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Cuben Rain Kilt (It's UL, it's fashionable, it's Cuben!)
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Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Cuben Rain Kilt (It's UL, it's fashionable, it's Cuben!) on 09/14/2013 15:59:48 MDT Print View

Just finished a "feminine" cuben rain kilt. Holy cow, I was TERRIFIED to cut into the stuff before I started... but I read up on BPL'ers' tips and techniques (thank you to all who have shared theirs on the forum!) -- and surprisingly, as one person said, it's a very easy fabric to work with. So if you're thinking about trying some cuben, do it!

I think it turned out quite well. Materials from ZPacks, except the grosgrain ribbon (from my local sewing store).Skirt frontSkirt backWaistband detail

Thinner needle (I only had a #10, so that's what I used)
Larger stitch length
Gutermann all-purpose thread
3-step process: made a paper pattern, then a "test garment", then the actual garment
I stitched, then taped (HUGELY controversial, I know...)
Cut cuben on a self-healing mat with a razor blade.

Brittany W
(quasarr) - F

Locale: Southeast
Nice job! on 09/14/2013 16:29:37 MDT Print View

LOL as a woman, you should just go ahead and call it a skirt! "Kilt" is just for men who are too macho to admit they're wearing a skirt :)

Well done! I think the A-line cut is very flattering too :)

PS What is the weight?

Edited by quasarr on 09/14/2013 16:31:14 MDT.

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
nice! on 09/14/2013 16:55:36 MDT Print View

I'm looking at making one for myself too. I have a piece of syl-nylon begging for attention.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
OK, it IS a skirt! on 09/14/2013 18:15:05 MDT Print View

And an A-line to boot -- well spotted, Brittany!

Because this was my first time using cuben, I bought the mid-weight cuben (too scared to work with the really thin stuff on my first try).

Total finished weight: 2.3 oz (just slightly less than a Cliff Bar...)

I'll be making a more "masculine" one for my husband out of silnylon (cuben's too noisy for him). No A-line, probably do something that can double as a tarp...

Edited by Wildtowner on 09/14/2013 18:17:28 MDT.

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Lungi on 09/15/2013 08:26:04 MDT Print View

When I lived in South East India I learned to wear Lungis. They were great for the heat and the way they pleat in the front made for comfortable walking. I'll be adding some pleats to my skirt :)

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Cuben Rain Kilt (It's UL, it's fashionable, it's Cuben!) on 09/15/2013 14:23:42 MDT Print View

Very nice job!
As a kilt wearing backpacker, I do take issue with it being called a "kilt". Kilts have pleats in the back, all else is a skirt. Since you are a lassie, i'll let it go...this time. :)


Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Pleats?! on 09/15/2013 14:30:08 MDT Print View

LOL -- c'mon guys -- the extra material needed for pleats would NEVER pass muster as "UL"! It WOULD add considerably to the fashion aspect, though... ;~)

Hmmmmm, haven't seen a hiker in a kilt since I moved out west...used to see them in NH/NY quite regularly. No doubt it was a unique, cool choice.

Curtis B.
(rutilate) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pleats?! on 09/16/2013 11:31:33 MDT Print View

I LOVE your quilt design. Is the draw cord just a cinch across 3-5" of fabric, or is it more of a waist cord?

I wonder if quilts are more common on humid, wet New England? I never needed any kind of rain gear while hiking in summer in the Rocky Mountains.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Drawcord on 09/16/2013 11:38:40 MDT Print View

Thanks for your kind words! The cord is just a cinch, which is pretty much the norm on women's wrap skirts (bonus: easy size adjustment). It also allows the skirt to be opened fully for putting on/taking off with muddy boots.

I'm planning to take it on a JMT thru-hike next year, where I expect to have to hike in the rain at least a few times (much as I might wish for fair weather all the time).

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
Cuben Rain Kilt (It's UL, it's fashionable, it's Cuben! on 09/16/2013 13:08:20 MDT Print View

Nice work! Do you mind sharing the total cost? Have you considered making and selling them? Mike

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Materials Cost on 09/16/2013 13:55:31 MDT Print View

Thanks, Michael.


1.5 yards of cuben $45
5 yards grosgrain $3
1.5 pcs cuben tape $5
1 yd cord+line lock $1

Total Cost: $54
(Note: got free shipping for this ZPacks order; otherwise add $4 shipping)

ZPacks CloudKilt(a narrower design, using lighter cuben) retails for $59, but they obviously get their cuben wholesale, whereas I paid retail.

So unless someone REALLY wanted a "prettier" skirt, my cost wouldn't lead to a very competitive product!

My motivation for making it was to have an A line design that would allow for big strides, make the rain drip away from my feet, and look a bit more feminine...

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Rain Skirt on 09/21/2013 13:23:03 MDT Print View

Nice Job. It looks great.

Jeffrey Wong
(kayak4water) - MLife

Locale: Pacific NW
I like that closure! on 10/01/2013 23:34:37 MDT Print View

I like that closure! I'm a guy, I made a skirt with a few pleats, but 60" of fabric didn't permit enough pleats to call it a kilt. Mine is opaque green urethane coated nylon, so I can hide my derriere while I change my shorts while standing--I'll only change inside if it's raining hard. Also, I don't even have to wear anything underneath (TMI?). I sewed mine with a front vertical velcro closure, so I don't have to climb into it from above and if I get fat, I just add more Velcro. My waistband is two way stretch polyester.

Other properties: Quiet. Good for sitting on wet logs. Good windbreaker when the mercury drops.

I had to add a couple of little pockets to the front to slip in tent stakes to weight the bottom after a mild headwind made the skirt ride up.

Works great for both rain and bug protection. In combination with rain "legs" these far outperformed the Gore tex rain pants in which my hiking buddy sweated--I never felt clammy during our 3 hour hike out of the woods in a wet drizzle. The rain legs also matched the protection of Gore tex gaiters without even an instep strap and at only 30% of the Goretex weight.

My skirt weight: 3 oz. The rain legs weigh 2 oz. The set cost maybe $15 from Rockywoods & Joann Fabric with 40% off coupons:
Fabric 2 yd of ure coated nylon
some velcro $1 per 3'
some two way stretch polyester.

My skirt permits decent range of motion. for Version 2.0 I might reduce the fabric from 60" to 40" & add a slit that closes with either Velcro or a hem-to-hip zipper on both sides to preserve/add range of motion.

Happy trails on the JMT!

Edited by kayak4water on 10/01/2013 23:47:40 MDT.