Hints on Fabrics: 

Choose fabric that is easy to care for and appears "period." While the period ideal may be wool, silk, linen and long staple Egyptian cotton; muslin, modern cotton and cotton blends will be easier to launder and much cooler in our summer heat.   Please, for my sake, do not use "Poly - Critter" it is nasty looking and doesn't breathe. The ugly sisters "Polly and Esther" are never going to be period no matter how well put together and/or researched the garb is. Velveteen, robe velour and Ultra-suede type polys are okay if they are very good (these are usually expensive, but worth it).  

A rule of thumb, if it is shiny on one side and plush on the other it will pill up and/or pack down eventually. Cotton Velveteen will wear like iron, is usually washable, and is cost effective in the long run because the garment will last longer. Think wool, wool blends, heavier weight brushed corduroy or twill for winter coats and cloaks. Think Fake Fur for trim if you must have fur.

The most popular fabrics for "Field Garb" are cotton broad sheeting, batiste, and 65% cotton and 35% polyester blends as they have no nap and are easy to find for a small price. Choose colors that are rich, the primary colors of red, purple, blue, green, yellow, plus black, white, gray and brown are fine for starters, for now avoid patterns as we will be covering "period" patterns in a later issue. Fabrics range in widths from 36 to 108 inches. My personal favorite is 60 inch, which is used as the standard in this series.

Other materials: A large cutting surface, the floor will do, but a waist high table saves back strain (I use a cutting board too, nice but not essential). A pair of sharp fabric scissors, chalk (I use blackboard chalk, any color other than the color of the fabric, it will wash off with a damp cloth. Do not use ink pen or pencil, these will not always wash out). Matching Cotton Thread. (I used white thread on everything for many months as it is easier to find when I had to use the next item). The Almighty and Powerful seam ripper (for those LITTLE errors), an ironing board and steam iron (Turn It - Press It). A cat, dog or similar pet to walk on the material, shed hair, light on dark and dark on light material. 

 

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