Re: [SCA Newcomers] Re: Waterproof Fabric for Cloaks
- That mannequin at fabric club is so neat. :)
----- Original Message -----
From: Aine ingen MaelPatraic
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 11:07 AM
Subject: [SCA Newcomers] Re: Waterproof Fabric for Cloaks
> 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
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
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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