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Re: [SCA Newcomers] garb fabric

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  • bronwynmgn@aol.com
    In a message dated 1/3/2005 8:06:33 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, yoursmalltowngirl@hotmail.com writes:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2005
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      In a message dated 1/3/2005 8:06:33 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      yoursmalltowngirl@... writes:

      <<My question is this: is heavy, satin (i think it's crepe-backed)
      okay? i picked up 17 yards of this stuff at a garage sale for $17,
      so i'd really like to use it. i've been told that the dull side
      would be more "period". While i don't want to be offensively modern,
      i think the dull side is rather ugly (especially since i'm dying
      it). Personally, i don't see a big difference between silk and this
      satin in appearance, but i'm not an expert.>>

      There were some satiny weaves during the SCA period, but there are also a
      tremendous number of period and modern silk weaves that don't look the least bit
      like satin. You certainly wouldn't be the first person to wear a satin
      dress to an SCA event, though.

      My biggest questions about using it, however, are much more practical:

      1. Is it washable, as in, can you throw it in the washer and dryer? You are
      going to be wearing anything you make out of it indoors and out, in all
      sorts of weather conditions, and it's going to get dirty and sweaty and rained
      on. If you are going to need to dry clean it every time it gets dirty, it's
      not worth the money you'll spend on that, not to mention the hassle. SCA garb
      is clothing and gets lived in, not a costume that gets worn for a few hours
      here and there.

      2. What is the fiber content? Most heavy satins are entirely polyester,
      which means they are extremely hot and don't breathe well. In most cases, this
      sort of fabric is used for dresses that are worn indoors in air-conditioned
      sites for a few hours. In most cases, SCA events take place outdoors or in
      sites that don't have the luxury of air conditioning, and you are going to be
      wearing it all day, not for 4 or 5 hours at a wedding. I would steer clear
      of it simply for the comfort factor. Also to be considered is the fact that
      SCA events run on volunteer labor; do you feel like you could volunteer to
      move tables, wipe down counters or mop up a spill if needed in a satin gown?

      <<Also, i intend to make a gown from around the 12th or 13th century,
      so would this make a difference?>>

      Yes, depending on how stiff the satin is. If it's heavy enough to stand out
      on it own, and doesn't drape well, it's not going to work right for that
      era. Most garments in that time period are very flowing and soft; a stiff heavy
      fabric will not recreate the look of the clothing correctly, with the
      possible exception of a 13th century Spanish surcoat. Stiffer fabrics tend to work
      better for later period things like Tudor and Elizabethan, where the garment
      has a definite shape of its own rather than being draped around the wearer's
      body.


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


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