Kilts, chains for sporrans and "friction"

DNormandHarris

Message 25759 · 23 Apr 2001 00:31:52 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Angus . . .and Hugh
I am not reluctant to admit that I am an old fogey, when it comes to
"correct" forms of Highland Dress. It is indeed true that in earlier days
there was a firm distinction about when to wear a leather strap [day-wear
with a plain sporran] or a chain [evening-dress with a fur sporran], although
at school in Scotland we did wear a chain with our plain leather sporrans
during the daytime on Sundays only!

However, in these days when ornate fur sporrans and chains seem to be worn
for the most informal of occasions, those traditions (indeed, they were rules
in the past) seem no longer to apply. I would like to think that the
convention of the leather strap was based on practicality: the main reason
being to avoid just that very wear of a chain against the fabric of the kilt,
which is at its heaviest when dancing.

On the other hand, I do appreciate that economics may affect the choice of
sporran-strap, and a chain may well be chosen nowadays as the sole strap,
because it is viewed as "dual-purpose".

While on the subject of wear, I am at a loss to understand how Hugh's
kilt-pin has created friction - we were instructed that the kilt-pin is
inserted in the outer apron only and stays there permanently (except for the
times when the kilt is cleaned). At the Summer School last year my
forty-six-year-old kilt was taken for new by some dancers from Holland
seeking to know the name of my kiltmaker. I had to explain that R. W. Forsyth
no longer exists, but that the sort of care that I (and you, Angus) was
taught as a child means that a well-made kilt should last for generations.

Slainte

David

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