Glossary of Terms

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The central colour band within a tartan design where the pattern reverses and repeats. 

Pleated to sett:

Pleating a kilt so that the pattern or sett on the back also matches the front pattern or sett of the tartan cloth.

Pleated to stripe:

Pleating a kilt so that the narrow stripe of the tartan is visible on each pleat. (common on regimental kilts) 

Sgian Dubh:

Meaning 'black knife', a small dagger traditionally worn in the 'hose' on a kilt outfit. 


A pouch made of leather, sealskin, badger or other animal fur.


A tartan is a specific woven pattern that often signifies a particular Scottish clan, Irish County, or District in the modern era. The pattern is made with alternating bands of coloured (pre-dyed) threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven two over - two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass, forming diagonal lines. The resulting blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett. Traditional kilts almost always have tartans. Tartan is also known as plaid in North America, but in Scotland this word means a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder or, it means a blanket. 

Waist Plate:



Worsted is the name of both a yarn, usually made from wool, and the cloth made from this yarn. The term "worsted" today is applied to any yarn spun from fibers three inches in length or longer that have been carded, combed, and drawn, not just wool. Acrylic and other yarns can be called "worsted," and this is a reference to the weight of the yarn as much as the production process. A worsted yarn generally has a gauge of about 20 stitches per 10 centimeters, though this definition may vary slightly in different countries. 
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