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Re: Wool-buying advice

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  • andreahg2000 <andrea@gideonfamily.org>
    . Wool jersey, wool suiting, merino, gabardine, ... Wool jersey is a knit, just like cotton (t-shirt)jersey. Although a very yummy fabric for mundane tops and
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
      . Wool jersey, wool suiting, merino, gabardine,
      > worsted....If anyone who knows more about fabric can offer some
      > advice, I would be very grateful.
      Wool jersey is a knit, just like cotton (t-shirt)jersey. Although a
      very yummy fabric for mundane tops and dresses, not good for garb. I
      have used wool suiting(make sure it's 100% wool), gabardine and
      worsted for garb. Wool suiting and worsted tends to be similar to the
      fabric used for modern men's suits. Gabardine is a little heavier.
      For a great summer dress, look for tropical weight men's suiting or
      tropical weight suiting. The colors may be limited to tradition men's
      suit colors, but you will be very comfortable in it for summer. I
      have worn my tropical suiting gown during Pennsic when it was over
      100F during the day and was just as comfortable as my linen dresses.

      Giovanna
    • Marian Llynn Hilliard
      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
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
        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.

        The first project is a dress and stockings, and then an early sideless
        surcote. I think I would like something lightweight, so it doesn't
        kill me in the summer (I can always pile on the layers in colder
        weather).
      • Marian Llynn Hilliard
        ... the ... men s ... Thank you! I m glad now that I went ahead and asked, instead of taking the plunge and buying that wool jersey I was eyeing. What about
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
          On 2/28/03 7:00 PM, andrea@... wrote:

          >
          > . Wool jersey, wool suiting, merino, gabardine,
          >> worsted....If anyone who knows more about fabric can offer some
          >> advice, I would be very grateful.
          > Wool jersey is a knit, just like cotton (t-shirt)jersey. Although a
          > very yummy fabric for mundane tops and dresses, not good for garb. I
          > have used wool suiting(make sure it's 100% wool), gabardine and
          > worsted for garb. Wool suiting and worsted tends to be similar to
          the
          > fabric used for modern men's suits. Gabardine is a little heavier.
          > For a great summer dress, look for tropical weight men's suiting or
          > tropical weight suiting. The colors may be limited to tradition
          men's
          > suit colors, but you will be very comfortable in it for summer. I
          > have worn my tropical suiting gown during Pennsic when it was over
          > 100F during the day and was just as comfortable as my linen dresses.
          >
          > Giovanna

          Thank you! I'm glad now that I went ahead and asked, instead of taking
          the plunge and buying that wool jersey I was eyeing. What about wool
          crepe? Or challis?

          Margaret de Greyve
        • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
          ... garb, I am ... by all ... some ... Hi Marian, Here s the short story on wool. For period clothing, avoid wool jersey like the Plague! It s a knit (not
          Message 4 of 23 , 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
          • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
            ... of taking ... about wool ... I would avoid wool crepe, Margaret. It was available as early as the 15th century, but it wasn t a popular fabric. It also
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Marian Llynn Hilliard
              <marianlh@c...> wrote:

              > Thank you! I'm glad now that I went ahead and asked, instead
              of taking
              > the plunge and buying that wool jersey I was eyeing. What
              about wool
              > crepe? Or challis?

              I would avoid wool crepe, Margaret. It was available as early as
              the 15th century, but it wasn't a popular fabric. It also shrinks like
              the dickens when you wash it (and you *should* wash all your
              wool in hot water and dry it in the dryer before you make anything
              out of it).

              I don't know about challis. I don't know what kind of weave that
              is. But not knowing probably means it wasn't used in any period
              I reenact...

              Wool flannel. Trust me. You'll not be sorry.

              Kass
            • andreahg2000 <andrea@gideonfamily.org>
              ... I would avoid crepe. It s a common fabric for fashion women s suits, kind of nubbly textured. I doubt it s period but even if it is, it screams modern.
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                >
                > Thank you! I'm glad now that I went ahead and asked, instead of taking
                > the plunge and buying that wool jersey I was eyeing. What about wool
                > crepe? Or challis?
                >
                > Margaret de Greyve

                I would avoid crepe. It's a common fabric for "fashion" women's
                suits, kind of nubbly textured. I doubt it's period but even if it
                is, it screams modern. I think you'd be safe with challis. I've
                never found wool challis for a reasonable price(do you have a
                source?), but I've used rayon challis for modern clothes and if it's
                the same type of weave, it would be good.
                Giovanna
              • andreahg2000 <andrea@gideonfamily.org>
                ... This is a good point. I ve been told by those in the know that worsted is period for Elizabethan and other late period garments. ... The problem with
                Message 7 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                  >
                  > Wool suiting probably looks too modern. It's appropriate for
                  > some uses and not others. If you're not sure, don't buy it.
                  >
                  This is a good point. I've been told by "those in the know" that
                  worsted is period for Elizabethan and other late period garments.

                  > The wool most like medieval wool is called "flannel" by modern
                  > fabric stores.

                  The problem with most modern wool flannels that I've seen is that
                  they're too thick for things like gowns or tunics. Many are
                  heavyweight or coat weight. The flannel would be perfect if you can
                  find light weight.
                  >
                  >
                  > Kass

                  Giovanna
                • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
                  ... garments. Worsted wool is definitely appropriate for late period garments, and even many early ones. It s the *look* of modern suit wools that concerns
                  Message 8 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                    > This is a good point. I've been told by "those in the know" that
                    > worsted is period for Elizabethan and other late period
                    garments.

                    Worsted wool is definitely appropriate for late period garments,
                    and even many early ones. It's the *look* of modern suit wools
                    that concerns me...

                    > The problem with most modern wool flannels that I've seen is
                    that
                    > they're too thick for things like gowns or tunics. Many are
                    > heavyweight or coat weight. The flannel would be perfect if you
                    can
                    > find light weight.

                    I think your experience will vary by where you buy (or your fabric
                    store may call lighter-weight flannels by another name). I use
                    light, medium and heavy weight flannels for my garments. The
                    heavy weights are coatings and will practically stand up by
                    themselves. The medium weights are terrific for gowns. The
                    light weight I use for my husband's hosen and for gowns and
                    skirts when I'll be wearing multiple layers. I made my Shinrone
                    gown out of light weight flannel because I thought the skirt would
                    have been very heavy if I'd used medium weight, but I made a
                    medium weight one for our Queen and it was perfect.

                    Kass
                  • Elizabeth Marshak
                    Greetings all, How much extra wool should one buy to allow for shrinkage in pre washing? That is assuming one is going to follow the recommendation of the oh
                    Message 9 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                      Greetings all,

                      How much extra wool should one buy to allow for shrinkage in pre washing?
                      That is assuming one is going to follow the recommendation of the oh so
                      great and wonderful Kass by washing it in hot water and then throwing it in
                      the dryer prior to cutting :)

                      Thanks,
                      Elizabeth Annora Dernelof
                    • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
                      ... pre washing? ... of the oh so ... throwing it in ... You re going to hate me for this, Ellizabeth, but the answer is it depends . I have bought wool
                      Message 10 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                        > How much extra wool should one buy to allow for shrinkage in
                        pre washing?
                        > That is assuming one is going to follow the recommendation
                        of the oh so
                        > great and wonderful Kass by washing it in hot water and then
                        throwing it in
                        > the dryer prior to cutting :)

                        You're going to hate me for this, Ellizabeth, but the answer is "it
                        depends". I have bought wool flannel of the exact same weight
                        from the same store on the same day, wash one and lost one
                        yard for every five and the other only shrunk three inches in
                        length.

                        I shop at an end-of-bolt place supplied by the fashion industry,
                        so when I find a period-appropriate weave and colour wool, I buy
                        all of it. So I tend not to buy wool per project, but rather have a
                        stock always at hand (and, of course, I never have the colour or
                        weight I need when I need it!).

                        If I were you, I would buy at least a yard more than I need. And if
                        you need partial yards, I'd round up to the next yard and add one
                        more. For example, if you needed 3 1/2 yards for your item, I'd
                        buy five yards. If it doesn't shrink at all, you'll have 1 1/2 with
                        which to make something else.

                        Hope this is helpful.

                        Kass
                      • Marian Llynn Hilliard
                        ... Too late for me, though. =) I m looking at the late 13th century. ... I hadn t thought of flannel--largely because I associate it with warm winter
                        Message 11 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                          On 2/28/03 8:47 PM, andrea@... wrote:

                          >> Wool suiting probably looks too modern. It's appropriate for
                          >> some uses and not others. If you're not sure, don't buy it.
                          >>
                          > This is a good point. I've been told by "those in the know" that
                          > worsted is period for Elizabethan and other late period garments.

                          Too late for me, though. =) I'm looking at the late 13th century.


                          >> The wool most like medieval wool is called "flannel" by modern
                          >> fabric stores.
                          >
                          > The problem with most modern wool flannels that I've seen is that
                          > they're too thick for things like gowns or tunics. Many are
                          > heavyweight or coat weight. The flannel would be perfect if you can
                          > find light weight.
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> Kass
                          >
                          > Giovanna


                          I hadn't thought of flannel--largely because I associate it with warm
                          winter clothing. I'll look for lightweight flannel at the local store;
                          I definately did not find it online just now. Although having just
                          done an internet search I now wonder what the connection is between
                          flannel and castor oil.

                          On second thought, no I don't. If you know, don't tell me. =)

                          As for fulling, I don't think it's in the budget. According to "Daily
                          Life in Chaucer's England" fulling involves lots of hand-kneading in
                          cold water, followed by stretching it on a special frame to hold down
                          shrinkage. The result can also be achieved by throwing the fabric in
                          the wash with a pair of old sneakers, but the shrinkage is about 60%.
                          I don't have that kind of time or money.

                          Margaret de Greyve
                        • Elizabeth Marshak
                          Greetings, Hamilton Dry Goods fabric section
                          Message 12 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                            Greetings,

                            Hamilton Dry Goods fabric section <http://www.periodfabric.com has a light
                            weight wool for sale. "This light weight wool is a camel color, and is
                            brushed on one side. The roll is 58" wide, $8.00 per yard. "

                            > [Original Message]
                            > From: Marian Llynn Hilliard <marianlh@...>
                            > To: <Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com>
                            > Date: 2/28/2003 1:23:27 PM
                            > Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Wool-buying advice
                            >
                            snippage
                            > winter clothing. I'll look for lightweight flannel at the local store;
                            > I definately did not find it online just now. Although having just
                            > done an internet search I now wonder what the connection is between
                            > flannel and castor oil.
                            I am kind of curious myself now.

                            Hope the fabric link helps,
                            Elizabeth Annora Dernelof
                          • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
                            ... hand-kneading in ... down ... fabric in ... about 60%. ... I have NEVER had wool shrink that much in the wash. The most I have ever experienced is around
                            Message 13 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                              > As for fulling, I don't think it's in the budget. According to "Daily
                              > Life in Chaucer's England" fulling involves lots of
                              hand-kneading in
                              > cold water, followed by stretching it on a special frame to hold
                              down
                              > shrinkage. The result can also be achieved by throwing the
                              fabric in
                              > the wash with a pair of old sneakers, but the shrinkage is
                              about 60%.
                              > I don't have that kind of time or money.

                              I have NEVER had wool shrink that much in the wash. The most
                              I have ever experienced is around 20% shrinkage and that was
                              the worst by far.

                              Take wool. Throw in washer on hottest setting. Pour in a capful
                              of baby shampoo. Wash. Rinse on cold setting if you can
                              control it. Throw damp wool in dryer on hot.

                              You're done! An hour of your time and $1.50 in the local
                              laundromat! =)

                              Kass
                            • Elizabeth Marshak
                              Oops I thought camel was a medieval color, my bad sorry Elizabeth
                              Message 14 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                                Oops I thought camel was a medieval color, my bad sorry

                                Elizabeth

                                > [Original Message]
                                > From: Marian Llynn Hilliard <marianlh@...>
                                > To: <Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com>
                                > Date: 2/28/2003 1:53:16 PM
                                > Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Wool-buying advice
                                >
                                > On 2/28/03 1:40 PM, emarshak@... wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                > > Greetings,
                                > >
                                > > Hamilton Dry Goods fabric section <http://www.periodfabric.com has a
                                > light
                                >
                                > Thanks! I'll keep an eye on them, see if any medieval colours show up.
                                > Their linen's a bit overpriced, though. Check out
                                > http://www.fabrics-store.com/ for linen.
                                >
                                > Margaret de Greyve.
                                >
                                >
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                              • Kass McGann <historian@reconstructinghis
                                ... There s nothing unmedieval about camel, Elizabeth.... Kass
                                Message 15 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Marshak"
                                  <emarshak@e...> wrote:
                                  > Oops I thought camel was a medieval color, my bad sorry

                                  There's nothing unmedieval about camel, Elizabeth....

                                  Kass
                                • Marian Llynn Hilliard
                                  ... light Thanks! I ll keep an eye on them, see if any medieval colours show up. Their linen s a bit overpriced, though. Check out
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                                    On 2/28/03 1:40 PM, emarshak@... wrote:

                                    >
                                    > Greetings,
                                    >
                                    > Hamilton Dry Goods fabric section <http://www.periodfabric.com has a
                                    light

                                    Thanks! I'll keep an eye on them, see if any medieval colours show up.
                                    Their linen's a bit overpriced, though. Check out
                                    http://www.fabrics-store.com/ for linen.

                                    Margaret de Greyve.
                                  • Marian Llynn Hilliard
                                    ... It may have been available in some times and places. I shouldn t have made the generaliation like that. But from my research into 13th and 14th C England
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                                      On 2/28/03 1:56 PM, emarshak@... wrote:

                                      >
                                      > Oops I thought camel was a medieval color, my bad sorry
                                      >
                                      > Elizabeth

                                      It may have been available in some times and places. I shouldn't have
                                      made the generaliation like that. But from my research into 13th and
                                      14th C England only the poorest peasants wore earth tones. Common
                                      colors included brick red from madder, blue from woad, yellow from
                                      weld, and mixes like blue overdyed with yellow to produce green. There
                                      were also some imported dyes like ingigo or kermes (bright scarlet
                                      made from a meditereanean insect), but my persona wouldn't have been
                                      able to afford that. Not back in 1286, anyway. =)

                                      Margaret de Greyve
                                    • Heather Rose Jones
                                      At 8:35 PM +0000 2/28/03, Kass McGann ... I ll second this -- about 80% of the wool I buy for medieval clothing is flannel. (I m very fortunate in that
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                                        At 8:35 PM +0000 2/28/03, Kass McGann
                                        <historian@...> wrote:

                                        >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.

                                        I'll second this -- about 80% of the wool I buy for medieval clothing
                                        is flannel. (I'm very fortunate in that Stonemountain & Daughter
                                        carries a wide selection of colors and at the end of the wool season
                                        you can sometimes get it as low as $10 a yard.) For some of the
                                        heavier "architechtural draping" looks in the 15th c., some of the
                                        lighter "coat-weight wool" works nicely (and comes pre-fulled).

                                        Tangwystyl
                                        --
                                        *****
                                        Heather Rose Jones
                                        hrjones@...
                                        *****
                                      • r.carnegie@verizon.net
                                        ... Careful shopping for flannels at your local sewing shop. Chances are that what they are going to have listed as flannel is at best cotton and at worst
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Feb 28, 2003
                                          On 2/28/03 8:47 PM, andrea@... wrote:

                                          >> Wool suiting probably looks too modern.  It's appropriate for
                                          >> some uses and not others.  If you're not sure, don't buy it.
                                          >>
                                          > This is a good point.  I've been told by "those in the know" that
                                          > worsted is period for Elizabethan and other late period garments.

                                          Too late for me, though. =) I'm looking at the late 13th century.


                                          >> The wool most like medieval wool is called "flannel" by modern
                                          >> fabric stores. 
                                          >
                                          > The problem with most modern wool flannels that I've seen is that
                                          > they're too thick for things like gowns or tunics.  Many are
                                          > heavyweight or coat weight.  The flannel would be perfect if you can
                                          > find light weight.
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> Kass
                                          >
                                          > Giovanna


                                          I hadn't thought of flannel--largely because I associate it with warm
                                          winter clothing. I'll look for lightweight flannel at the local store;
                                          I definately did not find it online just now. Although having just
                                          done an internet search I now wonder what the connection is between
                                          flannel and castor oil.

                                          On second thought, no I don't. If you know, don't tell me. =)

                                          As for fulling, I don't think it's in the budget. According to "Daily
                                          Life in Chaucer's England" fulling involves lots of hand-kneading in
                                          cold water, followed by stretching it on a special frame to hold down
                                          shrinkage. The result can also be achieved by throwing the fabric in
                                          the wash with a pair of old sneakers, but the shrinkage is about 60%.
                                          I don't have that kind of time or money.

                                          Margaret de Greyve



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                                        • Jan C. Lane
                                          Wool challis is a very lightweight (almost sheer), plain-weave wool with a fuzzy/flannel type finish. I would think that it would be appropriate for veils or
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
                                            Wool challis is a very lightweight (almost sheer), plain-weave wool with a
                                            fuzzy/flannel type finish. I would think that it would be appropriate for
                                            veils or possibly under tunics/dresses. :)

                                            Happy garbing,

                                            Jan aka Jannifer
                                          • Jan C. Lane
                                            Remember that wool takes dye beautifully. One could always buy the camel, then dye it dark green or blue. Would be really pretty. :) Happy garbing, Jan aka
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Mar 1, 2003
                                              Remember that wool takes dye beautifully. One could always buy the camel,
                                              then dye it dark green or blue. Would be really pretty. :)

                                              Happy garbing,

                                              Jan aka Jannifer
                                            • Cassandra ofGlastonbury <loom@verizon.ne
                                              ... camel, ... Make sure that it is 100% wool first. Also test a swatch to see what happens in the dyeing process. BTW, what is wrong w/ camel or tan color?
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Mar 2, 2003
                                                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Jan C. Lane" <jclane@t...>
                                                wrote:
                                                > Remember that wool takes dye beautifully. One could always buy the
                                                camel,
                                                > then dye it dark green or blue. Would be really pretty. :)
                                                >
                                                > Happy garbing,
                                                >
                                                > Jan aka Jannifer

                                                Make sure that it is 100% wool first. Also test a swatch to see what
                                                happens in the dyeing process.

                                                BTW, what is wrong w/ camel or tan color?

                                                Cassandra
                                              • Jan C. Lane
                                                Cassandra, The camel color we were discussing was 100% wool from an online shop. Jan aka Jannifer
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Mar 2, 2003
                                                  Cassandra,

                                                  The camel color we were discussing was 100% wool from an online shop.

                                                  Jan aka Jannifer
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