Sew your own Deep Cold insulation question

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by Moondog55, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Moondog55

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    A question about warmth.
    I have all the stuff, fabrics and patterns etc but I am unsure of how warm to make the pullover.
    Does anybody know how warm the Inuit inner Caribou fur garment actually is and what weight of polyester insulation it equates to?
    I had a feeling that it is similar in warmth rating to a Patagonia DAS/ PCU L7 or a little bit warmer but my Google-Fu has failed me here.
    The Boss is helping me sew this up so it has to be right from the start as she hates to tinker with patterns, and if there is a lot of modification needed after we start I won't get her help and my own sewing machine is set up for heavy fabrics not this slippery polyester satin stuff.
    I had a link bookmarked but I lost all my bookmarks when my computer crashed last.
    Thanx in advance
    The insulation we will be using is a combination of 3M Thinsulate Type "U" and 3M Lite-Loft, chosen because it is resistant to crushing/wind-load compression but also because we have it already
    For those interested here is the 3-M link
    http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/...heet-pdf.pdf?fn=THN_TDS_Type-U_04_keyline.pdf

    We have the UDS-40 in type "U" which makes nice pants in a single layer

    http://visyttex.com/pdfs/THINSULATE-G200.pdf
    We have G60
     
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  2. Mangrove

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    According to Moote (1955), caribou winter pelt was measured to have thermal resistance of 4.72 clo and summer pelt 2.09 clo. According to the 3M publication, Thinsulate G60 has 1.4 clo and UDS only 0.9 clo.
     
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  3. Moondog55

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    Thanx Mangrove, I wish I could access the full article, but assuming the inner part of the Inuit system is of summer caribou that warmth is easily met with 2 layers of the G-60 and that is about the same as the L-7 jacket using 5 ounce Primaloft Combat and my old DAS that uses 130GSM Polargard
    Knowing that all synthetic insulations lose 30% of the loft and warmth in the first 3 months I'll counter that with an extra layer, or at least in the torso where it matters most.
    The type "U" is interesting because of its thin profile and it is or was mainly useful for fashion clothing for the golf course or ski slopes; it does make for very warm pants liners tho and being double scrimmed it is so easy to work with. Sewing the UDS is a breeze and it is very useful when needing to add an extra layer on areas like the knees.
    No way I could match the warmth of a winter pelt tho and still be flexible and easy to wear
     
  4. Mangrove

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    According to Holtved (1967), Inughuit inner parkas were previously made out of little auk (Alle alle) skins. Qilakitsoq mummies dated to c. 1475 AD also wore inner birdskin, but also outer sealskin parkas.
     
  5. Moondog55

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    I just signed up for Open Library
    That looks like a really good resource
    I wasn't aware of that one so thanx again Mangrove.
     
  6. Mangrove

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    What is your target temperature range? 2.8 clo for torso alone is good enough for light work in -30°C if the wind speeds are less than 5 metres per second.
     
  7. Moondog55

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    About there or at least with that as the lower limit Above that I have assumed the ThermalPro and a windshirt would work and below -30C I would be adding the big parka
    All the insulated jackets I mentioned are better than 3Clo when new but do loose that 30% quickly, DIY I would add the extra so it was at the safe level after that initial loss
    My trip is still a couple of years away so plenty of time yet
     
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  8. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

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    I don't know about exact temp ranges or weights but I can tell you any garment made of caribou skin is going to be significantly heavier than synthetics. For sheer warmth traditional clothes of caribou and other furs can't be beat! Can't wait to see the trip report of your adventure :dblthumb:
     
  9. Moondog55

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    Interesting that you say that because I would not be able to afford a caribou parka but I have been thinking about buying some possum pelts to make mittens from
    Australian Ring-tail possum is not at all like American opossum, apparently it is much more like beaver in its properties but like caribou it has hollow fibres.
    A possum skin costs $39- tanned [ plus postage costs] and each skin would do one mitten back with some trimmings left over
     
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  10. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

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    Traditionally made parkas are pretty expensive that's for sure! Sounds like that fur you're looking at getting has all the properties one would want for mittens. A hybrid beaver/caribou type fur sounds great actually. Those hollow hairs seem to be the common denominator in whether a fur is great for extreme cold or not. Caribou and polar bear I believe share this same quality.

    I have some ties to an Inupiaq community in Northern Alaska and a few people I have spoken with about traditional clothing use polar bear mittens while out hunting (long snowmachine rides across frozen tundra). Tried a pair on myself, really amazing pieces of functionality blended with art :dblthumb:.

    Good on ya for considering fur and especially for making them yourself!
     
  11. Moondog55

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    Well I will probably be using fleece as the liner but the market for warm pullovers is limited so very little choice there and why I'll be sewing that myself [ with a lot of help from The Boss naturally, she is much better with clothing than I will ever be and the fabrics are too expensive to muck up ] possum pelts should give one mitten back per pelt so maybe only the backs will be truly fur
     
  12. Mangrove

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    8-9 clo suit made out of reindeer/caribou skins is mentioned by the 20th century polar explorers to weigh less than 5 kg. This is suitable for almost sitting still in -40°C/F weather. However, the literature I have read agree that the suit will have to be replaced every or every other year due to tearing and hair loss.

    Many, if not most, natural fibres are hollow: cotton, kapok, reindeer/caribou and rabbit hair etc.
     
  13. Moondog55

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    OK I need some help here with sizing these DIY mittens.
    I have a pair of US army ECW mittens here in a Large, they are not really all that warm, my modified Helly-Hansen fleece mittens are warmer. Assuming a little more insulation would this be a reasonable starting point for a pattern and sizing? These mittens are about 2 inches wider than my hand laid flat, is that big enough? The H-H fit a lot closer If it helps the Overwhite mitten shell in a Medium fits neatly over the H-H mittens
    The local tannery has kangaroo for $45- a hide so this is what I will be using for the palms although I have picked up a couple of steer hide scraps for $5- each. Could you fellers give me some idea of how much insulation I should use please?
    I've got Paul Siples tables here that say an inch on the hands is enough but no way I can put an inch on the palm and do anything so I assume that the standard mountaineering technique of a thick layer on the back and just enough on the palm to stop you freezing to a handle works. I am assuming that the fur on the back of the hand becomes a major part of the insulation and it is about 3/4 of an inch deep but how much extra is needed?
    Advice on this one please
     
  14. Moondog55

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    Well I just went to the tannery and got myself a small wallaby skin for palms, $45- but that should be enough to do 2 pairs of mittens, perhaps 3 pair if 2 sets are somewhat smaller. I had to wait until pension payment day which was today.
    Main difference between wallaby and kangaroo is the size of the skin and the thickness, this one is about a half a millimetre thick and only one small bullet hole to have to cut around
    I think I have this worked out but I would really appreciate and comments and especially advice from those members who may have made fur backed mittens
     
  15. Mangrove

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    Traditionally, there was no way to combine dexterity and insulation into one pair of mittens. For Finnish work leather mittens with wool liner, about 1 cm of insulation would have been used. Fur mittens had about 2-2.5 cm of insulation without the liner. See also Maintaining Finger Dexterity in the Cold: A Comparison of Passive, Direct and Indirect Hand Heating Methods
     
  16. Moondog55

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    Well if I don't want to go the heated torso route and heated gloves are also out due to the weight and bulk of all the batteries needed then the only way left is for the traditional 3 layer system. Very thin and light synthetic glove, thick glove or mitten and the heavily insulated outer mitten shell.
    And basically this is the old US army system as epitomised by my ECW mittens
    I've had some feedback for Kevin Kinney at Empire Canvas Works over the years when asking for advice on kitting out and others over the last year or so and I now have a better idea of what I need.
    What I am going to be sewing up is very probably over-kill but as a mate told me a day or two ago better too warm than being uncomfortably cold and functionally compromised.
    Going through a lot of posts and a lot of internet pages it seems that the maximum thickness on the palms is between 5 and 10mm for functionality.
    So I think this means that if I use a very thick insulated glove as a liner I need a much thinner palm on the big mittens.
    I am quite happy with my OR High-Camp 3 finger gloves now that I have found a better liner glove so I propose to use these [ and buy a new pair when I arrive as back-up] as my liner and make these with just a single layer of Thinsulate and fuzzy but slippery Tricot on the palm and use a double layer of the Thinsulate plus a layer of Malden Mills Thermal-Pro on the back and sew them with a definite curve on the back of the hand.
     
  17. Moondog55

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    I just ordered and paid for a couple of tanned possum pelts. I guess that means sometime in the next few months I start sewing. 2 pelts are $87- to my door including shipping and tax.
     
  18. Moondog55

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    I have been talking to some furriers and apparently Brushtail possum is very close in feel and characteristics to mink, anyway my pelts are in the mail and should be here soon
     
  19. Moondog55

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    I feel a bit of a goose, I ordered a pair of Brushtail possum pelts last month and they just arrived, I forgot to specify what type of pelt so they fulfilled the order as soon as stock was ready. Naturally they are summer pelts so I have just phoned the supplier and organised another pair for delivery in October I made sure talking to the young femme on the phone that I will get a pair of winter pelts next time. As soon as I started talking she new exactly where I was coming from. Unlike pelts from New Zealand where it is damned cold all year around there is a huge difference between summer and winter pelts from Tasmania. The fur layer is only about a half inch deep and the summer guard hairs are only about an inch, winter pelts are about 50% longer and the fur is also much denser.
    I just learned a bit about being more patient but then again I guess I need the practice with sewing skins anyway. Now I need to think about what to line the practice set with
     
  20. Moondog55

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    I do have a question on parka length and construction now

    I am making a 3 layer set of clothes for my intended traditional trip. Wool shirt, woollen pullover and a wool parka. Base layers and a wind shell too as part of the kit.
    The Lightweight worsted shirt will be cut to tuck into the pants as is usual for me. and I was going to cut the pullover to come down to my crutch and the parka to come down to my knees. Have I got the lengths about right for a full set of clothing? I thoght so from my reading but naturally I am just a little unsure because I have recently found photos of traditional Inuit clothing that show caribou parkas a lot longer than this actually overlapping the tops of the mukluks.
    Because of the worsted blend fabric I lucked into, the inner pullover will be 2 layers. the blended gabardine and some pure merino and cashmere suiting my beloved wife bought but hasn't used and the big parka will now be 3 layers, the gabardine is windproof and using it would give me an extra 6 mm or so of dead air in the finished garment but now I am wondering about the logic of using the gabardine on the outer parka as it is so heavy.
    I think that using the gabardine in the midlayer makes sense as it is wind resistant to a high degree and it will be very hard wearing but the inner pullover is going to use a lot less fabric. I've not measured it yet but I would probably save a full half kilo by using a good windproof cotton similar to Ventile as the shell.
    If both fabrics were available to somebody in the Far North I wonder which they would choose if Commander wasn't available but both of these were?
     

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