November 30, 2001

A cure for a slipping bag

One of the banes of pipers is a perennially slipping bag. It’s a huge distraction and disadvantage in competition when the pipe bag starts to slip down mid-performance, leaving the player trying to maintain control with his elbow rather than bicep.

Pipers seem to try anything to prevent their bag from slipping. Scrub pads, rubber sleeves, Velcro. We’ve even seen one pipe major cut a giant hole in his jacket and sleeve in a desperate attempt to keep control. All of those methods might work, but they’re generally unsightly and unreliable.

Actually, the primary cause of a bag slipping is not the bag but the jacket sleeve. Off the rack kilt jackets usually have quite roomy sleeves. With a bag tucked underneath, the extra jacket material rotates, thus leading to the feeling of the pipe bag slipping.

We recently had a jacket made to measure by an experienced tailor that routinely makes jackets for pipers. When they learned that we were a piper, they said, “Of course we’ll make the sleeves a little narrower to prevent the bag from slipping.”

We initially scoffed at the idea, but when the jacket was finished we found that they were indeed correct. The narrower sleeve keeps the bag firmly in place. Whatever slippage we had before was eradicated.

Rather than degrading your bag cover or jacket with rubber pads, scrubbing cloths and Velcro, try taking your jacket to a decent tailor and have the sleeves narrowed by an inch. We’re willing to bet that your bag as a result will stay in place better.


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