View Full Version : Early 19th Century Royal Navy Frock
07-22-2012, 12:46 PM
My group is attempting historical costumes for the first time - namely, late 18th/early 19th century Royal Navy costumes. Here's our biggest concern: my research implies that these the frocks of navy officers (example of the lieutenant's frock (http://www.therpf.com/members/amadscientist/albums/british-naval-first-lt-napoleonic-era-e-s-horatio-hornblower-replica-costume/2477-horatio-hornblower-replica-costume-british-naval-first-lieutenant-frock.jpg)) were traditionally wool. We will most likely be wearing these during California summers, so while wool might be the most accurate, we might die while wearing it.
So our question is: are there any fabrics that we could substitute in that would be lighter and/or breathe better than wool, but still retain the appearance of wool? Or are we better off being more accurate and a bit warm?
07-22-2012, 05:19 PM
A nice linen would breathe better, and probably still look really nice, if you're worried about the heat.
07-22-2012, 10:02 PM
I'm also doing a military costume. :) I'm on the look out for a nice thick twill. I know on Torchwood, Jack Harkness' wool great coat is made from moleskin since the actor has an allergy.
However, wool is natural fibers and breathes. Imitation or synthetic fibers would be much hotter than the real thing.
07-22-2012, 10:27 PM
I would agree with linen. A nice broadcloth would probably work alright as well. If you want it to look closer, there are some corduroy or upholstery fabric that are lighter.
Honestly, the linen or broadcloth would be fine since the only reason they had wool was to keep warm and dry (those ships are freezing on a hot day) so if you get the aesthetic right, I don't think the fabric type matters as much.
07-22-2012, 11:33 PM
Wool can be rather comfortable. I wouldn't wear it in 90 degree weather but lower then that it's not bad. Drink plenty of water. They made a lot of progress with wool during the American Civil War because there was little cotton. My human suggests this site for getting wool and has no issues in 90 odd temps wearing American Civil War era uniforms. http://www.stonybrookcompany.com/
There are several vendors that make uniforms for War of 1812 & Rev War re-enactors. So if you want to save time they are available.
From historically accurate headgear & shoes to the frock coat & hose it's all available ready made.
07-22-2012, 11:51 PM
07-23-2012, 10:19 PM
Thanks so much for the fast and informative replies, guys! <3