[Sca-cooks] Sweat shirts and sweat pants are an important addition to your wardrobe

bronwynmgn at aol.com bronwynmgn at aol.com
Sun Aug 30 06:13:55 PDT 2009

<<-----Original Message-----
From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Sat, Aug 29, 2009 12:04 pm
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Sweat shirts and sweat pants are an important addition to your wardrobe

I always have a pair of sweats for each family member in the garb box. They
are critical (under long tunics or scholars robes) when the weather turns
cold and rainy up here in An Tir (and it can turn quickly).
Obviously not so you can tell we are wearing them but they do help keep
things warm in a pinch.
If we are going to an event that we know is going to be cold we bring the
appropriate garb but for those emergency situations I have found them to be
excellent (especially with a 4 and 6 year old).>>

I am not saying that your approach isn't valid.  It keeps you warm and that's the point.  But I used to work under the theory that adding mundane clothes under garb, or following mundane rules of adding warmer layers under garb, and I was often still cold.  Then I asked myself what a medieval person would have done - after all, they had to cope with weather on a daily basis, much more intimately than do we who live in climate-controlled buildings and leave them to travel in climate-controlled cars.

I started making wool overgowns to go over my lighter weight clothes.  Heavy wool repels water beautifully with no special treatment.  If it does get wet, it still keeps you warm.  Wool socks are a godsend when your feet are wet; you feel the initial rush of cold water but within a moment or two, it is hard to tell if your feet are still wet because they are warm again.  I have a coat weight gown and hood that I have worn in pouring rain for prolonged times with no other shelter.  When I took the wool gown and hood off, my linen clothes underneath were completely dry.  The only thing you must do is make sure never to leave those wool outer garments lying in a pile on the floor.  Then they will soak through.  If the wool is kept hanging when it is taken off, then the water will continue to do what it does when you are wearing it - run down the outer layers of the wool and drip off the bottom.

A lighter weight wool gown over your linen is also good when it's damp and cool but not raining; it prevents the linen from soaking up moisture from the air and feeling soggy.

Yes, wool is somewhat expensive.  You know what, so is a parka or heavy winter coat.  You buy one, once, and wear it for years in comfort.  I do find the gowns more useful than cloaks for anything other than short showers.  You can't really DO anything in a cloak; you just have to stay still and hold it closed.  In the gowns I can run around and do anything I'd do in my normal clothes.
They serve as extra warmth when events turn unexpectedly cold as well.  I haven't been cold at a wet or cold event since I started doing this.

Brangwayna Morgan

Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom

Lancaster, PA

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