5944Re: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric questions
- Jul 1, 2004I 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,
<<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.
Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
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