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Clothing Material Advice.
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Christian Denniston
(cdenniston)
Clothing Material Advice. on 12/16/2011 17:52:54 MST Print View

I am looking to make some of my own clothing for a thru of the LT this summer and wanted to see if anyone had some advice on materials. Planning on making a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt for starters. I would like them to be very simple, light, thin, and moisture wicking. This is my first experience with clothing and I have no clue what type of materials would be ideal. Any help would be great, Thanks!

Also any pictures of some of your guys own myog clothing would be awesome! Or links to any other threads related to this subject, I had trouble navigating the old threads.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Clothing Material Advice. on 12/17/2011 13:25:29 MST Print View

I made mine with Supplex - fine weave nylon that feels sort of like cotton.

I got it from local fabric store, but owfinc.com and others sell it.

It's not exactly "wicking" but I think there's a marketing hype component to "wicking", although a lot of people swear by it.

Supplex is thin and doesn't absorb a lot of water so it dries quickly so it makes a good base layer. Also insect and sun proof.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Clothing Material Advice. on 12/17/2011 13:29:31 MST Print View

We have some BPL articles on MYOG clothing for walking. Taslan/Supplex was used. The clothing has handled extreme bushwacking and 2 month thru-hikes, heat and cold. Search on my name for them. Shell top and trousers.

Cheers

Christian Denniston
(cdenniston)
Thanks/ Solarweave on 12/19/2011 12:08:34 MST Print View

Thanks for the information guys, I am not a member so I don't have access to the article, BUT that will change as soon as I deposit my paycheck! I am very excited to gain access to some of the myog articles, and all the other great information I am sure I have been missing out on. This will be my first attempt at MYOG clothing so I am looking forward to experimenting, even if it doesn't work out, ha.

Does anyone know what the Solarweave fabric on OWFINC is like? I am planning on ordering a few different things from there all at once and wondering if it is worth picking up a bit of it. Thanks.

Christian.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Thanks/ Solarweave on 12/19/2011 13:45:16 MST Print View

I'd check out OWFINC's remnants. They have a few (~6) yards of both supplex and solarweave for under $10. Cheap enough to play around with over the winter! Actually a lot of good things for prototyping tests.

http://www.owfinc.com/Remnant%20flyer.htm

I would agree with supplex for pants. I have some dead bird pants that are a form of supplex and they've held up to the rigors of the thorny desert and look brand new. I actually have some 15 year old Mountain Dew shorts that are a heavier supplex material that are just as functional as ever, albeit faded.

However for a shirt supplex may not be breathable enough. Granted again I'm in the desert of AZ where your summer needs are my winter needs ;)

For a LS top, I prefer a wicking material. Polartec Powerdry is ok although I prefer merino (haven't found a DIY source) or the magic stuff that Arcteryx uses in it's Phase SL line (no DIY equivalent yet). Also the construction is simpler since you can just make them using a t-shirt pattern.

A supplex/taslan would work but you'd have to make it looser fitting to account for lower stretch and allow for air movement. Look at Rail Riders shirts for inspiration. But a design like this will be more complicated to construct (buying/finding a pattern may be helpful)

Good luck, and post your results!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Thanks/ Solarweave on 12/19/2011 14:30:28 MST Print View

As far as I know ... Solarweave is heavier than Taslan. The stuff I know of would be too heavy, but that may be different.

As for pattern - there are patterns in the articles. Very simple ones.

Cheers

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Thanks/ Solarweave on 12/19/2011 15:12:44 MST Print View

Another source of patterns is off of existing clothing of yours that fits well. Pin it onto the fabric because you'll probably have to rotate it a fair bit to get to all the seams. And remember to factor in seams and mark clearly where they join versus where to cut.

IME, staff and customers at fabric stores are much more knowledgeable and experienced than most backpackers at making garments and are generally impressed and helpful whenever a boy tries his hand at it.

A grey market source of patterns would be any bricks-and-mortar outfitter. Test fit all the sizes, buy one, keep the tags on, transfer the pattern to material, return the item. Going this route, I hope you would patronize that store for real, when you could.

Ocassionally, you can score a garment at a thrift store that has enough material for your project. If you can, it is often cheaper than buying new material by the yard. For instance, an XXL fleece-lined nylon jacket for $7.50 might be cut down and stitched into an unlined anorak shell with hood, plus a fleece vest, plus a fleece beanie, and the YKK zippers set aside for some other project.

Think carefully where you do and do not want accessories like pockets. Some can be alpha-tested with duct tape on day hikes for size and exact position. I loved the jeans I modifed for hanging sheetrock. I needed no bulky tool belt because every tool I used had its own pocket built into the pants exactly where I wanted them.

Christian Denniston
(cdenniston)
OWFINC Site on 12/19/2011 16:19:25 MST Print View

Just went to the OWFINC site and the new one is finally up! Coolness.

Really good idea using larger clothing from the thrift store. Every so often I come across some high quality apparel but it is hard to find size small, the fabric could easily be salvaged for new clothing. As far as patterns go my plan was to use some clothing that I own and like the fit. Would cutting them at the seams then simply tracing them and adding on a half inch seam allowance work? I always struggle finding clothing that is slim enough and has the right proportions, so I thought this may be a way of getting around that.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: OWFINC Site on 12/19/2011 16:48:25 MST Print View

Yes, using your own well-fitting clothing as a pattern is maybe the surest way to get it right. Hopefully, you could do it without destroying the current clothes. Seam allowance could be anywhere from 1/4" to an 1" depending on what type of seam you'll use. A little destructive testing on beater garments can be instructive.

A quick check (for instance in a thrift store) if a fabric is waterproof or not is to *try to suck air* through it. You won't get a psi rating that way, but you can breathe through an uncoated fabric but not a waterproofed or membrane fabric.

Fit, slim people are a discriminated minority in this country, at least for mass-market clothing. Even at 170 pounds, 6-feet tall, I'm loose in some "small" garments. Small tall is often the best choice, but usually tall options don't even include medium, only large and bigger. Duluth Trading has their "longtail t-shirts" (to prevent "plumber's butt") in small and trim and all of them are long. In recent years, they've added wicking fabrics, long sleeves, pockets, v-necks, etc, so it is a potential alternative to expensive brand name outdoor wear. And an option for those only need to lose 15 poinds, not 100.

Editted from "breathe through it" to "suck air through it" because I was unclear before. David Olsen (below) is right, that's how to check it.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 12/19/2011 19:09:19 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: OWFINC Site on 12/19/2011 16:48:50 MST Print View

I just tried the owfinc site and it's totally screwed up. Earlier today it was much better. It's been screwed up for months and they keep saying they're going to fix it. You can download a catalog or talk to them on the phone so it doesn't really matter.

As you suggested, I have taken clothing, cut them at seams, transfer to paper (shopping bag). I always trace out the shape where I want the seam to be, then add 1/2 inch to cut, but I think it would be easier to add a half inch to the pattern and then use the scale on the sewing machine to get the 1/2 inch seam allowance.

I usually iterate a few times, making it bigger or smaller, until I'm happy with the result. Then I have a pattern that's useful in the future.

Clothing is usually "tailored" - the opposite sides are angled or curved to make it look good. For backpacking gear I usually just make opposite sides parallel. More room for air flow. So, I'll take my piece of clothing and just make opposite sides parallel in the pattern.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
testing for waterproofness on 12/19/2011 17:04:40 MST Print View

I have found sucking rather than blowing (??) works better to test for waterproofness.

I like the nylon supplex too. It doesn't seem to hold odor as much as the polyester blends
and is a bit more absorbent.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Suck don't Blow. No, this isn't a dirty joke. on 12/19/2011 19:11:05 MST Print View

DavidO: Yes, suck through fabric it to test for waterproofness. "breathe" was not clear. Thanks for catching that. -DavidT

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
re: testing air permeability on 12/20/2011 06:09:07 MST Print View

I prefer to blow through fabrics to test their permeabilities. This is because I can detect the warm breath passing through the fabric with my hand, whereas, if I suck, I don't know whether air is coming through the fabric, or merely leaking in at the sides.

As for getting a positive reaction in sewing shops, well, I must say that when I bought my sewing machine, the two elderly ladies in the department store seemed to think I was Buffalo Bill (from Silence of the Lambs), at least judging by the reaction I got...

Doing permeability tests on fabrics and clothing also attracts some odd glances, as you appear to be kissing the stuff...