Choosing a Sporran

Posted on September 13 2016

The sporran you select usually depends on a number of factors; The style of outfit that you’ll wear, the occasion and also personal preferences. A sporran not only has a functional use but can be a highlight of your outfit.

You may have a couple of sporrans in your collection so that you are ready for all occasions.


Full Dress SporransExample of a full dress sporran

Full Dress Sporrans (or just Dress Sporrans) are the most formal type of sporran. They are usually worn with Prince Charlie outfits to formal occasions.

They commonly feature fur fronts, a fur gusset, 3-6 decorated fur tassels with regular or cross-chains, and a metal cantle at the top. The cantle is ordinarily made from pewter or silver, and often features Celtic knotwork designs or other Scottish symbols such as the lion rampant, thistle, stag or Saltire.

Full dress sporrans normally fasten at the rear with a stud on a small flap that connects the front and rear of the sporran. As they are the largest style of sporran, they allow the wearer to carry a range of items.


Semi Dress SporransExample of a semi dress sporran

Semi Dress Sporrans are a less formal version of the full dress sporran. They are traditionally worn with Argyll outfits for semi-formal occasions.

They are usually made with a fur front, leather gusset, 3 decorated fur tassels with regular or cross-chains and a leather flap at the top. The flap often features Celtic or Scottish designs and may have pewter badges adorned to enhance the design.

Semi dress sporrans most commonly fasten with a stud under the flap. More expensive sporrans will hide the stud beneath an extra piece of leather, or cover it with a metal badge so that it cannot be seen from the front of the sporran.


Day or Leather SporransExample of a leather day sporran

Day sporrans (or leather sporrans) are the most casual type of sporran, and as the name suggests, are suited to daytime functions and casual kilt outfits.

They are normally made entirely from leather, to a similar design as the semi-dress sporran with a leather front, leather gusset, 3 leather tassels and leather flap. Both the front and the flap may be embossed with Celtic or Scottish designs, and the tassels often have plaited leather straps to hold them in place.

Day sporrans ordinarily fasten with a stud under the flap, which will be hidden from view on more expensive sporrans.


Sporran Furs

Sporrans are traditionally made from luxurious animal furs, until recently, most commonly sealskin. As it is a traditional industry in a small country, the furs are usually obtained humanely, or as a by-product from another industry.

However, in the modern world, use of animal fur in clothing is considered inhumane, and the ban on the use of sealskin in the EU has caused many sporran manufacturers to look at alternatives. At the moment, we do not sell any animal furs which are not sourced humanely (by-product of the meat industry), and as such we mainly sell bovine and synthetic fur sporrans.


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