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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.

In the SCA, a distinctly white belt is reserved for knights. Other colours are commonly used for squires (red), apprentices (green) and proteges (yellow), but this is just a tradition, not a rule.

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.

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