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5944Re: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric questions

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  • tori T
    Jul 1, 2004
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      I have a problem with this last message. some of the things said, yes were true. BUT there are people like myself who work full time just to be broke. And I'm not one of those people who buys wants over needs. Some times people have to use old bed sheets and dollar-a-yard fabric. I am proud to say I am one of them. I have never yet said "oh that dress was so uncomfortable" or "ugh, another repair I have to make". If you do these things corectly, you wont be uncomfortable or have to make repairs all the time. I just got done making another dress for myself and my dad said "thats an old sheet?!?". Yes it was and it is THE most comfortable, best looking dress I have made. So dont go ragging on people and saying it's wrong to use cheeper fabric and old sheets just because we cant all have money like you. if it's period (which cotton is) and it's comfortable and warm (my first dress and first event was made with cotton and I stayed way warm with 4 inches of snow on the ground with NO
      cloak) then wear it!


      bronwynmgn@... wrote: In a message dated 6/30/2004 2:22:58 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com writes:

      <<only worry about "periodness" of fabric if you're entering the
      garment in Competition.>>

      <<As long as you are not going to try to put this in a competion for
      authentisity almost any fabric will do.>>

      Several people have made this comment in this thread, and it perturbs me.

      Is not the SCA an "educational" organization? Are we not supposed to be
      educating people about the Middle Ages and Renaissance?

      I understand full well that it can be difficult and expensive to find some of
      the fabrics used in period for garments, and that substitutions may well be
      needed at times (silk velvet for Renaissance stuff, for example; if you can
      find it, it's about $50/yard if you're really lucky). I've used cheap fabrics
      myself in my early years in the SCA, but I am now a convert to using only
      period-correct fabrics, even if I have to scrimp and save to afford them and limit
      the number of garments I have. Competition is not and never has been a reason;
      I don't do competitions, ever. So, why?

      Because I have learned far more about life in the Middle Ages by sticking to
      the period options. I've learned why they made clothing the way they did and
      why they wore it the way they wore it and what it did for them. I've learned
      that clothing made to period patterns using the correct period materials is
      FAR more comfortable, long-wearing, and suited to our many camping events with
      their varying weather than any modern fabric could be.

      We've already talked about the comfort of natural fibers over synthetics.
      When you make it to proper period patterns, it's easier to put together,
      generally uses less fabric, and works better for active movement. My wool and linen
      tunics have lasted for many years - up to 10 in some cases - without needing
      repairs at all; when I was wearing polycotton and cotton gauze and old
      bedsheets I was constantly having to restitch seams that had come out and repair tears
      and wear holes. For hot events, linen cannot be beaten as a comfort fabric,
      and when it gets cold at night, or when you have a couple of days that are 50
      degrees and raining, a good wool tunic over the linen underdress will keep you
      comfortable and cozy warm and DRY for the most part. No need to run around
      in wet, clingy polycotton or see through gauze, wrapped in a cloak and
      shivering. Go about your business in a heavy wool tunic and hood and wool socks and
      you'll be comfortable all day long, without the cloak in your way. And
      certainly no need for plastic ponchos or trashbags over your clothes, as I've seen at
      any number of events.

      It makes sense that it should work that way; after all, medieval and
      renaissance people didn't have indoor climate control or modern waterproof materials
      (and wool works better than a rubberized or plastic raincoat anyway), and they
      lived far more in the weather than we do; most of us shuttle back and forth
      between our houses, offices, and cars and hardly are out in the weather. Why
      do we insist that they were always miserable in bad (or good, for that matter)
      weather? Because we make our "medieval" clothes out of the wrong stuff (stuff
      that was designed for use in climate-controlled conditions) and then complain
      when it doesn't keep us comfortable when we're out in real weather.

      I don't encourage people to use period fabric because they can win
      competitions by using it. I encourage its use because it is more practical for what
      we're doing in the long run. What good is having 10 outfits made of cheap fabric
      off the dollar-a-yard table and always going home complaining about how
      uncomfortable you were at the event and how many repairs you need to make, when you
      can have two made of the correct fabrics and be comfortable?

      And no, I don't dry clean my linen and wool outfits. The linen goes in the
      washer and dryer or hangs out to dry and the only thing I ever iron is my
      veils; the wool gets aired out and brushed off (something my 80+ year old neighbors
      still do with their own wool coats, skirts and suits) unless it really needs
      washed and then it goes in the washer in cold water and hangs to dry.

      Brangwayna Morgan
      Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
      Lancaster, PA

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