Re: How to make a loincloth, with clout?

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Posted by Seamus on September 13, 2000 at 17:38:12:

In Reply to: Re: How to make a loincloth, with clout? posted by Dana S. on September 13, 2000 at 07:36:08:

: : : : I can't live just in my imagination. I'm going to learn to make loincloths and clouts. Has any of you done this? We could get a sewing circle going!

: : : : Seriously (is that possible when discussing loincloths?), I don't have a special fella to make one for, but I think I'll gift my artistic teenage nephew with my efforts. He's interested in costuming.

: : : : So -- I need directions and details like supplies required, recommendations for cloth, thread, etc. This will be fun!

: : : : If only Eric would model for me ...

: : : : LSK
: : : ____________

: : : They are easy to make, Linda. All you need are a couple of yards of linen or wool (linen will be easiest to find) and some scisssors. Cut a rectangle as wide as the wearers hands spread apart and put together at the thumb tips(spread your fingers on both hands, touch your thumbs at the tips, the distance from pinky to pinky is what you're looking for). Make the rectangle as long as the wearer is tall. A leather thong is needed to tie the thing around the waist.

: : : These are the very first instructions I was ever given for making a clout. Others go about it differently. I believe Clabert had his made while wearing the two yards of wool. I know for a fact, he prefere to have it mended while wearing it.. To each his own. There are many different approaches to manufacturing these interesting little articles. This is only one.

: : : These ARE very comfortable, Linda. Don't just make them for the men in your life. You need one, too! If you make one for yourself, be sure to give yourself a little more length. The distance from ground zero up to a woman's waist is a bit farther for a woman. Oh, and start doing those exercises that put dents in your cheeks.

: : : If you want clout in your clout, you'll have to take that up with the wearer. All "clouts" vary.

: : : Dana S.

: : Ah Dana! There's nothing like asking the right person. Tip of me hat to you!
: : LSK

: Well, there are lots of posters around who know more than I do about breechclouts, sartain. Many Flags posted not too long ago about his cout. A very good description, actually. I learned alot from it. I am new to the making of clouts and all the other cool stuff that oue F&I era forefathers wore. Clouts and their constuction seem to be almost as individual as those who wore them. Then there's silver, ribbon, etc.

: I should add, Linda, that if you use linen you can hem the edges, or leave them raw and allow some neat unraveling to happen. A nice touch. If you use a light-weight wool, you should wash it in hot water and throw it in the dryer. This is called fulling, I believe. It causes the wool to become very dense and soft. You don't need to hem wool, either. I have read that French women fulled the wool for their bodices. When the bodices streched out, they were boiled again to regain their shape and stiffen them. They were, after all, the "support garments" of the day. The stiffer the better. Today's "Wonder" garments pale in comparison to a nicely fitted bodice, by the way. I never would have believed this, if I hadn't tried one for myself. Stop by Lady Ann's and take a gander at some of her bodices. Fun, fun, fun...

: Hey, all you guys that REALLY know about this clout stuff...If I'm off on my instructions, please feel free to correct me. I would appreciate it, frankly.

: Dana S.


In case you loincloth lookers are interested, here's another for your scrapbook.

Mine is lightweight madder wool, washed and felted, raw edged, and has no adornment. It is 11 1/2" wide and 52 inches in length. There is no standard length, as was stated before, but the front flap should come to about mid-thigh, with the rear flap usually being a bit longer. These will determine the length overall and will be different for men of different heights. In addition, it has been my observation that different tribes wore different lengths and styles.

I also have a dark blue one of a coarser wool which is lined with heavy muslin. Without the lining, it would be akin to wearing 200 grit sandpaper for a clout!

Either or both may be examined by appointment.

I use a 1" wide belt to hold it up, because it is easier to tie my leggings straps to than a thong.


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