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Re: Waterproof Fabric for Cloaks

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  • Aine ingen MaelPatraic
    Greetings! ... I ll be honest up front that I have a distinct bias for natural fibers for my garb for various reasons (breathability being one of the more
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2003

      > So, my question is twofold: a) can polyester be
      > waterproofed, saving
      > me some hassle, and b) if not, are there any other
      > fabrics that are
      > period (or can pass for period) that would work?
      > I've heard
      > conflicting things about wool on this point. How
      > about microfiber?
      > Not period at all of course, but could probably
      > pass. ;)

      I'll be honest up front that I have a distinct bias
      for natural fibers for my garb for various reasons
      (breathability being one of the more important ones).

      My fear with waterproofing polyester is that you'd
      probably lose what little breathability you may have.
      It would be like wearing a rubber slicker or at least
      a good rain coat without any ventilation. And it would
      be like that all the time, whether it was raining or

      That said, I'd recommend wool four the outer layer of
      a cloak with a layer of light silk for the inner
      layer. Both are natural and will therefore breathe,
      and both retain their warmth even when wet. Depending
      on the wool, if may also still retain some of the
      natural lanolin from the sheep, which will help with
      water repellency.

      You can get wool in some very light weights these days
      (I have a number of summer camping dresses made of
      100% wool that are just a cool and comfortable as
      cotton dresses) to make a lighter weight cloak that
      will still be warm if it gets damp. You can also use
      a much heavier wool for a winter or
      late-spring/autumn-night cloak.

      The silk lining isn't really necessary, but it's nice
      and luxurious. If silk is too expensive, try to use
      another natural fiber, but I'd try to stay away from
      cotton. Cotton sucks heat out of your body when it's
      wet and takes a longer time to dry than silk (think
      about if you've ever worn a cotton t-shirt that got
      wet and how long it took to dry). Linen might be an
      option that a little less expensive, but not as soft.

      One other thing to remember is that a well made, large
      cloak can double as a top blanket on cold nights. The
      wool will help keep your body heat trapped in the
      blankets better than most synthetic blankets.

      If you're looking for a good, inexpensive source for
      natural fibers, I'd suggest some of the on-line fabric
      stores. There are a couple that I know carry linen
      and wool fairly regularly - Fabricclub.com and
      Fabric.com come to mind. I personally am very devoted
      to Fabric.com because they have a good rotating
      selection and usually very good prices. They also have
      very personal and responsive customer service, which
      is always a plus in my book! (*Note: I'm a Friend of
      Fabric.com (FOF), which makes me admittedly biased.
      But it also means that if you do decide to purchase
      from them, you can enter my FOF number on your order
      and get free shipping. My FOF number is 16830007.

      Hope this helps some!


      Aine ingen MaelPatraic
      Barony of Jararvellir, Principality of Northshield
      Kingdom of the Middle

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