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Author Topic: Inuit made anoraks  (Read 42431 times)

Offline Haggis

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2009, 02:17:51 PM »
Very nice looking anoraks, and I fear, well beyond my skills. A gentleman from this forum sent me a copy of a pattern for an anorak, and after a bit of staring and befuddlement, I realized I could not make even the pillow the above writer mentions.

I did though, today (Merry Christmas all), go for a walk in the bush while wearing an anorak purchased from Empire Canvas, I have been wearing a "Trans-Alaska Anorak" from Cabelas http://www.cabelas.com/p-0040283921809a.shtml but given the warmth today, I opted for the uninsulated canvas anorak. I ever and always wear wool sweaters in winter, generally one under my anorak if the weather be fair, two if there be wind or it be quite cool; today fearing the wind might chill, I wore two wool sweaters under the unlined anorak, a mistake I shant repeat. It was quickly revealed to me that over heating in an unlined anorak was far easier than I had supposed.

What to make of all this, I am not quite sure, but perhaps it be that as the weather varies so must one's choice of clothing against the weather. Certainly, here, in Northern Minnesota either the Cabelas or the Empire Canvas anorak make excellent choices, though the Cabelas version does get "clammy" if one is under a good head of steam; now of course, one is pondering the anoraks I have and those made by Kinguq or Skookum Brand.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 02:19:53 PM by Haggis »
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Offline mattmayhem

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2009, 07:38:57 PM »
I guess there are two different schools of thought here. Alot of the anorak talk I saw was in rehards to unlined ones and these inuit/alaska ones seem to be lined for the most part. I remember the discover channel show about the iditarod race and I remeber atleast one musher had a canada goose parka with what looked like an unlined empire canvas anorak for extra wind protection.
Is it a question of geography? IN the lower 48 and southern canada -20 is possible at most times in the winter and perhaps -30 to -50 is possible for very short periods of time (excluding the praries). I know that xcountry skiing a canada goose parka would be a sweat factory here in quebec. I guess the arctic is so cold and the use of dog teams and snow machines means more insulation is needed?

Offline HOOP

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2009, 11:18:22 AM »
Good discussion.

Kinguk - That sealskin anorak is gorgeous.   

I guess there are two different schools of thought here..... 

Hi Mattmayhem,
I don't think it is two different schools of thought.   Instead I think it is a continuum across several spectrums, or gradients of cold, wind exposure (e.g. being able to shelter in the trees vs open tundra), and activity levels and types (e.g. hand hauling a sled breaking trail in deep snow VS riding on a komatik or snowmobile across windswept arctic sea ice).

When you are hauling sled breaking trail in deep snow, that is about the highest metabolic rate you will experience in life!  (just this side of heart attack!  :) )  You need to be stripped down to minimal layers, totally in breathable layers, travelling on the edge of cold, in order to stay dry.   I only wear my anorak hauling sled in the deepest of cold and strong winds - otherwise I am hauling sled wearing wind permeable fleece and wool to allow moisture to be carried away by the wind, no shell of any kind.   Or in wet snow or rain I may be wearing the anorak with a micro layer underneath.

Standing around ice fishing in the cold and wind, I would opt for a big goose down parka with total wind break outer fabric, and not be concerned with breathability, since I would not be pumping the steam.   

The colder it gets, the harder it is to keep dry when one is working hard, since the harder it is to vent steam with the layers needed to keep warm.   

So I think all choices and combo's of layers and shells depends on these spectrums of temp, wind, and activity.   

Oh ya, and use of fire.   Synthetic soft shell layers are very good, but melt by fires, so when you add use of fire, that affects what you can wear.

Oh ya, again, and working in the bush VS open trail use.   Gathering firewood with sharp knots and sticks, and hauling it back to camp through thick brush, will quickly shred anything like a gortex jacket.   Working with thrashing dogs and harnesses will likewise test the toughness of outer garments and full front zippers.   Working with snowmobiles inevitably leads to exposure to gas and oil on garments.  etc.  All part of the myriad of factors.     :)
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Offline Haggis

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2009, 03:02:54 PM »
I had a go at my walk through the woods with only the unlined anorak and one sweater today; I was more than warm enough. Lots of heavy snow falling, and my paths through the open areas nigh full from yesterdays snow; Herself was fretful again I return to the cottage; gone too long says she. I did pick up another red fox today, which, from the look on her face, didn't excuse my tardiness; perhaps I should have told her I had to run aground?.

It doesn't take too much thought for the average person to see why those in the far norht might want one sort of anorak and those further south might want another (though it seems it has taken me a while to get hold of it). Here in the balmy southern edge of winter one wants to layer in light layers until one reachs "just enough", but it seems that those where the weathern is ever and generally -40 any thermometre are going to start with a heavy outer shell and fill as needed.
“It is tedious to live; it is tedious to die; it is tedious to c**p in deep snow”
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Offline Forestwalker

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2010, 02:43:09 AM »
The most common 'modern' parka has 3 layers so you basically have to make 3 parkas. The innermost layer is a slippery liner so the parka is easy to get on and off. This is sewn into the inside of a heavy wool duffel layer. This cloth is typically about 1 cm thick, quite stiff and fairly hard to sew. The next layer is the windproof outer parka. Most commonly this is made from a poly-cotton blend, often something called Commander cloth. In all my time there I only saw one parka made with a pure cotton outer. The outer layer is attached to the duffel layer using safety pins or such so that it can be removed easily for washing.

I've been reading this thread, as well as Paradise Below Zero, and started thinking. Would a rya style rug (from e.g. IKEA) be a good or bad notion for the insulating layer? It is thick, furlike and made from wool (well, in the modern implementations the pile is wool while the backing is made from polyester). It is not even remotely windproof, so I would have to add a canvas/poplin outer layer. It would be a bit stiff, but so is the duffel described above, but I would get about 5 cm of woolly, fluffy insulation, and a virtually windproof layer (canvas/poplin). I would loose the slippery layer (or add that inside the rya).

Does this sound like a sound plan, or should I go for a more "conventional" insulative material (duffel or synthetic batting)? One nice thing about a rya is that it is relatively quick drying (compared to felt with the same amount of wool).

Offline Oldand Fat

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2010, 08:15:59 AM »
Forestwalker:
Using a rug for material poses 2 problems weight and flexibility. Sewing it will be interesting to say the least. A wool blanket may serve you better. The original (after Fur) was a wool blanket inner and sail cloth outer. If you decide to give it a try with the rug  please post some pictures I'll be very interested on how it turns out.
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Offline Forestwalker

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2010, 11:20:07 AM »
Forestwalker:
Using a rug for material poses 2 problems weight and flexibility. Sewing it will be interesting to say the least. A wool blanket may serve you better. The original (after Fur) was a wool blanket inner and sail cloth outer. If you decide to give it a try with the rug  please post some pictures I'll be very interested on how it turns out.

I'm also somewhat concerned about the stiffness/weight, but since the rya rugs are basically "wool fake fur" that was originally used for clothing by mariners and hunters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rya). As to the technical sewing issues I don't think it will be too bad; not doable by machine, but quite ok by hand. Basically I have five affordable options:

1. Rya
2. Wool duffle (which I have an ample supply of; about 40-50 m x 90 cm wide...)
3. Modern insulation batting
4. Fake fur (as suggested by Rutstrum)
5. Lots of second hand fur coats, some sheep furs, etc.

I like wool over synthetics (fire safety if nothing else), and the rya would be no stiffer than the duffle, and much thicker as insulation. As to the second-hand fur coats that is not as easy to find here as in major towns (and a lot of caveat emptor). If I was rich I'd buy 4-5 reindeer hides, brain-tan them, and do it the real way, but the hides cost SEK 5-700 each.

I'll post some pictures and a report when I'm done whichever way I'll do it.

Offline kinguq

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2010, 05:39:27 PM »
Er du Svensk da? Jeg bodde en period i Norge men kan ikke svensk, dessverre.

I have to recommend polarfleece and/or thinsulate, these are the warmest and easiest to sew materials I have used. I do not enjoy hand sewing however. I have never run across a rya, looks interesting.

Med vennlig hilsen,

Kinguq.

Offline HOOP

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2010, 12:19:17 AM »
Hi Forrestwalker,

I don't know the rya material, but anything approaching 5cm would be much too hot for most active trekking activities, unless you were working in the subarctic or arctic and constantly exposed to deep cold without wood for a heat source.  I think you would cook with that type of loft, except for sedentary activities like ice fishing in the open (but peel it off when augering holes, since that can work up a sweat in no time).

I think your best best is to work with thinner layers of insulation, and make your shell big and baggy to be able to accommodate combinations of layers.   
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2010, 12:30:46 AM »
Er du Svensk da? Jeg bodde en period i Norge men kan ikke svensk, dessverre.

Ja, jag är svensk, boende  i Jämtland ("Yes, I'm Swedish, living in Jämtland" for those following at home).

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I have to recommend polarfleece and/or thinsulate, these are the warmest and easiest to sew materials I have used. I do not enjoy hand sewing however. I have never run across a rya, looks interesting.

I could easily made one from fleece of some variety (the stores are full of cheap fleece blankets, and various insulation batting can be had as well from the fabric stores), but where is the fun in that? If you lived in Norway you probably did see rya rugs; they look like an uncombed sheeps fur, but is a "woven" material (same basic technique as an oriental rug, but in "long" wool and without the fancy patterns).  The "hand" is about the same as a thick blanket (in particular ones with a wool backing rather than Esters Parrot) and they should be *quite* warm as a liner. And I've handsewn canvas, leather, buckskin and wool blankets, so that is no big deal for me; just time

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2010, 01:12:31 AM »
I don't know the rya material, but anything approaching 5cm would be much too hot for most active trekking activities, unless you were working in the subarctic or arctic and constantly exposed to deep cold without wood for a heat source.  I think you would cook with that type of loft, except for sedentary activities like ice fishing in the open (but peel it off when augering holes, since that can work up a sweat in no time).

Is is not a garment for active use, but as a warm layer to wear when having a "mug-up" at -30 -- -40 C, etc. That is, more like the modern role of a down parka than a garment to wear on the trail.

Quote
I think your best best is to work with thinner layers of insulation, and make your shell big and baggy to be able to accommodate combinations of layers.   

I think I may have been unclear as to the purpose; whern skiing at -30C I wear wool underwear,  a thin wool shirt and an anorak (currently Swedish army surplus, but thinking about a version of the Connover one, taking long looks at the ECW one). But what I am currently unhappy with is my "warm garment at rest breaks, putterting around camp, etc". Currenly I use the Swedish army m90 insulated parka, but that is available in two versions; a hooded one that sounds like froozen cheap plastic tarpulins at temperatures below -20 C, or an unhooded one that does not have this fault (silly military powergames behind *that* change). So my plan to use the parka pattern in Edna Wilders "Secrets of Eskimo Skin Sewing" was born, but with materials I could get my hands on, afford and like. And one of my many faults is being born an old fart when it comes to gear; I dislike and distrust synthetics; wool, leather canvas and fur are materials I understand and trust around campfires, spruce bough floors, etc.

As to temperatures; we do get long spells with -20 -- -30 C here (when I'm cheering and everyone else moans), and further north I've been out in the bush in temps as low as -55 C (but that was exceptional; we are too close to the sea to get that very often, durn it).

Offline kinguq

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 12:26:19 PM »
[

Ja, jag är svensk, boende  i Jämtland ("Yes, I'm Swedish, living in Jämtland" for those following at home).

Jeg bodde i Tromso i atte aar. Fin turterreng der! Jeg har gjort en klassisk skitur fra Kilpisjarvi i Finland til Abisko i Sverige 2 ganger!. (I lived in Tromso for 8 years. Great touring country there! I have done a ski tour from Kilpisjarvi in Finland to Abisko in Sweden 2 times. OK I'll stop doing this now. It's just so much fun to use my Norwegian once in a while!)

I guess I have seen a rya, in fact it seems I have one being used as a wall hanging right now!

I know exactly what you mean about having a warm jacket for tea breaks etc. Sometimes I bring along the hunting parka I showed earlier in this thread for that purpose. It is great to be able to take a prolonged lunch break and not get cold.

When I was doing long multiday ski tours in Norway I used to bring a very large fleece jacket and a waterproof rain jacket. On breaks I would put on the fleece and the rain jacket right over top of my anorak. This was quite warm and windproof, and easy because you did not have to take off your outer layer to put on extra layers. I hate doing that because you get chilled right away, before you even start your tea break.

As to skin clothing, I once made a pair of caribou skin pants under the tutelage of 2 lovely Inuit women. We started from the raw bloody skin, went through the washing, softening and drying processes, right to the finished pants. It was fun but too much work for me. Also they don't actually tan the skins, so they are prone to rot if they are not kept in a cool place. Normally I think they would make a new pair every year, so this was not such an issue. They always use fall skins, as that is after the moult and the hair is not too thick. Winter skins are just too thick and stiff.

Another option is sheepskin. I have seen some beautiful warm clothing made from that. Might be more available to you. Although it was easy to pick up reindeer skins fairly cheaply in north Norway, if you went right to the source in Sami country at the right time of year. Most of them were discarded after butchering.

Good luck with your projects, let us know how it goes!

Daniel.

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 03:30:19 PM »
I guess I have seen a rya, in fact it seems I have one being used as a wall hanging right now!


I know exactly what you mean about having a warm jacket for tea breaks etc. Sometimes I bring along the hunting parka I showed earlier in this thread for that purpose. It is great to be able to take a prolonged lunch break and not get cold.

When I was doing long multiday ski tours in Norway I used to bring a very large fleece jacket and a waterproof rain jacket. On breaks I would put on the fleece and the rain jacket right over top of my anorak. This was quite warm and windproof, and easy because you did not have to take off your outer layer to put on extra layers. I hate doing that because you get chilled right away, before you even start your tea break.

Also I see it as an emergency issue; with a warm parka I can survive a night -- or a few -- even if the sleeping bag is lost somehow

Quote
They always use fall skins, as that is after the moult and the hair is not too thick. Winter skins are just too thick and stiff.

And the proper ones are hard to find without direct contact, and I'm too far into the forest to be able to to over some neighbour and offer to buy some calf hides.

Quote
Another option is sheepskin. I have seen some beautiful warm clothing made from that. Might be more available to you. Although it was easy to pick up reindeer skins fairly cheaply in north Norway, if you went right to the source in Sami country at the right time of year. Most of them were discarded after butchering.

The shepskin options is technically easy, but pricey if I want to avoid chrome tanned skins.

Offline oldboyscout

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2010, 10:23:39 AM »
I have been looking for material similar to Rya to make a liner with also.  My interest is primarily in traditional methods.  Cal Rustrums book refers to the Alpaca pile used before synthetics were available, and the pile is similar to what I think the Rya is (though thinner).  I may make a liner out of 2 layers of wool blanket-not duffle which is unnecessarily heavy for that use.  I've also used wool batting which is lighter and warmer than the blanket, but I've not seen any historical documentation of it.

Offline Forestwalker

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Re: Inuit made anoraks
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2010, 11:05:24 AM »
I have been looking for material similar to Rya to make a liner with also. 

Check IKEA for the Rya rugs. At least is in their stores around here.