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Skiers and boarders? Baselayer fabrics
Starting my mountain sewing with some knit baselayers
CConverse
CConverse
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NY USA
Member since 4/29/11
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Date: 1/10/13 11:21 AM

I'm thinking about some projects for mountain wear... What kind of fabrics would you folks suggest for baselayer (long underwear) and helmet liner/balaclava (kind of like a ski mask but thin to fit under a ski helmet and shaped for goggles)? I would think they wouldn't be too hard to make but I'd want to use good fabrics that are insulating yet breathable and moisture wicking as well. Any suggestions?

Elcue
Elcue  Friend of PR
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In reply to CConverse <<


Date: 1/10/13 2:08 PM

I can refer you to companies that specialize in fabrics for outdoor sports.

http://therainshed.com/

http://thegreenpepper.com/

http://seattlefabrics.com/

Their websites are good sources of information.




-- Edited on 1/10/13 2:09 PM --

WTG
WTG
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In reply to CConverse <<


Date: 1/10/13 5:22 PM

I'm glad you asked this question. I ski and have been wondering where to get fabric.

If you're interested in making your own knitwear, I have found the Ultimate Sweater Machine to be very useful.

Andi
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Andi
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NY USA
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Date: 1/10/13 6:02 PM

I have gotten really nice stuff from Rose City Textiles aka RCT fabrics located at www.fabricline.com. They will send samples. Sometimes their web site is a bit difficult to wade thru(altho it is a new layout ) so I just call and ask them to help me.

Patterns I like are Jalie, Christine Jonson Base Wear One, and Green Pepper.NAYY

Coconuts
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Coconuts  Friend of PR
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MI USA
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Date: 1/10/13 6:28 PM

Rockywoods.com has UnderArmor ColdGear and HeatGear fabric. I've bought from them several times. The first time I called, I had great service, the second the guy was nice and helpful, but not immediately knowledgeable (he did find the info for me though).

ChrisS
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ChrisS
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AK USA
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Date: 1/10/13 10:02 PM

I sew quite a bit of base layer clothes for my husband and I.

I've bought from a number of different sources including Seattle fabrics and Rockywoods. I've also found nice athletic knits at more mainstream places like Fabric Mart as well.

For a base layer you really want something that will wick moisture and I like the textured polyester knits for that. PowerDry is sort of the industry standard made by Malden Mills (same company that makes Polar fleece) and you can by it directly from Mill Direct. Other sites sometimes have it for sale as well. There are lots of other brands out there now as well look for knit labeled as wicking or dry. Some I've really liked...others not as much. Hard to tell until you can get a sample and feel it. I bought some from Fabric Mart a year or so ago called 'High performance textured knit' that I really liked but haven't seen it available recently. The wickaway knits Rockywoods sells are nice as well. I'm sure there are lots of other good products out there...those are just some I've tried.

It you want a really warm base layer then I love grid or waffle fleece. I love my long johns made from this. The 100 weight is what you want Thin enough to work as a base layer under your clothes but still really warm and the grid pattern helps wick away moisture. Mill Direct sometimes has it on their sight...although it can be a bit tough to tell from their descriptions on the web site. If in doubt try calling them. Or you can get it from Seattle Fabrics...they call it Regulator (Waffle) Fleece

For the face mask I'd go with a good quality fleece. Maybe 100 or 200 weight. Of mine my favorite is one with a neoprene section over the nose and mouth. It stays much warmer when the material gets damp from breathing on it all day. Not sure how hard that would be to sew (mine was bought) but I know you can buy neoprene from some of the above sources.

Lately I've liked wool base layers even more (just wish they weren't so expensive) or I could find a source for a good wicking wool knit fabric. I just bought some wool jersey knits and awaiting delivery on them. I'm hoping some could work for an athletic knit. It not I'll have some nice knits for sweaters and tunics.

CConverse
CConverse
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NY USA
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Date: 1/10/13 10:48 PM

Thank you Chris! That's just the kind of info I was looking for. I was eyeing the under armor at Rocky Woods but I will probably grab some of the waffle grid fleece for some warm baselayers for the extra chilly days. I definitely know all about needing a good performance, moisture wicking fabric as I was peeling layers off yesterday trying to stay dry in the 35 degree temps on the hill! Upstate can be really fickle when it comes to temps, so it helps to have a variety of layers...

Ruth

Ruth
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NEW ZEALAND
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Date: 1/11/13 8:05 PM

I've used merino wool for all of ours for two reasons, one that is my preference for base layers anyway, and also because it is freely available here, while other fabrics are not.

The key with merino is knowing what weight you want. If you want to use merino and find a source for it, the easiest way to work out what weight you want is to go into a shop that stocks icebreaker brand merino baselayers and clothing - all of their gear is conveniently labelled by weight.

Andi
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In reply to Ruth <<


Date: 1/12/13 11:43 AM

Merino is really hard to get here in the USA...you would think living in the cold north that we would have better access....I find that it is not as easy to get wool RTW or yard goods. I have found some RTW wool long undies at sierratradingpost.com. NAYY

redhotpepper
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Date: 1/12/13 1:18 PM

I am sold on Under Armor Coldgear. I bought a top and pants a couple years ago, which just about killed me because is was $80 ON SALE. I didn't have time to make anything before we went on a ski trip.

Since the first time I wore it, I have never regretted it. It really and truly sucks any sweat away from your body so you don't get chilled when you ride the lift back up the hill.

My brother and SIL own a construction company and I'm in the midst of making a top and pants for my SIL and I know she will be sold too as soon as she wears it.

I walked with my bottoms but not the top on not too long ago with the weather cold and windy. It was amazing the difference! Legs and butt nice and warm, top half soggy and freezing.

BTW, I dig Sierra Trading Post too. I buy Smart Wool socks at a great price, in my size, which is hard to find. My most recent purchase was a bunch of TerraMar and Ex Officio undies for $4. Also NAYY, just a very happy customer.

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