concerning cloaks...

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Roac Asgaroth
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concerning cloaks...

Postby Roac Asgaroth » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:28 am

i've been lurking for a while, and scavenging for information through here. and i have a question.

i've made my own canvas cloak. it was my introduction to this world of making gear for this lifestyle, but i can't seem to leave well enough alone.

Image

i wanna do something....more. but i wanted to ask about research, experience, etc

1) i've been considering making it more like oilcloth, either boiled linseed oil or wax. is there any precedent for doing that?

2) it feels plain, blending in with my shirt quite a bit. anyone have embroidery or weaving on the edges? thinking mostly the vertical center, or maybe the hood. something along the line of this embroidery
Image

or weaving like this. this is an inkle loom design, since the thinner inkle weaving seems like a better idea. i'm thinking something in earthtones, greens and browns.
Image
and i can't decide, if i went with the woven option, if i would just keep it on the front, or wrap the edge.

3) the one that's been on my mind the longest. i've used this cloak in fall, and some of that weather has gotten nasty. i keep having in my mind some type of liner that could be fastened in, like if you've seen the woobie or poncho liner used with army ponchos. of course, buttons or toggles would seem more "right" than snaps.....but i'm still questioning how far out a concept like that would even be....especially trying to keep the center in the middle of my back up where it belongs.

just some wonderings i've been having for quite awhile, and i realized that this was the perfect place to bounce some ideas. thanks for having me, and thanks in advance for your insights.d
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Greg
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Re: concerning cloaks...

Postby Greg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:30 am

Welcome! I'll approach the question about treating it, such as making it oilcloth.

To be direct...don't. Oilcloth is a horrifically non-breathable material, and really doesn't do well as a garment. I PROMISE your entire back would be soaked with sweat even with temps in the 60's after walking a short bit, and any other garments it touches will soak in the oils, a problem worsened by heat. The other projects/add-ons could have merit, but I wouldn't oil-treat that.
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Peter Remling
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Re: concerning cloaks...

Postby Peter Remling » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:32 am

Do a search on embroidery here. There are a good many posts on a variety of garments and other soft kit: tunics, pouches, a bow case up to a loincloth with embroidery. Some use natural items to depict and many use "elven or Tolkien" art forms.

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Roac Asgaroth
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Re: concerning cloaks...

Postby Roac Asgaroth » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:09 am

Peter Remling wrote:Do a search on embroidery here. There are a good many posts on a variety of garments and other soft kit: tunics, pouches, a bow case up to a loincloth with embroidery. Some use natural items to depict and many use "elven or Tolkien" art forms.

Welcome to the forum !


Thanks! It's the embroidery on here that's made me think that way. Did my first on the the canvas quiver i'm carrying in the picture. no pics of it, but i need to take some-it's based on the star motif i've seen on here, an 8 pointed one. but i wasn't sure if anyone had put some on their cloaks, or if that was an item that got too much abuse to put that kind time and attention into it.
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Iodo
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Re: concerning cloaks...

Postby Iodo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:02 am

Roac Asgaroth wrote:Thanks! It's the embroidery on here that's made me think that way. Did my first on the the canvas quiver i'm carrying in the picture. no pics of it, but i need to take some-it's based on the star motif i've seen on here, an 8 pointed one. but i wasn't sure if anyone had put some on their cloaks, or if that was an item that got too much abuse to put that kind time and attention into it.

I see no reason why you couldn't put embroidery on a cloak, I put some on my hood (I'd link it but I can't remember if I even posted it here, or where it is and I have to go to work in five minutes) The only reason I never did is because cloaks are huge and the size of the task put me off a bit :lol:

If your worried about the embroidery becoming damaged during use maybe you could put it around the neck of the cloak or down the front edges and leave the lower edge blank?
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Grimolt
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Re: concerning cloaks...

Postby Grimolt » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:28 am

Roac,

I can speak to the poncho/woobie thought a bit. I spent many years with those pieces of gear constantly in my rucksack, and outside of basic training never used my poncho as a piece of wet-weather gear (because it sucked, I always ended up wet anyway, so might as well not be all flippety-flappety). Rather, I used the poncho in conjunction with the woobie as a compact lightweight sleep system, for which it was great at it's job.

I think you'd be better off in foul weather with A: a totally different cloak made out of wool, with a separate hood that has a fairly substantial mantle. Or, B: wearing more layers of clothing that are weather appropriate underneath your canvas cloak. I fear that if you add a button or tie in layer to your existing cloak, you'll not be gaining the best insulative properties of your layers, but you'll get all the disadvantages of added bulk, weight, and hindrance to rapid access of other worn gear, (and just end up soaked with *two* wet blankets hanging from your neck, lol).

Very respectfully,
Grimolt
Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West and cometh from the sea.
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Elleth
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Re: concerning cloaks...

Postby Elleth » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:04 pm

Random thoughts on cloaks -

I have to agree with the others that treating the canvas with oil or wax isn't a good idea: fire hazard aside it will likely as Greg says turn into a steambath in short order. Something that *might* work if you want to waterproof this one though is adding a shoulder doubler in either oilcloth or - perhaps better - dubbined leather. You could also go with a hair-on pelt from sheep or goat, but I expect the latter will wear too quickly and the former warmer and more troublesome than you want.

If you're wanting a cloak to be out in the weather, I don't think you could do better than the pattern Greg wrote up a year or so back in the Winter 2017 MERS newsletter:
http://budgetauthenticity.org/mers/MERSv1-4Winter17.pdf

At the very least, I've found that cloaks with the neck closure sewn shut for a few inches are much less prone to choking you than the conventional ties-at-the-neck type.
Andy's watchcloak may be even better for actual use in winds and weather I think, but that admittedly does stray a bit from the archetypal "Ranger" image into later period poncho lines.

Image

I don't see your location? On the one hand, the American southeast tends to be considerably warmer than old Britain, so I can't blame Fell and Fair etc for using linen over wool. On the other hand, I really don't think any other material works nearly so well for cloaks as wool in any climate cool enough to get away with it.

Ursus has been experimenting with lanolin oil rubbed into his wool cloak, and I've love to hear more about what exactly he's doing, and how it affects breathability if at all.

Regarding embroidery: I'd not do more than a bit of subtle work around the throat and perhaps over the hood unless it was for something intended to be "courtly." Mostly because as Iodo says, handwork on a cloak takes sooooo loooong as it is.
If you want to take the plunge though, I think the border on Tolkien's Numenorean Carpet is a great place to mine for a repeating edge motif.
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