Materials & Supplies

I have been sewing, mundanely, for over 40+ years, but have found out that I was never “taught” things correctly;
1. I was never was told to wash material BEFORE cutting patterns.
2. I did not know about “cutting on bias”.
3. Never knew about gores.
4. Never knew about different types of seams.

Since joining the SCA I am learning new things, and in this, I am hoping to pass on what I learn. Now, some, if not most of you, will already know what I am writting about, but please take into concideration that a LOT of new comers do NOT. So some of my articles are/will be for those who “do not know” and “want to learn”.

When I first joined, I asked about garb material, the only answers I would get was “Buy linen, wool, silks and good brocades.” or “It all depends on what persona you are making garb for.”. All the replies were vague and UNhelpful. I do not know if they thought that I should “already” know this information, or that I was so new that they were caucious.

It has taken me over 10 years to, finally, start getting decent, straight forward answers to my “seemingly idiotic” questions. If new comers do not know the correct materials to buy, we might see a lot wearing garb made from cotton, flannels, denim; and cloaks made from polar fleece or even garb in neon colors. Hense my ranting a bit and my trying to list a few helpful notes here.

Posted on February 27, 2012

I will be adding to this list as time goes on, as I, myself, do not have all the needed information that I want to post here.

1) Buy 100% wool and linens. Prices will vary, depending on where you buy them; sometimes you can get the material on sale between $2 to $10 a yard.

2) Use sewing machine (or a serger, if you have one) and sew ZIG-ZAG stitching along the ends of material (where it was cut). This helps to prevent unraveling when washed.

3) PRE WASH all material before cutting out patterns. Use cold water. The dryer is what will help shrink/full material.

4) Wool and linen material comes in “weight”. Try to learn what weight to buy for what you plan to make.

1) Weights = light (gabradine), medium (suit) & heavy (coat, blanket)
2) Think in terms of summer/winter or tunic/dress/cloak/coat.
3) Heavy wool garments should NEVER be hung on a hanger. They can be folded and put into a drawer, or stored in a plastic “blanket” bag (like the ones that comforters come in).

1) Linen = 1.3oz. (hanky), 3-4oz. (napkin) and 5-7oz. (light to heavy garb)
2) the 5-7oz. weights, think of summer/winter or tunic/dress/chemise.

Can use 3 oz. linen (napkin weight) for ALL chemises.
5.3 – 5.8 oz. linen for undergown, kirtles, tunics
7 oz. linen for cotehardies & surcoats
Outer garments do not need washing after every wearing, but linen undergarments do.

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