What is an Irish Kilt?

What is an Irish Kilt?

The Irish Kilt is one of the most recognizable tartans and is an integral part of the history and culture of Ireland. However, the Irish are not just interested in having an image of themselves in a tartan; they have a great interest in the materials used in making these tights. In fact, many of the traditional patterns that are found on an Irish Kilt are based on the actual fabric that was used by the people of Ireland. The Irish call their kilt “clannan” which in English means coat of arms. The actual meaning of the word is a coat of arms which has a clover, fleur-de-lis, clover, or crown as the emblem. So if you were to translate this literal meaning into English, it would state that the coat of arms of the Irish Kilt actually symbolizes the faith and family history of the Irish.


A traditional Irish kilt would consist of a durable, waterproof fabric that could be made from a variety of natural fibers such as linen, wool, cotton, and even silk. The fabric for an Irish kilt typically had an ornate, decorated design on the front and back which usually depicted a loved one or symbolically described the Irish culture. Some of the more intricate and beautiful designs that were used on an Irish kilt may have represented important events in the history of the country. Another popular design for an Irish kilt was a Claddagh ring, which was worn by husband and wife as a sign of fidelity. Claddagh rings are now commonly seen on wedding rings as well as friendship rings.

kilt began to be used

The Irish kilt was originally only worn by the upper class members of the Irish community. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the wearing of the kilt began to be used by men who were members of the working class. Although women were allowed to wear the lein-croik, it was not until the later nineteenth century that men began to wear them. During the early twentieth century, they were often seen worn by Irishmen on their shoulders. However, during World War II many men began wearing the kilt for comfort as well as a symbol of their pride and position within the community.


Today there is a great debate between the traditional Irish kilt and the Scottish kilt. The Scottish kilt is believed to have been created when James Graham Bell decided to introduce another type of dress code into the British Army following the end of the Boer War. This new dress code called for fatigues to be worn with skirts that were shorter than those used during the war. The shorter skirts called for shorter, looser fitting kilts which closely resemble the Irish kilt.