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What is a sporran? - and how do I hire one?

Updated: Jun 1

Sporrans are a key piece of Scottish identity, often the key focus point of every highland wear outfit. Sporrans are instantly recognisable and can make or break a kilt outfit. Styling a sporran properly is key to making your highland wear outfit perfect.

Sporrans are a primary aspect of Scottish national dress and not often seen elsewhere but this furry little bag was designed with a purpose and can reflect the personality of the wearer. This post covers what actually is a sporran, what is it used for? and how do you hire and style one.

What is a sporran? -

A sporran is a leather / fur covered flap pouch bag hung via belted chain straps, allowing the sporran to hang comfortably Infront of the pelvis. It is a key part of a highland wear outfit and a natural focal point.

Your sporran should match your tartan as these are the main focus with the rest of the outfit and accessories complimenting the sporran and tartan.

There are a variety of different types of sporran, they come in multiple furs, cantles, finishing, and designs.

What is the purpose of a sporran? -

A standard kilt doesn't typically have pockets and sporrans are worn in replacement so men could carry their belongings. It serves like a kilt pocket / wallet, the sporran hangs comfortably allowing the wearer to travel with their possessions without having to carry additional bags.

The sporran is symbolistic of Scottish culture as a piece of Scottish identity, the design of a sporran typically compliments the elevates the whole kilt outfit.

Types of sporrans & when they are suitable -

Day sporrans - typically for more casual / semi casual events.

Day sporrans are all leather usually featuring more subtle designs and detailing. Day sporrans can come with leather tassels, embossed designs, clan crests, and metal detailing.

The day sporran is fully leather and features no fur or cantle as its more for informal occasions. Traditionally this would be for day to day wearing of a kilt, however as this is less common and most would only wear a full outfit for events it is mainly worn now for attending sporting events such as rugby or football matches.

Semi dress sporrans- ideal for semi formal events

Semi dress sporrans feature a leather back and flap with fur on the front with tassels.

Semi dress sporrans are the perfect middle ground for most occasions and come in a variety of furs, tassel finishings, embossed and metal detailing.

Semi dress sporrans can be styled up for formal events or dressed down for less formal wear.

Dress sporrans - perfect for formal / special occasions

Dress sporrans are the last options and ideal for special and formal occasions as they feature a metal cantle, full fur sporran and tassels. Dress sporrans come in a wide array of fur options, colours, and details with matching tassels. Cantle designs can vary and can feature detailing including clan crests.

The dress sporran is perfect for your formal occasions as its “dressier” and more traditional to style a dress sporran for formal events such as weddings or black-tie dinner or gatherings.

Sporran finishings -

Day and semi dress sporrans feature a leather flap, but dress sporrans feature a metal cantle which comes in a variety of designs and finishings. All our sporrans are all handmade in Scotland and a true statement of enduring quality.

The two most common finishings is:

Shiny - Features a shiny polished metal cantle ideal for matching shiny button jackets and polished accessories.

Antique - Features a more "rustic" matte looking metal cantle, this gives a more antique expensive looking finish. Ideal for matching with antique buttons and accessories.

How do I hire a Sporran?

At Kiltsforhire our kilt hires come with everything you could need for your highland wear outfit including a high-quality leather/ animal fur sporran. You can fully build your kilt hire, customised to you making you stand out while looking and feeling good.

Our team offers expert advice and knowledge on helping you style your kilt outfit to you, if you can't visit us in store under each tartan hire offers styling advice to help you, allowing you to book your kilt hires from the comfort of your own home.

Already own your kilt? - We offer individual hires

So if you own a kilt you can hire the rest of the outfit at a reduced cost to a normal hire, this applies to any accessories you wish to hire even if that is just a sporran.

How to wear a sporran?

Great! you have got your sporran, now how do you put it on?. Not to worry it is not as difficult as it seems but you may need an extra pair of helping hands or a mirror.

Your chain straps should be adjustable to your waist size and metal finishing should be the same as your sporran to tie it all in together. Ensure your chain straps are clipped on to the back of your sporran before starting.

  1. Hold your sporran in the centre of your kilt, in front of your pelvis just above the hips, it may help to look in the mirror while doing this.

  2. With a helping hand pass the chain straps under the belt loop on each side, and fasten so the sporran sits where you are holding it.

  3. If your sporran is swinging, or sitting too low or high adjusting the chain straps at the back will fix this.(It is normal if it takes a few adjustments to get the sporran to sit perfect)

  4. Finally, to secure the sporran while maintaining its position let the chain straps sit on top of your kilt buckles this helps keep the sporran sitting properly and takes some of the weight off your waist.

That should be you good to go. We recommend your sporran sits 4 fingers below the top of the kilt so you can see the top of your sporran below the waistcoat while keeping your bottom waistcoat button and jacket open.

Hopefully this guide has been helpful in understanding what a sporran is and the type of sporran suitable for you, if you have any enquiries on all thing's kilt/sporran hire or anything else. We would love to welcome you in store or alternatively reach out to us by email at or call us on 0141 889 4879.


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