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A belt is a length of some material, often leather, cord or woven cloth worn around the waist. Metal belts are also known, such as the plaque belts popular in the 14th Century.

Belts can be fastened in a wide variety of ways, using buckles, rings and the like, or they could simply be tied. Many (some indicate the vast majority) of belts had strap ends of similar materials on the end of the belt.

Belts were used to gather clothing, provide support for structures such as scabbards, a knife sheaf, a pouch or for adjusting clothing to keep it out of the weather.

Typical Viking belts were rarely greater than 25mm (1 inch), based on surviving buckles and strap ends.

Belts in the SCA

In the SCA the belt has many uses:

The decorative form that women wear with their dresses, often made of cloth and embroidered, is known as a girdle.

Contrary to common SCA belief, period belts often had buckles, and were not just straps of leather with a metal ring attached. Belts with buckles can be seen in illuminated manuscripts, and as a heraldic charge.

Belt Colour in the SCA

In the SCA, a distinctly white belt is reserved for knights, one of the few examples of sumptuary law. Other colours are not restricted in any way, although various customs exist in various kingdoms and most people avoid the use of certain colours to avoid being seen as presumptuous.

  • Red belts are often worn by the squire of a knight
  • Green Belts often denote that one is apprentice to a Laurel.
  • Yellow belts often show that one is the protege of a Pelican, but green belts are sometimes used for this, as well.

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