Posted on

History of the Sporran

So, we’ve given ye a bit of insight on how to choose a kilt, pick the perfect tartan, and select the best kilt accessories for the complete Scottish look.

After sharing some common accessories available for achieving the perfect Kommando Kilt attire, I began wondering how one of the most popular “must-have” accessories – the sporran – came about.

IMG_2293

As ye learned in our earlier blog, the sporran, which is actually Scottish Gaelic for “purse,” is typically worn along the waist of yer kilt, hanging right below the belt buckle. In order to understand the history of the sporran, ye must also understand the history of one of the oldest, most original, OG kilts – the Feileadh Mor, also known as the Great Kilt.

The Great Kilt (aka, the Original Gangster kilt) is the most basic form of the kilt, dating  back to the 12th century. The Great Kilt was created and worn in a way that suited the lifestyle and climate of the Scottish Highlands.

For example, in comparison to traditional trousers, kilts were customarily made from wool which dried out quickly and could be unraveled to be used as a blanket. Additionally, kilts provided a Scotsman a greater range of motion.

While kilts were very popular in this region, they were missing one key component traditional trousers always had: pockets.

So, how was this resolved? How would they hold all the basic, daily necessities, such as their keys and iPhones, conveniently in one place?

Okay, maybe their personal items didn’t include car keys and iPhones. However, this ingenious little bag was still born out of a necessity to carry other items we can also relate to today, such as coins, food and even pistols (maybe some of ye can relate to the last one?).

Anyways, a simply designed pouch made of leather was made, gathered at the top with basic drawstrings and later dubbed what we know now as the “sporran,” or, as I like to call it, the medieval man-purse. 🙂

IMG_2483

From this point on, the medieval man-purse actually stuck and became a thing! While it was originally made from leather, most commonly deerskin and calfskin, over time sporrans evolved into more elaborate and decorative pieces for the Scottish Highlanders.

These elaborate decorations included intricately designed metal clasps and adornments, as well as detailed etchings and designs. They later evolved to include fur accents and tassels as well.

Belt Military McKee Buckle 72

As sporrans became more and more decorative, their aesthetic appeal became more enticing over time rather than their function. Sporrans were eventually grouped into different categories, primarily revolved around Scottish attire for different occasions, such as semi-formal, formal, and daily wear.

So basically what was once bore out of necessity eventually became a “must-have” accessory. 🙂

Now that ye know a little history behind the medieval man-purse, consider taking a look at some of these sporran beauties. In fact, our hand crafted sporrans are exclusively made from %100 high-quality leather, and are available as a single pouch, a double pouch, or with a genuine fur accent. We even offer a classic Sporran with Tartan, which undoubtedly ensures the sporran complements yer kilt! ;P