RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Cloak
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.

Anonymous

Was the Legionary cloak water proofed ? <p></p><i></i>
I am going to address this question from a couple angles. These being from personal experience wearing wool in wet weather and from knowing a bit about wool's own characteristics.<br>
I went to a fall RenFaire in Connecticut on a rainy day, wearing modern wool (men's suit weight-therefore not heavy or thick). None the less, water beaded on it, and I stayed essentially dry and comfortable. I do not believe it had been treated with anything to specifically waterproof it. It was definitely NOT coat wool, being fairly light, thin and finely woven.<br>
The Romans did not process their wool nearly to the extent we moderns do. The natural oil, lanolin, in wool would therefore still remain, at least somewhat, in the fibers. It acts as a natural waterproofing.<br>
A soaking and/or long term rain fall will eventually defeat the natural waterproofing character of the wool fibers. I doubt the Roman soldier could stay totally dry during rainy weather. But I am sure that as long as he could dry his cloak and tunic between exposures to the rain, he could stay reasonably comfortable, warm and dry.<br>
I will finally add another piece of personal experience, having worn my Roman armor and tunic in winter with wet snow falling(a few inches on the ground and accumulating-lovely southern New England winters): my tunic, of wool, stayed relatively dry. The snow, essentially, did not melt into the tunic. This is again modern wool, but it has not been specifically treated for water repellency, and was washed before being cut and sewn, as well as having been washed at least a couple of times before this particular wearing.<br>
Hope this provides some info. Others may know of specific ancient waterproofing techniques (did they reapply lanolin, recovered during the early washing stage of preparing raw wool after being sheared from the sheep, to woven wool for waterproofing?), etc.<br>
<br>
Quinton/Marcus Quintius Clavus <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

I have made similar expericens with my tartan plaited skirt (the woman's version of the kilt) and tweed jacket. My special-micro-poly-something clad hiking comrades were the ones who got wet. And wool continues to keep warm even if the water starts seeping into the fibres, which happend after <em>hours</em> of walking in the rain (provided you wear silk undergarments and not some micro-poly-something stuff). Strangest thing, though, was the fact wool even dries better than said micro-poly-stuff which turned out still damp the next morning.<br>
<br>
Maybe this is because the chemical waterprotecting layer once broken, the micro-poly-cloth behaves more like cotton, which tends to get rather wet and heavy. The only way is to wear waterproof stuff, but that won't allow the air to circulate and you'll sweat a lot. No, I stick to wool. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=gabrielecampbell>gabriele campbell</A> at: 7/29/04 1:56 am<br></i>

Anonymous

Thanks guys. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

why not leather? ?<br>
<br>
Wool seems to be the most obvious material, but there are also occaisonal literary references to leather waterproofs in the roman period, plus occaisonal finds of suspected leather clothing from a variety of roman period sites in egypt, switzerland, germany, england and denmark. <p></p><i></i>