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29529Re: Wool-buying advice

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  • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
    Feb 28, 2003
      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Marian Llynn Hilliard
      <marianlh@c...> wrote:
      > Having learned the hard way not to use synthetic fabric for
      garb, I am
      > shopping around for wool, and I find myself quite bewildered
      by all
      > the variety. Wool jersey, wool suiting, merino, gabardine,
      > worsted....If anyone who knows more about fabric can offer
      some
      > advice, I would be very grateful.

      Hi Marian,

      Here's the short story on wool. For period clothing, avoid wool
      jersey like the Plague! It's a knit (not woven) fabric and that
      makes it inappropriate for clothing in the period under study.
      People knit later in the SCA period, but the "knitting machine" that
      was invented in Elizabeth I's reign never really got going until the
      early 18th century. So do NOT buy jersey.

      Wool suiting probably looks too modern. It's appropriate for
      some uses and not others. If you're not sure, don't buy it.

      The wool most like medieval wool is called "flannel" by modern
      fabric stores. It's a woolen (not worsted) twill weave that washed
      up beautifully and fulls so that you can cut it without worrying
      about ravelling. This wool is appropriate for hosen, gowns, etc.
      There's almost nothing this type of wool isn't appropriate for.
      Much of the textiles described in the MOL book "Dress and
      Accessories" conform to this type.

      Just make sure that what you're buying is 100% wool. Many
      fabric stores don't know their own stock. Ask if you can burn test
      a swatch. If it bubbles or drips at all, don't waste your money.

      I hope this helps,

      Kass
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