I'm living in Korea for a year right now, teaching, and two weeks ago a visiting reenactor
friend and I went to Seoul, and went to the massive, massive fabric market there (it is
several square blocks). While there, we found several merchants selling 100% linen and
100% wools (at least, that's what the bolts said, and it felt/looked correct) for
phenomenally cheap prices. Colored linens were mostly around $4/yd (give or take a
dollar or so), and less for unbleached. Wools were a bit more expensive, but still very
cheap for proper, fulled wool - about $10/yd for cloak-weight.
I did not have a lighter with me to do a burn test, but I will be going back next weekend,
and will be doing one then. If all goes well, I will be purchasing some fabric for both
myself and some friends. I would love to help out my fellow reenactors, and if the fabric I
send back to the states gets good reviews, I will start to put
together an order list for a
later trip. Many of the bolts are rather narrow, but as many of you know, many fabrics in
period were made in narrower widths as well, hence much of the piecing, etc, that one
sees in original garments.
For those curious, some photos can be found here: http://flickr. com/photos/ antipeople/ tags/fabricmarke t/
The linens, and linen merchant, can be seen here: http://flickr. com/photos/ antipeople/ 2715076703/
and http://flickr. com/photos/ antipeople/ 2715904764/
If all goes well with the burn tests, I will not really be seeking to make much more than
enough to cover my travel costs. I just want to see more
people out on the field with
quality fabric, and making cheap fabric available will certainly help with that.
I have cross-posted this to a few lists, and I apologize in advance to those of you who
have to see this message multiple times.
Your humble servant,