The following is a demo on how to wear the breacan an fheilidh (belted plaid) or feile mor (great kilt). Traditionally, the belted plaid was made from two lengths of 5 ells of wool (usually tartan) stitched together to make the garment 60 inches wide or thereabouts. The looms of the times typically produced fabric up to 30 inches wide, thus the requirement of stitching two pieces together to obtain the desired width. It took about a year for a mans family to spin enough raw wool into thread to make a great kilt. If a mans family worked hard, and the weaver was honest this would be a 30 inch by nine yard piece of wool which was then cut in half and stitched together at the center to make a 60 inch by 4 1/2 yard plaid (blanket). The whole nine yards
The first thing is to lay out the plaid
I usually kneel on the plaid with the edge at my ankles, this seems to give me a panel of appropriate width for my body size. You then begin pulling the material towards you folding it in a uniform manner, I usually choose one of the cross stripes about 4-6" apart.
You continue with this until you have an equal panel left over on the opposite side of the plaid from you. These folds will form the pleats at the back of the feile mor. The basic idea here is to get all of this material behind you, out of the way, until you need it.
Copyright 1998 Historic Highlanders