View Full Version : rain protection for ladies
08-20-2007, 09:04 AM
**disclaimer: I don't know where to look for the answer to this question, and as I am the more knowledgeable of only two ladies in our group, I have no one else to ask but you folks.**
My sweetie says it always rains at the event that's coming up this weekend. (At this point, weather.com calls for a 50% chance of scattered t-storms on Friday and Saturday, so he's right.) He has his gum blanket/poncho, and doesn't really mind getting wet. However, I don't think ladies would have worn such things. I also don't think parasols were very good protection from the rain. What did ladies do in the 1860s so as not to get wet when it was rainy out? Or did they just not go outside when it was raining? (The latter, unfortunately, is probably not an option at this event.)
08-20-2007, 10:01 AM
Ladies did use umbrellas and they did have protective rain gear. The following book may have the answers you seek:
India-Rubber and Gutta-Percha in the Civil War Era: an Illustrated History of Rubber and Pre-Plastic Antiques and Militaria, by Mike Woshner. 320 pages, and far too many illustrations to count. O'Donnell Publications, 1999. $39.95
What did ladies do in the 1860s so as not to get wet when it was rainy out? Or did they just not go outside when it was raining? (The latter, unfortunately, is probably not an option at this event.)
08-20-2007, 02:20 PM
Try making or getting ahold of a wool shawl. Make sure the wool is tightly woven, it will repel the rain. Another option would be oiled silk. for either a shawl or your umbrella.... http://fashionfabricsclub.com/Catalog_items.aspx?Query=silk+rainwear
I have heard the above is difficult though... you can get a good batch or a sticky batch.
There were "galoshes" made by Goodyear, heres a picture http://artsweb.brenau.edu/Wages/childhood/pages/P2210051_jpg_jpg.htm
These might work in their place
I think these ones are more accurate
Since its this weekend, I would find a tight wool and cut into a shawl and use that.
08-20-2007, 04:37 PM
You're a wise lady to quickly understand that wearing soldier's clothing is a bad idea---it would have happened very rarely, in very unusual circumstances.
Given your short time line, a wool shawl is your best bet.
Wool is exceptionally water repellant, and drys quickly---yet another reason to own and wear a tropical weight wool dress. It has to get into the high 80's here in the Deep South before I start getting unhappy in a tropical weight wool dress, and I ended up wearing one here lately when the temperature was over 100.
We've had excellent luck with Fashion Fabric Club's oiled silk. For Banks Grand Retreat, the bulk of the civilians were on site for 7 days, including one day which measured right at 4 inches of rain, and two others of heavy rain. My rain outfit was a long sacque coat, with soft bonnet, both made of oiled silk and cotton plaid lined, and I had no choice but to be out paddling in that monsoon.
After a full day of that, when I took off my rain coat, my shoulders and bodice were dry. The lower part of woolen dress were soaked enough to be wrung out, and my red wool petticoat had bled on all underlayers. Hung up in a place where air could circulate, the next morning all wool and silk garmets were dry enough to wear, and all cotton garmets were a hopeless, cold sodden mess. They were worthless until we did laundry a couple of days later when the sun was out.
08-20-2007, 06:18 PM
Ditto on a nice wool shawl or two for such a short-term situation. Choose something lightweight, but firmly woven; the tight weave of a light broadcloth, for instance, will help repel the water longer.
08-20-2007, 07:38 PM
Yep Rebecca it does drain there at lest one day of the weekend! He knows whereof he speaks. We lucked out last year it stayed up at 94. Thunder lightening sounded like an artillary duel. Tell the sarg I said Hi.
08-20-2007, 08:04 PM
Thanks for your replies, everyone. I do have a wool shawl, so I guess on such short notice I'll just have to make due with that if it rains. I checked Fashion Fabrics Club and they are currently out of oiled silk. I'll have to keep an eye out for it from time to time.
08-21-2007, 06:49 PM
Ladies did use umbrellas and they did have protective rain gear.
I'm very interested in learning more about period umbrellas. Were they similiar in constuction to period parasols, just larger? If anyone would care to share research, pictures, etc. I would truly appreciate it :)
08-21-2007, 08:59 PM
Tell the sarg I said Hi.
He says hello and he'll see you this weekend.
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