Okay gang...last question this week...I promise

So I was reading Burgess' "A Woodsrunner Diary" and he stated that linen or cotton canvas material could be used for leggings. While it was a bit more expensive and also rare in the wilderness (common back east though), it could still be found on the frontier in the 18th century. Buckskin leather and wool were the most popular materials for leggings but linen oil cloth canvas WAS used.

Does anyone here use a linen oil cloth canvas for leggings?
How are these type of leggings viewed by others at reenactments?
Did they use the oil cloth canvas over the knee or just the shorter height?

Thank you all so much for your help
Posts: 12 | Location: Delphi, Indiana | Registered: 17 October 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was used, but more in a military setting for full gaiters, which button up the side to a point above the knee. They do work quite well, although they are noisy when moving through the brush one finds next to water, or when moving through an open meadow, as anything with thorns that contacts the cloth makes a scratching noise.

While Keith may have found several sources showing the use of such by civilian, it was not a popular choice. Consider the cost of the cloth, then consider that alone, the cloth would quickly shred without some sort of treatment like paint made from boiled linseed oil and pigment. (All one needs to do is make a pair from cotton canvas, or wear a pair of denim jeans in thick brush and see what damage is done Wink ). Then think upon the cost of the fabric, then having to paint it. Compare that with stroud, which is heavy blanket material that has been felted, and is pretty durable stuff..., and you see why oil cloth wasn't super popular with the citizens. To be fair, most folks with wool leggings don't felt up the fabric by washing in hot water in a machine to get closer to stroud if they don't buy stroud from a sutler, so their leggings don't last as long or do as much as they should.

IF you do make some from canvas, then beware, you are going to need to actually use boiled linseed oil. Modern, oil-based paint has too many drying chemicals added to it, and it gets very stiff...too stiff. So at the ankles and knee joint where the leggings bend with the legs, this causes chaffing and can cause blisters. So BLO and some pigment..., and many folks like to test the over-the-counter BLO for it's pH as it's often too acidic and can cause the canvas fabric to fail after about a year.


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
Posts: 3711 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There is a mountain ridge near my home that is called "Bark Leggings Ridge".

Makes me wonder?

Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
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