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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 05-24-2018, 09:20 PM   #11
piper909
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Good posts. That Black Watch WWII repro uniform is interesting. I haven't seen rosettes on their Royal Stuart kilts before. Or a fringed apron -- military kilts I've seen or owned have always been finished with a "clean" apron edge, not fringed (as with typical civilian kilts, unless you ask for this NOT to be done!).
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:30 AM   #12
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper909 View Post
That Black Watch WWII repro uniform is interesting. I haven't seen rosettes on their Royal Stuart kilts before. Or a fringed apron
Black Watch pipers wore Royal Stewart from sometime around the mid-19th century. Before that they wore the Black Watch "music tartan" which was worn by all Black Watch musicians. I don't know exactly when, or why, they decided to put the musicians in Black Watch kilts and the pipers in Royal Stewart kilts.

Here's a Black Watch piper in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century wearing kilt and plaid of the Black Watch "music tartan" and coatee of the ordinary Black Watch tartan.



About the fringe, yes, military kilts especially OR's kilt in most regiments lacked fringe. But one sees officers kilts and senior sergeants kilts with fringe sometimes. I don't know enough about it to know exactly what ranks in what regiments would have fringe.

Here's an actual Black Watch piper's kilt (sergeant and above), it's what my reproduction is based on. My kilt was made by House Of Edgar and uses the heavier 18oz tartan.



Here's a Pipe Major of the Black Watch where you can see his ribbons and just barely make out the fringe



The most obvious fringe on a military kilt is this blue fringe on the Hodden Grey kilt

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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 05-25-2018 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

The extra fringe, like a lot of details, is normally warrant officer and above. Pipers confuse things because they often wear details that belong to that class of higher individual.


Incidentally the Hodden Grey kilt pictured there is actually an OR kilt; the officer's version has an even more excitable fringe, also worn by the PM and DM.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

"Excitable" kilt apron fringe, that's an expression I want to work into all pipe band conversations from now on!



Interesting lore. That Hodden Grey color is certainly an odd duck. The shade of the kilt doesn't match the shade of the jacket. (made from different materials, no doubt). A "fugitive" color, I wonder what dyes are used or what yarns are in the weave? Sort of brown and grey with purplish tones.



Does anyone know if current MOD contractors still use a heavier weight material for kilts, or have they cut costs by using lighter, cheaper material, now that there are fewer tartans in regimental use, fewer numbers of soldiers overall, and the kilt has been shunted to ceremonial use as far as I can tell?
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:16 AM   #15
CalumII
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

The colour of Hodden Grey has varied over the years (it did start out actually grey, but that didn't last long), but it's subject to the vagaries of the mills. It was originally chosen as a cheap, common textile, and now has to be custom made at vast expense...


And yes, not quite matching uniform items is a common problem in Hodden Grey. Usually dealt with by standing a reasonable distance away.



As for weights, modern MOD kilts certainly aren't the 32oz beasts of yore that could stand up by themselves, but they are still made of decent material, as anything else tends to be a false economy with such items.
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper909 View Post
I wonder what dyes are used or what yarns are in the weave?
Here's a discussion about Hodden Grey fabric and the problem obtaining it

http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...-fabric-92902/

Quote:
Originally Posted by piper909 View Post
Does anyone know if current MOD contractors still use a heavier weight material for kilts
If we're talking Scotland, all the infantry of the nation has been amalgamated into a single regiment, the Royal Regiment Of Scotland. I don't know who weaves the new-pattern RRS kilt fabric, or what weight it is. But the new-pattern RRS kilts have veered away from some of the traditional aspects of Scottish military ORs' kilts such as the grass-green herringbone twill binding and the stamped sheet-metal two-prong buckles on black-painted fabric tabs.

At least until recently the pipes & drums of the various battalions have continued their traditional kit including kilts that appear to be made of the traditional fabric. I have a Royal Stewart MOD-style kilt made by House Of Edgar using their 18oz MOD style fabric and it's a dead ringer for the kilts worn by pipers of The Black Watch.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

That was a fascinating discussion about the London Scottish (and Toronto Scottish) kilts. I'm sorry I saw that discussion too late to buy one of those Hodden Grey kilt material lots! (I haven't visited that forum in quite a while.) I'd have bought some to make *something,* or the wife would have loved it for a jacket or skirt for herself.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Well, I decided to splurge on the sporran from the vendor originally linked in my first post. I'll post a review when it arrives. Pancelticpiper has already noted the historical discrepancies; I'll focus on the quality of materials and worksmanship -- is it a decent value for money? Pictures, too, if I can remember how to post them here! And if it's a total flop, I'll raise a stink with Paypal about a refund.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Report time! The sporran arrived two days ago, very quick shipping from Pakistan via DHL services (less than a week from order to my door). Pictures and review below.

For $125 plus $25 shipping charge, I am pleased that this is decent value for money. This maker, at least (Sulshi International) is using real horsehair, not imitation, and the sporran body is neither whispy or warped. The leather looks sound, well stitched, the back has a small pocket; the shape of the cantle is not entirely accurate, as noted above, but perhaps acceptable to most reenactors or general consumers. The brass badge is a bit on the cheap side, an obvious copy from an original or pattern; needs some polishing and it lacks crisp casting detail. The bells on top of the tassels are black plastic, the tassels suspended by thick black cord.

The sporran strap is NOT all leather, as it should be, but I will order one of those elsewhere. (I haven't worn a chain strap in decades, since I learned better, from the example of the military.) There is also not one of those little leather bits that the chains are supposed to attach to, that then threads through the strap built onto the sporran back. So if you used the belt provided, you'd have to clip the chains ends to each other. I have not checked to see what size this chain belt might be.

Given what new horsehair band sporrans cost these days from the UK or Canada, or what a genuine military issue would cost (and vintage sporrans in good condition are rare and valuable -- would you want to do active reenactor work with it?), I'd say that in this case, a cut-rate Subcontinent manufacturer offers a good product and an option for a bargain hunter or anyone with a tight budget. A good-looking band sporran for what my first one (Scottish-made) cost me back in 1976.

Picture 1: as arrived, in its packing, on the shipping box:


https://vgy.me/zLz9LG.jpg



Picture 2: unwrapped, with chain belt/strap in its own bag



https://vgy.me/JuVm46.jpg



Picture 3: back view


https://vgy.me/bEsTVC.jpg



Picture 4: detail of cantle:


https://vgy.me/DhS3Hx.jpg

Last edited by piper909; 06-07-2018 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: Repro horseshair sporrrans (Pakistan); worth it or not?

Looks like good quality, but it's puzzling why they put a Black Watch sporran badge on a Cameron Highlanders sporran.

I myself would switch out the badge for the proper one. Genuine Cameron Highlanders sporran badges come up cheap on Ebay all the time.
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