The Scottish climate is rather harsh – cold, windy, and very changeable. That’s partially why the traditional clothing of this country is so unique. For centuries, Scots preferred woolen blankets that they wore draped around the body in various ways. Such tartan plaid was a unisex garment that kept people warm. One of the clothing articles made from a wrapped-around woolen blanket is the arisaid – female sort of a cloak for the upper body. And here is how to wear the arisaid.
The costume designer Kristen Jones shows how to drape a traditional Scottish garment called “arisaid”.
Arisaid (earasaid or arasaid) is a folk garment worn by women in Scotland. It is a part of traditional female highland dress. It can be a belted plaid or an unbelted wrap. The color of an arisaid can be plain or patterned (striped or tartan).
Hey everyone! I'm going to show you how to wear a Scottish arisaid, which is, basically, like an 18th-century woman's jacket or cloak.
It is a very simple garment, just a piece of plaid. Note that a plaid is not necessarily a tartan pattern fabric, it's just a certain weave of woolen fabric. It could be tartan and very often was, but not necessarily.
It's a length of about 3.5 yards of plaid fabric, usually full width. I’ve narrowed mine to about 48” wide and folded it in half lengthwise.
So, to wear your arisaid, you wrap it over your side and put the end at about your knee.
Then, take a leather belt – you want a good long one. Wrap it around your waist, put it at your natural waist, adjust so that it lays at an angle across your bust, and straighten the fabric out on the side.
That's it for the first half of the task. You could wear it just like this except, you would drag the ground – it's quite long still – and it wouldn't keep the other half of your body warm.
So, take the other half, wrap it around you like a scarf or a shawl, and flip the end over your shoulder.
We're not done yet. You may think we are but we're not.
Take the end of the fabric (the one you’ve just flipped over your shoulder) and tuck it into the belt in the back to hold the back secure. Straighten it out so that it lays flat. If I had a lady's maid, she could straighten it for me, but I haven't so I do it myself.
Now, you’ve got this big weird pleat of fabric sticking out around your neck and shoulder. Just pull it down a little and hide it on the inside.
A little bit of straightening to do and you've got a super warm woolen towel that you can wear to keep your entire upper body warm. It looks super awesome, too.