Christy Domino wrote: im a big believer in anything leather or fur.
Thomas A. Cahan wrote: the 150-mile wardrobe video just blew me away- that this gentle, unpretentious young person could do So much by bringing not only material, but skills and hearts together.. So much more than just providing clothing to wear.. a human, humane fabric interwoven with rememberances in every garment.. how disconnected we have become from each other! - and from Nature, which feeds and clothes us.. such a poignant, moving film for me- I cried for almost an hour afterwards..
Dawn Hoff wrote:If you want to maintain your own wardrobe you'd have to use durable fiber. I don't think that most people a 100 years ago could afford merino, alpaca or cashmere - so underwear was not necessarily soft - my father in law was born in '33 and he could tell stories of wearing only itchy scratchy wool throughout his childhood - underwear, socks, pants, sweaters, jackets and hats. They were quite affluent, not rich, but certainly not poor. Just one generation before a girl was expected to make, with her own hands all linen required in a household before she got married - I.e. That would be a job that took some 14 years (every night, all winter, every winter), and it does not include clothing. It can certainly be done - but if you are only learning to sow or knit as an adult - it will take a few years before you are done
Jason Christopherson wrote:Greetings from Minnesota! I've been reading here a while, and this is my first active post. Winter clothes is something we know about here ;D
Layers are the key, as mentioned. There are natural options that work as well as or better than modern synthetics. First, silk as a base layer next to the skin. Second, one or two wool layers as insulation. Last, a windproof outer shell, like a cotton anorak. This is geared towards really cold weather - a plain cotton outer layer will not work as well if it is warmer (wetter). Waxed cotton/canvas is really great stuff, but it can get stiff when it gets cold. Once you are at -10 F or colder, there really isn't too much danger of wet feet or wet precipitation unless you are in town where the streets are salted. Well, maybe if you are ice fishing and you get lake water up through the hole.
If you want to get away from production fabric, the real choice to me is fur. Caribou, bear, bison, sheep - it doesn't really matter, though some are better than others. No spinning yarn, no weaving, no raveling. Tan it and make it into outerwear. You don't even need to be a hunter if you don't mind getting into roadkill and the local wildlife dept approves. Traditional sinew is easy to work with and actually quite simple to produce. Best stuff comes from backstraps and legs of large animals, like deer/elk/cattle. The Traditional Boyer's Bible book set has multiple sections on obtaining and using sinew. There are other resources online as well. Google will help.
I find that water is the hardest thing to manage with natural fabrics. Cold is fairly easy. Traditional mukluks keep your feet toasty, but they are made for dry snow, not slopping around in slush. Once you are in the warmer portion of winter, you will likely want your outer shell to be waxed canvas rather than the plain tight weave canvas.
You can get pretty much all the natural fabric cold weather gear you need from these guys, as long as your pockets are deep. I bet it will last you the rest of your life, though...
Another place that has canvas anoraks:
I'm not affiliated with either of these, but I do believe in their products, especially Empire Canvas.
Cj Sloane wrote:I can remember watching something (?) about someone (?) who spent a fair amount of time in the extreme north - perhaps Russia or maybe Himalaya. I know it's vague but as the guy went further north and it got brutally cold, his guides convinced him to give up his expensive synthetic clothing & footwear and switch to wearing what the natives wore which was all animal skins. He knew the skins were superior right away. He was also convinced by the guides that he needed to eat much more meat & animal fat.
I'm hoping to jog someone's memory who remembers more than I do. Anyway, the key things was animal skins - not just animal based fiber.
Dennis Lanigan wrote:In reference to the canvas winter wear mentions above, I think buckskin is much better than cotton canvas, definitely more "natural"/non-industrial and "sustainable" as well. Both Snow Walker's Companion and Lure of the North (canadian winter guides) recommend buckskin "if available". Having worn buckskin mittens (that I made, see above) in two Minnesota winters, I'd have to agree. I'd say buckskin is even better than furs [edit: this is just my speculation], because buckskin breathes better to release dangerous sweat. To gather sinew you need A LOT to sew anything substantial. With buckskin you can just use the hide itself. Though, buckskin definitely fits in the cold (less than 25 F) than temperate climates.
odessa steele wrote:if moneys not an issue visit an eskimo or athabascin handmade website, for obvious reasons they make the best all natural winter gear
Ann Torrence wrote:... For mittens, I would make myself a pair with a thrummed lining, which is a Scandinavian technique for incorporating unspun wool into the underside of a garment. I've never heard of anyone thrumming a sweater, but I see no reason why it could not be done. Smaller objects like hats and mittens are more typical. Might not be a good idea for socks, but could make some wicked slippers. I should try that. ...