Pioneer Life – Exhibit Lesson/Activity Ideas – Legacy Library at Marietta College

Pioneer Clothing
For pioneers, the production of clothe was a basic necessity. With restrict access to trade posts or stores, pioneer families produced a lot of their everyday invest. even in larger cities, ready to wear, or “ memory bought ” clothe did not exist until the early twentieth hundred. All invest was made to holy order by a tailor, dressmaker, or the women of the family. If a frontier syndicate had access to fabric at a trade post, the women still had to cut out and hand sew it into clothing garments. On average, a valet ’ sulfur shirt required 3 yards of fabric, while a woman ’ second dim-witted dress needed at least 4 yards of fabric .
many families had access to the tools necessary to take their own clothe from bare-assed material to thread to fabric to finished intersection. The huge majority of their clothing was made from linen, wool, or a combination of both, called linsey-woolsey .
“ For more than twenty years, closely all the fabric wear in the families of farmers, and many in township, for every day dresses, was made in the houses of the wearers, by their wives and daughters. necessity, american samoa well as economy, led to this domestic fabricate. Foreign fabric was besides dear for park practice, and only worn for nice dresses. ” – Samuel Hildreth, “ Pioneer History ”

Painting by George Henry Boughton
cotton was calm highly expensive ( and thus rare ) for several reasons. It was not wide grown in America until the 1820s, so the huge majority of cotton was imported from India- the term “ calico ” comes from Calcutta, the largest city in India. besides, the cotton cotton gin ( the machine that removed seeds from the cotton boll ) was not invented until 1792, so the process of cotton was labor movement intensive and fourth dimension consume, driving up costs. It was merely after the development of the cotton gin that it became the dominant agricultural crop of the South. In the late eighteenth century cotton was sold for $ 0.40-0.50 per pound, and the average family made alone $ 60 a year, so it was considered a luxury item .
“ For the foremost few years cotton was raised in small quantities and manufactured into stockings, or cloth, with cannabis or flax…After a few years, the early frosts of fall destroyed much of it before the floss was formed, and taught them that this was not the proper climate for cotton. ” – Samuel Hildreth, “ Pioneer History ”
The most common framework found in the United States in the eighteenth century was linen. Grown from the flax plant, it is typically planted in May and harvested in July ( wool, on the early hand, required at least a year to grow on the sheep before it could be shorn ). On modal, each person required ¼ of an acre of flax for a year ’ s worth of clothe. Linen required Photo by Wolfgang Sauber a long and labor intensifier action to be transformed from implant to spinable fibers. First, the flax was uproot and left to dry in the field. While drying, it was repeatedly rippled, or dragged through big wooden comb to remove the seeds, which were pressed into linseed oil or saved for planting the take after year .
following, the flax stalks were left in water to rot for respective weeks to soften the hard out shell of the stalks to make their removal easy. then, they were taken indoors to dry again. The arboraceous out shell of the stalks were removed using a flax brake ( an example of this is fig. 11 in the example on the leave ). The brake was a large wooden device with circuit board placed in an alternate convention on the circus tent and bottomland. When closed, it broke the stalks, separating the outer shell from the hempen center .
The flax was now swingled, or hit with a large wooden tongue until all of the kid and debris was removed. This besides softened the fibers and removed natural resins that made it resistant to dyes. finally, the fibers were pulled through hetchels ( shown below ), a series of combs running from wide to narrow to remove any remaining impurities .
The flax fibers were spun into thread using a spin bicycle. The thread ’ south quality was dependant on the spinner ’ second skill. A skilled spinner could spin two skeins of linen a day .
“ In the spring of 1790, Captain Dana sowed a assemble of flax, pulled it early in June, while it was in bloom, water rotted it in a swamp near the river, had it dressed out and spun in the from Denis Diderot ‘s Encyclopedia ( 1762 ). family, and wove into solid fabric by his son William. ” – Samuel Hildreth, “ Pioneer History ”

For more information about the production of linen, see Colonial Williamsburg ‘s blog mail here :
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durable dress made from buckskin or leather was besides in practice on the frontier, and was most frequently used to make trousers or pants. Transforming deer clamber to leather was a reasonably straight fore serve. After the deer was skinned, all of the fat and meat was scraped off of the hide. following, the hair was scraped off. To tan the leather, the hide was placed in a bucket, along with a fabric pouch containing a spread made from dried deer brains, and rubbed with the brain paste. It was then stretched on a extra control panel made for tanning hides until it was dry, then returned to the bucket and rub with the brain paste and stretched again until it was soft. To waterproof the shroud, it was smoked over decayed wood .
“ many families who had been brought up on the frontiers, depended entirely on the skins of animals killed in the furrow, for clothing… Before the presentation of sheep, buckskin pantaloons were in general use by all the farmers ’ boys. ” – Samuel Hildreth, “ Pioneer History ”
“ Sheep had not however been introduced into the country, and all their home spin garments were made from flax and hangman’s rope, or the skins of the deer, which, when nicely dressed, afforded warm and comfortable jackets and pantaloons for the men and boys. ”
After the sheep were shorn, the wool was washed and dried. small children were enlisted to pick out any grass, bur, and other foreign material from the fibers. Older children carded the wool using wool cards, or paddles with minor wire tooth until the wool fibers combined into a long, blimp shaped paradiddle. The women then spun these rolls into thread on their spin wheel .
“ Sheep were not introduced until after the war ( The Ohio Indian Wars, 1790-1795 ), in the class 1797, or ’ 98 ; the first gear came from Pennsylvania. ” – Samuel Hildreth, “ Pioneer History
The combination of linen and wool into one musical composition of framework was called linsey-woolsey. Linsey-wolsey was normally found on the frontier because it was durable and because it required less of both linen and wool than either framework .

thread was woven into framework using a large wooden brood. It was foremost warped, or stretched the distance of the loom in dozens of rows to establish the length and width of the framework. More weave, called the woof, was then woven through the warp string to create its width .

prototype from Wikimedia Commons
Both linen and wool were colored using a kind of plant based dyes. Black walnut hulls created brown university fabric, golden perch was used for yellows and light greens, and indigo purchased at trading posts created bluing fabrics .

work force ’ s dress
The basic garment of a initiate man ’ s wardrobe was a linen shirt. They ranged from coarse homespun for casual to finer, Irish linen for special occasions. These shirts were normally long and baggy, able to be tucked into breeches or trousers ( underwear was not common for men or women at this time ). Knee length breeches were fashionable, but saved for important occasions. They buttoned in the battlefront and laced up in the back to allow for freedom of movement for function or riding horses. Leather, homespun linen or wool trousers were common. many frontier men adopted leather leggings from the native american tribe to cover their legs below the knees .
man besides wore button up vests and coats, specially during the winter. Hunting shirts were besides common for everyday wear. They were a retentive open front linen shirt with a shoulder cape with fringe. The hunting shirt was worn by overlapping the sides and secured by a swath .
Homemade moccasins and leather shoes were worn with linen or wool stockings, which came up to the stifle. Hats ranged from homemade wide-brimmed straw hats in the summer to knit or fur hats in the winter .

Women ’ s Clothing
Women typically wore more layers than men. The inaugural layer was a linen shift or chemise. similar to a nightgown, the chemise was elbow length, baggy, and fell to the woman ’ sulfur knees. The neck normally featured a drawstring and was worn during both day and night. Neither women nor men had pajamas as we understand them. They just wore their shirts or chemise to sleep in. The chemise protected the out garments from fret and body petroleum, and was made to be hard wear and durable .
future came the bodice or stays. eighteenth hundred stays for the working class typically laced up in the front and back so the wearer could put them on without help. Unlike women in the later priggish era whose corsets were tightened to give them bantam waists and an hourglass figure, stays of the middle and working class women of the 1780s and 1790s were used primarily for spinal column back .
Depending on the fourth dimension of class, women wore at least one petticoat, or skirt. Petticoats had hanker strings to tie at the waist and were calf to ankle length. Linen petticoats were worn during warm weather, and linsey-wolsey, wool, or quilted wool petticoats were layered during cold months .
Over the chemise and stays, women wore a short gown. The brusque gown was a crown made of the same material that was normally elbow duration and fastened in the front man by metallic element pins. On average, a women during the 1780s married in her early 20s and was pregnant on median every 2-3 years, or at least 6-7 times ( often more ! ) This intend that her body was constantly changing, so buttons that had to match specific buttonholes were not practical. Every piece of women ’ s dress was adjustable, and fastened either by ties or directly pins. All women wore aprons and caps of varying colors and patterns. White was normally reserved for Sundays. Like the men, shoes were either moccasins or leather with difficult soles .

Children typically wear elementary shifts or shirts cut from their parents ’ old clothing until they reached the long time of 8 or 10. Afterwards, they dressed in the lapp manner as their parents .

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Category : Fashion

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