In defining what is Scottish - always an elusive topic - both the kilt and tartan figure large in the definition of those symbols by which Scotland is identified. But the tartan presented in the kilt has to be one of the most controversial topics within the lexicon of things Scottish. Rather than being a static piece of a costume, the kilt, along with its accoutrements - the sporran, the kilt hose, the sgian dhubh, the bonnet - actually has evolved over the centuries, but at each stage in the development nationalists have stamped the prevailing style as "correct" and absolute.
Bob Martin, the leading historian of the kilt, has researched and here presents definitive material drawn from actual kilts, from portraits and illustrations, and from written descriptions, showing that evolution and stressing the extent to which the kilt as a piece of clothing can be adapted and utilized in everyday life. Martin's first chapters define the development of the kilt with color illustrations, then proceed to the various bits and pieces which can be worn with it, the tartans which are used in its construction, its care and maintenance, ladies' apparel. In the second part, he presents the research by which he has established the evolution of the kilt into the piece of clothing it is today.
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