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The Plaid

The Pipers’ Plaid or Fly Plaid

The Plaid

The fly plaid, a modern version of the full plaid and easier to wear, is made from a 140cm square and with a purled fringe on each of the four sides.

The full plaid is the most showy form of plaid for full dress and the imitation of the old belted plaid. The full plaid is about four metres  long by one and a half metres wide and is generally fringed at the ends.

When the plaid was the universal garment of the Highlanders, all had a brooch or a pin; the wealthier of silver, the rest of brass, iron, wood, or horn….

“The plaid to an unprejudiced spectator must appear an incommodious and cumbersome dress; for hanging loose upon the body, it must flutter in quick motion, or require one of the hands to keep it close.”               Dr Samuel Johnson (1775)


“The Highland garb had been worn as a general and practical costume, founded in utility, and adapted to the uses of rank but following the proscription of 1746, these serviceable articles of dress and details of convenience disappeared, and hence when restoration was attempted the plaid no longer had its practical use but became decorative”   Frank Adam (1906)

Another dying craft. The traditional handcrafted purled fringe on a Fly Plaid – Ancient Hunter tartan commission. 4 sides of 140cm frayed to 15cm then hand twisted and knotted at 1cm intervals in keeping with the colours. Takes precision, focus and patience resulting in a beautiful plaid to be worn with pride.

With patience and care, the edges are frayed to about 20cm and then evenly twisted and knotted.

The twists and knots are measured evenly and not saving time by reducing the amount of twists and incorporating too many threads.

The fringes are all hand crafted. The edges of the cloth are frayed to about 20cm and then can be beautifully ‘purled’, creating an exclusive hand-twisted design or even knotted to a narrow lattice design with tassels.

These techniques are labour intensive although worth the skill and patience, creating a unique beautiful edge to the plaid and protecting the frayed edges from becoming untidy over time.

Worn over the shoulder and held in place by your choice of badge, brooch or pin, the fly plaid is an accessory designed to be imposing. The fly plaid should be worn for fully formal events like weddings, clan gatherings and graduations. This length of fabric should be in the same tartan as your kilt and to create an authentic highland look, choose a Clan Crest badge to secure your plaid. *Please note that dimensions of the fly plaid will vary.

Bespoke fringed plaids of different width and length depending on how you want to wear the plaid and your height.

Mini fly plaidPrice
Plain fringed 70 x 70cm£110
Handcrafted purled fringed 70 x 70cm£220
Plain fringed 140 x 140 cm£250
Handcrafted purled fringed 140 x 140 cm£390
Plain fringed 180 x 140 cm£290
Handcrafted purled fringed 180 x 140 cm£490
Piper’s PlaidPrice
Handcrafted purled fringed 1.5m to 4m£595