Sunday, March 17, 2013

Early Example of the Kilt

circa 1603
The illustration above was done in 1603 by Hieronymous Tielch.   The fèileadh mór, pictured above, was in general use by the mid 1590s, given the popularity of the garment by that time it must have been in use for some time, perhaps by the mid 1500s in some areas of the Western Highlands.  There is much speculation on why and how it came into use; it very likely have to do with the growing colder climate in Europe at that time and improvements in looms.  Fashions change, even among social conservative societies such as the Gaels. The earliest eye withness accounts of the kilt being worn come from 1594 in a description of Redshanks in service of Aodh Rua Ó Dónaill in Donegal.

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