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What sporran do you wear when piping?

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  • What sporran do you wear when piping?

    Building my solo piping kit… only the sporran is left to acquire. Looking for ideas/suggestions? I’m US based so no seal skin … considering L&M leather “bandsman”.

    Suggestions/ pictures appreciated!

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    It depends upon your uniform. "Civilian" or "Military". For the former, your choice sounds fine. There are also other furs, and fake seal. For the latter, horse hair is common.

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    • #3
      What Michael said. Are you wearing a Prince Charlie? A plain kilt jacket? A doublet? I’d wear a different sporran for each one, so it depends. Can you tell us more?

      Andrew
      Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. BDF Moderator
      BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

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      • #4
        Nothing wrong with a no-frills, triple tassel day sporran as an option for most outfits. Particularly for competition, anything fancier would be a bit "extra."

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        • #5
          solo play:
          Day wear - leather sporran with leather strap. Day jacket option depending upon temperature and venue. Conservative color shirt with Windsor-knot tie. Brown ghillie brogues. Waist belt if not wearing vest. Coloured hose with roe antler dhu. Glenngarry or balmoral hat.

          Evening wear - fur sporran (silver/silverplate) with silver chain. Doublet or Prince Charlie jacket, depending upon venue. Option for fly plaid depends upon venue. White formal shirt (tuxedo shirt with P Charlie jacket) with bow tie, cravat, or jabot. Black ghillie brogues (buckle brogues when wearing fly plaid). Coloured or diced hose with silver dhu. Balmoral hat.

          band play:
          band selection of uniform

          Exception to above…for formal events like weddings, I have a selection of antique horse, goat and sheep hair sporrans the host can select from. The antique hair sporrans worn with doublet, black cross belt, waist belt with dirk, fly plaid, buckle brogues make nice pictures that memorialize the event for the host. Otherwise, hair sporrans are too over the top for me.

          note: it takes a while to build up a selection of items for you kit. I started out using a borrowed kilt, borrowed leather sporran, and a repurposed waiters jacket. Over time, I was able to gradually add bit by bit. Keep an eye open for EBay auctions. Deals pop up every now and then.

          caution…many of the new inexpensive sporrans are not all leather. They tend to be bonded leather (cloth with protein sprayed on top), front and back leather plates are cardboard with thin leather, bonded leather or fur glued on. These cardboard sporrans tend to quickly break with respective opening and closing.
          Last edited by Toxpert; 09-02-2021, 05:12 AM.

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          • #6
            All great responses, and I apologize for not providing additional information. My goal in retirement (next August) is to offer volunteer piping services at funeral/memorials… for US veterans/service personnel (north of Tampa).

            As far as dress is concerned this is what I have so far: Gilles, black hose, flashes (tartan), Burns modern tartan, black 5 button vest, black piper’s flex jacket, white shirt, “dark green” tie and glengarry. Goal is to present a “conservative” look.

            Appreciate the help!

            Comment


            • #7
              For that kit you describe, the black leather sporran would be just fine. However, given your goal, and for whom you intend to provide your fine services, it's not unusual for such pipers to be dressed in more "military" kit, whether that be more summer (e.g., short-sleeved military shirt, spats, horsehair sporran, etc.) or full dress (tunic, crossbelt, perhaps plaid, etc.). Just a suggestion for crowd appeal, and something for which to save up the pennies. Congrats on near retirement and on your worthy goal.

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              • #8
                Given the outfit and venues you describe, typical ‘day’ dress is not in discussion. You are going down the formal pathway. Depending upon budget, I would buy a cross-over sporran that is leather with bright metal cantle…or an evening sporran with a fur front. These options blend better with the black vest & jacket.

                I agree also with Equusracer. If going the military look…choose a real standard of dress. I find the renaissance appearance of using discrepant bits and bobs distracting and lacking reverence.
                This forum represents respectable persons. Not meaning to anger anyone reading this thread…never wear military medals/ribbons you did not earn! Military veterans will rightfully be disgusted and could turn a funeral event into a brawl.

                I was the honor guard piper for a police department. They issued me a dress uniform with shirt, cords, embroidered patches, epaulets, white gloves, and an official police badge (“Piper 1”). They told me I was the only civilian in Texas with a real badge. The badge came with limitation that if I ever flashed that badge to anyone…they would arrest me! I wore that top half of the uniform with my kilt, full mask fur sporran, white hose, and spats.
                Last edited by Toxpert; 09-02-2021, 07:55 AM.

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                • #9
                  LeoCDN,

                  I most usually am in the --"Less is More"--mob--when it comes to Kit & Gear.

                  Henderson Ltd. has a--"Gaelic Themes Studded Black Semi-Dress Sporran
                  with Metal Tassels" (with fur) that is close--to the one I have--and that I use--
                  and for--almost everything.

                  The one I actually have--is from the U.K. shop of one of our Members, here.
                  (Black--no fur--fully--but tastefully--and artistically--embossed--and studded.)

                  And--as soon as I can re-find that now old contact information--with photos--
                  I shall post it here--for your consideration.

                  For my two horse hair sporrans--unless the call is actually for--a military
                  funeral--and a horse hair sporran is requested--I find--have found--that
                  the--"Less is More" path--to be--at least optically--to me--the best.

                  Good Luck in your Quest!! :-)

                  Pip01

                  Last edited by Pip01; 09-07-2021, 09:09 AM.
                  My friends all know,
                  With what a brave carouse...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Pip01

                    I most usually am in the --"Less is More"--mob--when it comes to Kit & Gear.

                    The one I actually have--is from the U.K. shop of one of our Members, here.
                    (Black--no fur--fully--but tastefully--and artistically--embossed--and studded.)

                    Pip01

                    [/QUOTE]


                    Ah Ha!! I've actually managed--to resurrect--that information!! :-)

                    Our Member here--is Alasdair MacDonald--
                    His shop--bagpipecovers.com.

                    More than reasonable prices--and--Quick!!--and First Class!!--
                    Customer Service!! :-) (You'll ne'er be sent wrong here. :-)

                    Click on Sporrans--and the one I have is in the right-hand column--
                    and the second one down from the top,

                    Extremely--well made!!--and I find it both fancy enough--and simple
                    enough--and it will last forever--and your purse--shall be happy!! :-)

                    Wishing for All--Good Fortune!!--in what ever choices--are made.



                    My friends all know,
                    With what a brave carouse...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      During COVID I worked on putting together a traditional Day Dress outfit which included a traditional brown Hunting Sporran by Margaret Morrison (Scotland).

                      Last edited by pancelticpiper; 09-12-2021, 03:46 AM.
                      proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                      • #12
                        That sporran is a reproduction of an old style, here at lower right in the Rowan's 1938 catalogue

                        proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                        • #13
                          What I had been wearing for quite a few years was this Edwardian goat-hair sporran. But I got tired of the Black Argyll look, so ubiquitous amongst pipers.



                          proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like that hunting sporran Richard! I never considered a dark brown, but it looks good with the black brogues, and would probably look good with brown too.

                            I’m looking into getting a two-tone brown and black hunting sporran, but might go with something more that that one instead.
                            You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pancelticpiper, your new day dress ensemble is most elegant, reminiscent of that paragon of Scottish style the great John D. Burgess! Congrats.

                              I wear a brown all leather sporran with casual dress, (day jacket or shirt sleeves), in my own kilt; a sealskin with silver cantle with Prince Charlie; a black leather sporran with chain with short sleeve or Air Force day jacket; and a full horse hair job with No.2 dress - jacket, diced hose and spats. Thank the lord we no longer have No.1 - doublet, crossbelt, plaid and feather bonnet, though the latter is a good place to carry extra reeds, hemp etc. or the odd can of beer in younger days.

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