The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Hello! Come January I am commissioning a lovely seamstress friend of mine to make me a Mid Victorian hip cloak. Now, wool is warm and lovely but I break out in a rash whenever I wear it.  She suggested polar fleece, but to me it looks like a modern fabric and doesn't really seem to fit in the Victorian period. 

I need something warm, but does anyone have suggestions on fabrics? 

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A good sturdy cotton twill lined in cotton flannel makes an excellent warm cloak for those of us unfortunate enough to have that particular allergy. Both are period and available in an agreeable number of colors.

Oh and then you could do contrasting colors, or something interesting. Good suggestion, thank you!

This would certainly look nice, but I'm not sure how practical it would be, depending on it's purpose. If it's simply for cosplay, and function is less an issue, then I heartily agree.  

But if it's meant to be functional, cotton might be less attractive. When cotton gets wet, it loses it's ability to warm you properly. You'd want to make sure that the cloak was waterproofed in some way to avid a potentially dangerous cold-weather situation if you got wet AND cold.  

Doing historical camping for years, in every horrible weather condition out there, aside from modern materials, wool is incredibly fantastic and I'd have to disagree. Was your cloak made of more than one layer? And no it's not perfect, but we're spoiled by modern conveniences.

Acrylic tends to look wrong too. While I may not insist on 100% historical accuracy, I do like to keep the look of the period in the fabric choices. I don't always succeed, but I try. 

Camel hair, now you're just teasing me Wally. 

You know I may have to go to the alpaca store down in Bolder City and roll around in their displays for awhile and see if I can stand alpaca. 

The Worsterlon is a good suggestion too. Thank you!

Velvet is another attractive, although expensive, option.

So pretty, but I hear it's a pain to sew? 

I would suggest a soft corduroy lined with a velvet or velveteen, It could even be contrived to be reversible.

Mr Bear's next Santa suit will be corduroy. Having seen a vintage suit made of that I was quite taken by it.


I love corduroy! What a great idea. 

What a great find! Thank you Wally!


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