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Obadiah

Gaiters

Gaiters! To line or not to line, that is the question?

All the years I have been making gaiters I have always lined them. I have no idea if they were lined or not. I remember making my first pair of splatter dashers which were made from canvas and from an earlier period and they were lined, but as for the woolen type?

I'm in the process of making three pairs of the bloody things and i thought how much easier it would be if they wern't lined.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Dave
Pvt._McNamara

Hmm, at least the late french ones are lined along all the edges with a strip of linen.



http://histoirevivante.forumcultu...2p20-guetres-de-1812-demi-guetres

It makes sense as the cloth is a flexible and fine one. The trousering cloth (Kochan & Philipps) seems to be a bit more sturdy.

BTW. Is there any working and at least convincing pattern for british gaiters?
I want to get my unit to get rid of the canvas things which were once made along the model of pipe bands...

Robert
Obadiah

oh to find an English pair of gaiters like that. Good stuff.

It's interesting to see that the front of the gaiter is a seperate piece, where we tended to have gaiters basiclly made in two halves. The first gaiters I made were like the French ones, and the pattern I used was from the States.

The Pattern we have been useing for the last few years came from another kit supplier {Stitch in Time}. They are a short gaiter, shaped at the ankle and have a fixed stirrup. I have them to be be buttoned up by 7 buttons, why 7 I have no idea. The pattern is in 3 parts, the inner side, the front outer {has the button holes} and the rear outer {has the buttons}. The length comes up to the start of the calf. I use the K&P broadcloth to make them and line them with linen, 7 white metal buttons and a leather stirrup.

Dave
Ben Townsend

I like the partial lining on the French ones. Would that be practical on the half gaiters? The lining does give a much better shape.
khazzard2000

On a purely practicle note, unlined is much, much more sensible. Whereas wool repels water up to a point and then quickly dries when wet, linen soaks it up and keeps the water next to your boot.

Having noticed this during the early season, I cut the lining out of mine after the ford in Salamanca after noticing that the wool was dry in hours but the linen still wet days later. You can put me on a charge if you want, but I shan't be going back. q12
Ben Townsend

On a charge? You're more likely to get the firing squad! On the same principle you could rip the lining out of your regimental coat to let the sweat evaporate quicker, or line your boots with goretex to keep your feet dry. I think its fair to assume that in period differing wicking qualities of fabric were unknown. Yes, one would assume that experience or observation would determine which fabrics were used for different purposes, but you have only to look at the lengthy medical discussions over the efficacy of wearing flannel next to the skin to see how hit and miss scientific approaches to fabric qualities were.

If, and it is an if, the period gaiters were lined, it was arguably to provide structure and smartness and/or longevity.
privatecannon

Happy New Year everyone.  

Robert Henderson has written an article on breeches and trousers in the British army on his website.  He covers gaiters as well, though in limited detail.  

On construction, he says that the tall gaiters were made in three pieces: two leg pieces and a toe cap.  The seam for the two leg pieces was at the back of the leg, so that this seam can be tightened to ensure a good fit.  My understanding (take it for what it's worth) is that the short gaiters are made the same way.  Logically, it would seem that they would keep the same construction, but merely shorten the length.

On linen, he does say that the Standing Orders of the 33rd Regiment mention lining the toe area for the short gaiters, but this wasn't universal.  

Hope this helps,

Chris McKay
OJM

Don't forget the economy/contractors cutting what corners they can-factor.

Lining the edges, esp. the buttonholes to make them last longer makes sense, while lining them fully costs more, and also makes them harder to fit well/less good looking, another point we all know sometimes took precedence over more (with modern eyes) rational concerns.

I also think gaiters, in some cases, would have helped with keeping too big shoes on the feet, a case that's easy to imagine

http://www.digitaltmuseum.se/images/big_image/S-AM/AM.022018/53888

One of a load of pairs of short swedish gaiters, mostly pattern samples, all dated between 1812 and 1830, all with partial lining. This would have been after they started to introduce Prussian/Russian inspired uniforms, and I believe the gaiters were so short due to being intended for wear with 'campaign' trousers over them.  

No specifications of the amounts of materials for one pair/an order of gaiters available?
Eddie

My penn'orth of un-informed opinion!

I must say I can't see the point of lining gaiters - providing they are made of a thick wool cloth - other than at the stress points - buttons and button holes - coarse linen to reinforce the wool.
Gaiters are really utility items as opposed to smart parade wear so must be functional.
I think Keiran makes a valid point about the comparitive drying times of wool and linen.

Even though we have advanced outdoor fabrics today, natural wool still has much to commend it and will keep you warm even when damp. I remember reading stories about Highlanders dunking their wool plaids in streams and wringing them out and then wrapping themselves up to sleep in - something to do with tightening the weave?
Anyway -
Ben wrote:
"On the same principle you could rip the lining out of your regimental coat to let the sweat evaporate quicker "

Coats were lined with twill weave WOOL SERGE were they not? So there would have been no difference in the comparitive  drying time between  layers. I have made 3 jackets and lacking the correct serge have lined them with off white calico but I know that if I get soaked I will stay wet longer as a result ! (Any one know where to get a reasonable priced serge lining in the UK please send me a"pm").

And Ola - that image of period gaiters is very useful - I am sure Dave will be interested in the construction.
Ben Townsend

Eddie wrote:



Anyway -
Ben wrote:
"On the same principle you could rip the lining out of your regimental coat to let the sweat evaporate quicker "

Coats were lined with twill weave WOOL SERGE were they not? So there would have been no difference in the comparitive  drying time between  layers. I have made 3 jackets and lacking the correct serge have lined them with off white calico but I know that if I get soaked I will stay wet longer as a result ! (Any one know where to get a reasonable priced serge lining in the UK please send me a"pm").

And Ola - that image of period gaiters is very useful - I am sure Dave will be interested in the construction.


My intention was to make an analogy not a direct comparison, my point being that issued regimental equipment oughtn't to be altered ad hoc to suit the individual based on a C21st view of practicality. Flogging will be the result. Of course after Kieran has been flogged, we may find he has sparked or contributed to a useful debate..

I'd be interested to see how stiff a pair of partially lined half gaiters might be. We have speculated that the slightly taller gaiters, seen in many auxiliary rifle armed unit images, worn outside the pantaloon show the originally intended mode of wearing, and that the smaller half gaiter comes with the adoption of a looser trouser, or with the realisation that when active, the pantaloon escapes the confinement of the gaiter.
Bryan

When we first started up I obtained a pattern for gaitors / gaiters (I have no idea how it's spelt) from an existing group. They were of the two leg pieces and a toecap type. When I sewed the first pair up they looked like tubes to my eyes, especially the long black ones. When looking at pictures they always appear to be shaped to the leg even allowing for artistic licence. Anyway I was most unhappy with the pair made up from that pattern.

I then looked at all my books and of course the internet and at that time could not track down any good info on existing period ones. However I managed to find a dilapidated Victorian pair which I carefully dismantled and made a pattern from. They consist of three leg pieces with no toe part and have the advantage of actually looking leg shaped when made up. This is admittedly more important for the long black ones which are very visible on redcoats. They do make the short grey ones much better fitting as well though.

We make the long black ones of the heaviest black wool I can find with two vertical strips of unbleached linen re-enforcing the button and button hole sides. The short grey ones are mostly ex swiss army greatcoats that have found new employment.
Eddie

Ben wrote:

"My intention was to make an analogy not a direct comparison, my point being that issued regimental equipment oughtn't to be altered ad hoc to suit the individual based on a C21st view of practicality. Flogging will be the result. Of course after Kieran has been flogged, we may find he has sparked or contributed to a useful debate.."

Sorry Ben I  didn't realise you was making one of them analogy thingees -
but you do talk like a gennelman ranker sometimes ! q21

Go ahead and flog Hazzard - seems an insolent fellow overdue for the triangle. Perhaps because he is a Rifleman he thinks he may do whatever he thinks proper!

Point is those how the Rifles can flog when their Sjts don't carry pikes to make a triangle? I feel a new post topic coming on....
Pvt._McNamara

With rifles always on the run and little time for ceremonies like building an spontoon triangle I guess Mr. Craufurd´s saddle on his horse should be enough for you green guys.

Back to topic: Is there something known about the number of buttons on the short gaiters? Someone mentioned that Highlander´s gaitors were even even shorter then those of the rest.
John Waller

Quick question; short gaiters, fixed stirrup or does one end of the strap fit onto the bottom button? Looking at commercially available ones both types are available.
Radford

Linings and stirrups

Footnote number 4 in the article on Breeches and Trousers on the War of 1812 web site has this to say about linings (this was mentioned up thread but this is the full quote):

4] Standing Orders of the 33rd Regiment [1813] make no reference to lining material for the tall gaiters but do make reference to lining material for the short gaiters. p.29

http://www.warof1812.ca/trousers.htm

I interpreted the footnote to mean that the short gaiters were fully lined. I lined mine like so:

As you can see, I advocate for the instep strap to be fastened on both ends, just at the tongue seam. The button plaquet on gaiters runs down the side of the leg, ending up over the side of the heel. When I initially started making AWI period gaiters, I tried buttoning the instep strap to the bottom button on the plaquet. This didn't work well - the instep strap needs to pull to the rear over the heel to reach. This twists the gaiter around on the foot.

There is a good image of a pair of original long gaiters on page 43 of "A Soldier Like Way", which show that instep strap fastened at both ends at the tongue seam. Even though this is a Seven Years' War item, it shows everything we continue to expect from a British military gaiter; a tongue, a button plaquet, no front seam, and a rear seam.

The gaiter shown at the link below is also 7YW vintage. You will see that the instep strap has one free end, but it does not button to the bottom button on the plaquet, rather there are two buttons at the tongue seam.

https://janeausteninvermont.files.../11/gaiters-1805-10-metmuseum.jpg

BTW, does anyone happen to have a full copy of the 33rd Foot Standing Orders ca. 1813?
John Waller

Thanks Radford. I have reached the same conclusion as you and will stitch at both ends. I would have finished them last night but a needle in the thumb and the ensuing blood flow put an end to the evening's work.
Ben Townsend

I believe the 33rd Standing orders were reproduced in the Iron Duke regimental magazine. I have a few copies but can't recall if I ever successfully got that one. The regimental museum at Bankfield should have a full run of copies. John (Doc) White who posts on here must have seen them.

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