Something I wrote a while ago

New to wearing a kilt? -Start watching women in short skirts (-well more than you already do...) to study how they move while sitting down to avoid exposing themselves. You can learn some tips by following their example. That sweep of the hands underneath your rear as you sit can not only prevent embarassment, but protect you from surprises like cold/hot surfaces -not to mention splinters.

Planning on wearing a belted plaid, sometimes called a "great kilt"? Don't listen to the people who try to tell you that you need 9 yards of 60-inch wide material. All you need is 4-6 yards depending on your size and the pattern of the tartan and how you pleat it. The idea of 9 yards of cloth comes from a misconception. The cloth for a belted plaid was only around 25 inches wide, depending on the size of the loom that was used to weave it. A 9-yard length of cloth was cut into two 4 1/2 yard lengths and then the selvedge (long) edges were stitched together, resulting in a piece of fabric only about four and a half yards long and 50 (or so) inches wide. For those people who claim that the phrase "The whole nine yards" refers to the belted plaid see this article for the numorous other supposed explanations of that phrase.

Chafing. Yes, there is a certain esprit de corps about being regimental, but on a hot, humid day even us skinny guys can suffer. So if you are out on a hot/humid day you are NOT any less manly a Scot if you save yourself some pain by wearing some bike shorts, or boxers. Briefs can help, but they don't prevent your inner thighs from rubbing. Another option is a little anti-perspirant where your thighs rub together to minimize irritation later in the day. To touch on a more delicate area... some men can get a little irritation depending on... the um... "angle of the dangle," so if you are going regimental, make sure you wear a shirt that is long enough to provide some lining between your "friend" and the wool.

If your sporran is full/heavy and you need to run or move quickly, move it off-center so it doesn't bounce against delicate parts.

If you are going to wear a sword, especially with a great kilt/belted plaid, use a baldrick that goes over your shoulder rather than belting the scabbard at your waist. If you are spending the day at a Renaissance fair or historical reenactment, the combined weight of your plaid, sporran, sword and any other accoutrements all hanging from a belt at your waist can become very uncomfortable on your hips after a couple hours.

Moms, please don't put your young boys into a full-sized great kilt/belted plaid. It can take a while to get used to wearing a great kilt, even for an adult. So if you want your son to enjoy participating in your hobby, or celebrating your heritage, make sure he is as comfortable as possible -let him wear a cut-down plaid made from a generic tartan as a great kilt that fits his size. Once he grows out of it you can use your son's "first kilt" as an arasaid, or shawl.

Oh and one of my favorite quotes regarding kilt wearing:

"The Highland dress is essentially a 'free' dress -- that is to say, a man's taste and circumstances must alone be permitted to decide when and where and how he should wear it... I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed." -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

The book So You're Going to Wear the Kilt by J. Charles Thompson is a good reference on kilt wearing. See it on Amazon at

Websites with instructions on how to wear a great kilt aka belted plaid

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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