Canvas Gaiters

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Grey Ranger, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Grey Ranger

    Grey Ranger Guide

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    What does everybody think about Canvas Gaiters?
    I've been trying to find a good pair. The best results i've found are all military surplus ones, and those are few and far between. Most tend to be wool. I was thinking something like a lace up design, full length.

    Something like this
    [​IMG]
    This is one of the very few examples i could find. From http://www.epicmilitaria.com/product.php/945/m1938-canvas-leggings-repro

    I was surprised I couldn't find something like this from Frost River or Duluth Pack. Seeing as they make bags out of all the same materials.

    I feel as though canvas ones would be great. If one used a heavy weight canvas, with treated leather or fabric laces, and treated the canvas with weather proofing, like natural oils, or a silicone spray perhaps, they would work great. They would be a much more traditional and environmentally sound option, Most likely cheaper than the nicer production gaiters on the market these days. They would probably be tougher too, and much more easily repaired if ripped or worn in places.

    Im thinking of trying my hand at making some.

    Do any of you guys know where to get what i'm looking for?
    Any thoughts or ideas about Canvas Gaiters in general?
     
  2. redoleary

    redoleary Scout

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    I would imagine that they would make excellent gaiters. Seems like they would breath well and be plenty rugged . Don't have any idea where you could get some, but shouldn't be too hard to diy.
     
  3. wingnut

    wingnut Scout

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    i was looking at something like those on goodwill's auction website
     
  4. Grey Ranger

    Grey Ranger Guide

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    Well, I seem to have found the answer to my own question.
    It was difficult to find canvas "gaiters" because the canvas ones tend to be referred to as Leggings.

    Leggings were commonly issued to soldiers in most western armies from the late 19th century, pretty much until the end of WWII. the USMC retained their use all the way through the early parts of the Korean War.

    The word "gaiter" at that time, referred to the low, ankle high style. Nowadays it has become the preferred term for any kind of protective garment worn over the shoe or boot, of any size.

    the model legging worn by US GIs in WWII is made of Canvas, and very popular.
    There are several sources on the web where one can buy real unissued surplus Leggings, or authentic replicas.
    For example:
    http://www.wwiiimpressions.com/newusarmyleggings.html
    http://www.omahas.com/product_info.php?products_id=68
    http://www.armynavydeals.com/asp/products_details.asp?SKU=M1938&catid=1237

    This is pretty much exactly what i was looking for. Ideally, i would like them to be maybe 2 inches taller, but i'm sure these will do nicely. I found an original issued pair, used, on Ebay for 17 bucks. Ill be cleaning them up and weather proofing them when they arrive. Ill probably add something to the strap on the bottom to protect it from abrasion, perhaps a strip of leather, or some old bike tubing.

    Using these as a template, ill definitely want to try to make my own pair. I think the idea of weather-treated canvas is great, especially for Bushcraft, because a lot of us like to go for the more traditional style. I would imagine they will function better than a lot of the production gaiters out there too, and, most of them are Made In The USA!

    How to Tie Your WWII Leggings - YouTube

    Thank you Rabbithutch for the "Leggings" nomenclature clue!

    More to come when the arrive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  5. Grey Ranger

    Grey Ranger Guide

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    Well, I'm disappointed

    My leggings arrived today, and they are too small. The seller on ebay did not specify a size. I should have realized that they may not fit, but i didnt think about it. After doing some research, i realized that there was a military sizing scale for these leggings. 1R being the smallest, and 4r being the largest. The ones i have now are a 1R.
    Its a shame, because even though they are 70+ years old, they have held up pretty well. they may not look like new, but they are solid, and intact. The canvas is a very stiff heavy kind, and despite the size, i like them a lot. I'll have to try to track down a larger size pair.
     
  6. Hiline

    Hiline Scout Bushclass I

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  7. redoleary

    redoleary Scout

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    You could just cut them in half, and splice in a piece of canvas to make them bigger around.
     
  8. Grey Ranger

    Grey Ranger Guide

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    I think thats probably what ill end up doing. Im having trouble finding the same material (18 oz Duck Canvas) in a quantity less than something huge, like 100 yards.

    I also want to match the color as best i can. Though, i could just die the whole thing when im done.
     
  9. MiddleWolf

    MiddleWolf Guide

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    You could use those as a pattern by carefully taking them apart and when laying out your fabric, make the adjustments in size before cutting the canvas. And a canvas drop cloth is more then sufficient to do the job. With some good old Yankee ingenuity you could even sew them together as two layers thick if needed. Just take the drop cloth though a hot wash and hot dry before using it.
     
  10. Redneckbiken

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    I used these back in my Civil War reenacting days! They worked really well and where a few inchs tall than the USMC leggings appear to be. The thing I liked about them was the roller buckle straps had alot of adjustment so you get them as tight as you wanted. They offer these in a tarred version but I did not like them as well some of the other reenactors. What we did to waterproof these was paint them with Semi Gloss latex house paint applied with a brush. Hope this helps.

    http://stores.brigadesutler.com/-strse-154/civil-war-gaiters-leggings/Detail.bok
     

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