wear kilts?
    • 4.2 Are the Scottish faldas Irish or Scottish?
    • 4.3 What is the difference between Scottish and Irish kilts?
    • 4.4 How many different tartans are there?
    • 4.5 Did the Irish have tartans?
    • 4.6 What are Irish kilt accessories?
      • 4.6.1 Shell
      • 4.6.2 Irish spores
      • 4.6.3 Belt
      • 4.6.4 Scottish kilt loop
      • 4.6.5 Hose for Kilt
      • 4.6.6 The black knife
      • 4.6.7 Brian Boru's jacket
      • 4.6.8 The Kilkenny Jacket
      • 4.6.9 Zapatos Ghillie
  • 5 Scottish Kilts vs Irish Kilts

Kilts in Ireland

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of kilts is probably not Irish kilts, but kilts. Despitenative of the Scottish Highlands, kilts temsome relevance in Irish culturealso.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about Irish kilts: theHistory of the Irish Kilt,irish tartans, hedifference between scottish kilts and irish kiltsand much more.

will also trycorrect some of the mistakesthat have been written about Irish kilts, how that the history of Irish kilts is shrouded in ancient mystery, and that the Irish kilt is traditional Irish dress.

Spoiler alert: both statements are not true.

History of Irish Kilts

It's true: thethe origin of kilts is in scotland. Here the highland dress, also known aschess with beltogrande kilt(also known asquitemeaning large casing in Gaelic) emerged during the 16th century. The word kilt is a Scottish word meaningwrap the clothes around the body. Originally, the great kilt was a long garment, which could even be worn as a cape draped over the shoulder.

Hethe history of kilts in Ireland is less ancient. In fact, Irish kilts are a modern invention, which, however, have their own right in Irish history. Some scholars date thefirst adoption of kilts by Irish nationalists in the 1850s.

In the late 19th century, Celtic revivalists more or less successfully adopted it as aa symbol of Irish or Gaelic identity. During the "Gaelic Revival”, an Irish national consciousness began to grow, and with it the impetus forcombating British colonial culture in Ireland.

Many areas of Irish culture have been 'rediscovered', be it sports (the Gaelic Athletic Association, also known as the GAA), the Irish language, Irish literature, Irish arts and crafts and much more.

(Video) Is the Kilt Traditional Garb in Ireland?

In a word:The history of Irish kilts really starts with the Irish nationalist movement..

No20th century, at dawnFirst World War, kilts were soon adopted bypipers and pipe bandsin the Irish Army (e.g. the still-existing Black Raven Pipe Band or the Youghal Pipe Band). The tube bands were alarge nationalist recruiting group, for example, the Irish Volunteers (later transformed into an IRA).

Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (2)

A famous promoter of the kilt was one of the leaders ofbirth of easter,patrick pearse. his school,School for Boys in St. enda(founded in 1908), attempted to "restore" an Irish education system. Part of that was embracing "traditional" Irish dress.

Finally, he adopted asaffron(also known as mustard yellow) kilt as a boys' uniform. In a letter from 1900, Pearse acknowledges the fact that kilts are not part of Irish culture, butadopted by forceto aid the idea of ​​a Gaelic, not English, cultural identity: "Frankly, I'd rather see you dressed in a kilt, though that might be less authentic than a pair of those trews."

Around the same time, when Pearse introduced his Irish saffron kilt, Pied Pipers in the British Army's Irish regiments also began wearing saffron the 1940s, the costume of Irish pipers became the standard costume:saffron kilt,irish green cabeeenit's himgolf clubocapa.

If you want to read more in depth about the history of Irish kilts, we recommend the great articleHibernean Dress, Caledonian Customno site yesMuseum of Scottish Tartans.

Authentic Irish tartan?

Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (3)

The short story should have shown that the Irish kilt is ofsolid color, mostly saffron or green. This does not mean, however, that solid colored kilts originated in Ireland. In fact, they've been worn in Scotland for as long as kilts have been around, but they've never been as popular as their tartan opposite.

At the same time, tartans have been used in Ireland for centuries.Tartanit was too muchrarer, How was itMore expensiveto product. by definitiontartan fabric is pure wool, often even high-quality wool.

There are different weights of tartan wool. Medium weight tartan (about 13 ounces) is most common. It was often used for shawls or sashes and was justused by Gaelic chiefsohigh ranking soldiers.

But the fact that tartans are worn in Ireland does not make them Irish tartans. In fact, even the famousDungiven Suitfound aboutDerryem1956dating from about1600-1650it turns out that it was woven in Ireland, but it was custom-made in Scotland.

(Video) Are Kilts from Scotland OR Ireland? (Some Basic Gaelic Garb History)

So why are there so many search results online when looking for the following?

  • irish tartans
  • irish kilts
  • national tartan of ireland
  • Irish tartans by surname
  • Irish tartans by county
  • Irish kilts by clã

There are Irish tartans, but they all date from a later era. The oldest known Irish kilt is theulster tartan, which dates from1958. another is theTara Tartan, which was being sold in a kilt shopin Edinburgh in 1967.

The Irish Tartan ResearcherDC Stewartcomments on this phenomenon by mentioning a company that "was taking some plaids, changing the colors and giving them Irish names".

Irish tartans by surnameoirish county tartans(or Irish kilts by county, like County Cork, County Leitrim, County Limerick, County Monaghan, County Sligo, County Waterford or County Westmeath... yes... all those counties apparently have their own Irish tartan...) so, the idea of ​​experienced business men and women. These modern kilts can be dated back to the 1960s to the present day.

In Ireland, Irish tartans are not very popular and are rarely worn.. Furthermore, there is no national Irish tartan. The success of Irish tartans can be seen in the North American arena.

Frequently Asked Questions about Irish Kilts

Irish in Kilts - Do Irish people wear kilts?

The simple answer to the question "Do Irish people wear kilts?" Yes it is: Irish people wear kilts. However, it depends on the occasion. If you are a flutist in an Irish flute band, you can wear a saffron kilt or sometimes a checkered kilt as well.

Otherwise, it is very rare to see Irish people in kilts in Ireland, as wearing kilts is a Caledonian custom.

Are the Scottish skirts Irish or Scottish?

If you've ever wondered "Are kilts kilts or Irish?" then the answer is both: kilts definitely originate fromScotlandand have a farLongest, richest and most recognized cultural heritagethan the kilt in Ireland. Think aboutlindo principe charliewho wore tartan to assert their Scottish identity in1740.

By the way: the original plaid jacket still exists and its style is now known asprince charlie jacket. Irish kilts emerged from the Gaelic revival in the mid-19th century as part of a Gaelic cultural garment that was considered non-English.

What is the difference between Scottish and Irish kilts?

There are two main differences between Scottish and Irish kilts.

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  1. the first is thatKilts are mostly tartan., whileIrish kilts are mostly solid in saffron or green.
  2. The second difference is thatScottish tartans represent and symbolize clans and families or surnames. This tradition of Irish family tartans hasemerged in Ireland only from the 1960s, particularly to encourage a commercial industry in North America.

In short: tartans to symbolize specific surnames are not part of an ancient Irish hereditary tradition.

How many different tartans are there?

It is estimated that there are between 2,500 and 4,000 different Scottish tartans. Some websites offer a tartan finder, with which you can find and view tartans by surname, tartans by clan, and much more.

Buying kilts in Ireland – where can I do that?

Honestly, unless you have a strong connection to a harmonica band in Ireland or are a piper, you're better off not buying an Irish kilt. He prefers to buy a real plaid kilt. So if you come across a purported Irish kilt for sale, question its origin and cultural significance.

Did the Irish have tartans?

The Irish have been wearing tartans for centuries. However, these tartans were of Scottish origin. When you see Irish people in kilts, you usually see solid colored kilts (mostly saffron or green).

Irish tartans, especially Irish surname tartans, are a modern invention (from the 1960s) aimed primarily at North American tourists.

What are the Irish kilt accessories?

If you are looking for Irish kilt accessories for your Irish kilt outfit, you might want to have the following items:

hat shop

In Scotland you can see some men wearing hats. The two commonly used types are the Balmoral and the Glengarry. However, many men decided to go without a helmet.

Irish Sporran

Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (4)

The sporran is part of the traditional kilt and is a pouch that doubles as a pocket (although there is also a utilitarian type of kilt, most kilts do not have pockets). In Irish or Scottish Gaelic, sporran means "purse". It is usually made of fur or leather and trimmed to complement the style of Scottish dress.


Often the belt buckle and sporran are similar in design to complement each other.

(Video) Why Do The Irish and Scottish Wear Kilts? | Kilt Up | Clan Culture

kilt pin

A kilt pin is an ornate accessory to highlight one's heritage or affiliation. Typically, kilt pins are worn on the lower right side of the front of the kilt. Some people have their kilt pins personally designed. Kilt pins are therefore a great way to add pizzazz to a kilt outfit.

scottish hose

Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (5)

Kilt socks worn with a kilt are called socks and are mostly made of wool. They are traditionally knee-length and can be trimmed with decorative ribbons.

the black knife

The Sgian Dubh is a relatively small single-edged blade or knife (inScottish Gaelic Sgian means Knife) which is sometimes worn as part of the kilt attire.

Brian Boru jacket

The Brian Boru Jacket, named after the great Irish king, is formal wear made fromfloat barathea. Ends lined with the waist so as not to hide any element of the kilt such as the sporran. Most often it is decorated with ornate buttons and cuffs.

The Kilkenny Jacket

While the Brian Boru Jacket is more for formal occasions, the Kilkenny Jacket is more for casual occasions and is usually seen in green.

zapatos brogue Ghillie

The traditional Scottish shoe is the Ghillie Brogues. Primarily made from leather, custom Tartan Ghillie Brogues also exist. It takes a little practice to tie the brogues (irish for shoes), as the laces wrap around the calf. This shoe is also often used for dancing.

Irish Kilts: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know (6)

Scottish Kilts x Irish Kilts

We hope this quick overview of the history of Irish kilts and the popularity of kilts in Ireland has helped you.

You should now be able to answer questions like "Do the Irish wear a kilt" or "Is the kilt Irish or Scottish?" and even quickly point out the differences between a kilt and an Irish kilt.

You also know that there is no such thing as a national Irish kilt or that the tradition of Irish kilts by surname and Irish kilts by county, such as County Cork tartan, is very young and was motivated by experienced merchants.

(Video) Hurling! The Great Irish Sport Rooted in Legend

Please feel free towrite to usif you have any questions about irish kilts.


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