This is from a few months ago....
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: [SCA-Garb] Fabric Weights
These are the general recommendations for linen weights. I didn't write
them- I don't remember who did, unfortunately!
Hanky Linen (usually 3.5 oz) - Good for veils, chemises, linings, etc.
Lightweight linen (usually 3.6-4.2 oz) - Good for veils, chemises, linings,
tunics when you'll be wearing two or more, skirts (again, if you'll be
layering) harem pants, etc.
Medium weight linen (usually 4.3-5.5 oz) - Good for tunics, skirts, bodices,
most any type of gown. The most common weight used in garb.
Heavy weight linen (5.6-7.2 oz and beyond) - Good for heavy-duty garb like
fencing vests and pants, garb that will get much stress put on it like
side-laced bliauts, etc. The 5.6 range is good for back-laced cotehardies.
Line a coat
weight wool cloak in 7.2 oz linen and you'll never go cold, though you might
faint from exhaustion after walking round all day in it. Good bed blanket,
As for silk, I can make a few garb recommendations based on weight, though
everyone's welcome to chime in and tell me that I'm completely wrong! Silk
generally goes by mm weight- that is, momme (pronounced "mummy", I think),
heavy weight silks, such as suiting silks, go by grams or have no weight
1-8 mm: These are usually sheer or semisheer, and quite wispy. I've never
seen anything below 3 or 3.5 mm, which is very airy, transparent silk gauze.
Lighter weight habotai (habutai, also called "China silk") falls into this
category, as does lighter-weight chiffon (not georgette, it seems) and
(other than "heavy" organza).
10-18mm: Ten mm or so seems to be when things begin to become solid rather
than sheer, though 12mm is still quite light. Silk satin (not heavy bridal
satin) is in this area, as are some habotais, georgettes, heavy organza,
charmeuse, most crepe de chine. Most jacquards also fall into this
do some tussahs.
18mm and up: Heavier weight silk. Most charmeuse, some crepe de chine.
jacquards, some dupioni (Chinese dupioni, as seen at Silk Connection, is
19mm). Tussah boucle, some other tussahs, heavy bridal satin (23mm), heavy
The weights given are all from www.silkconnection.com. Silk taffeta was not
given a weight but is considered "lightweight" (I'm not sure if that makes
sheer or not- some taffetas seem to be sheer, others are quite opaque).
broadcloth is measured in pound-weights (10lb), silk noil did not have a
weight listing but can be lightweight or heavier (I have noil thin enough
needed a backing). Silk/rayon velvets, burnout and solid, are not given
weights but are generally considered to be heavy in large quantities <g>.
I have no idea where REAL silk velvet figures in all of this.
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