hi all going out this weekend shopping for bits for costume what would i ask for in a material place if i wanted material for a cloak dark brown if that makes a difference also wanted material for a tunic. also any tips for these will be very helpfull my friends mum will be sewing them.

cheers mike

You want to find a shop called abakhan’s. It’s a fabric wholesaler, also sells needles, thread, and all the other accessories you might need.

For something heavy like a cloak, you want to be looking at wool. You’ll know the difference between fabrics after one visit and asking some staff. Abakhans also sells faux fur, if you can find any that isn’t too over-the-top (the one in Stoke has some groovy multicoloured psychadelic stuff, it looks awesome but its probably not suitable for empire) you might consider putting that on top or inside the cloak. Faux fur is fairly waterproof and over the shoulders/head it can help to direct water away from the rest of your costume. Last year the April event was -10 degrees…even if you do nothing but sleep on it, some fur will serve you well.

You can always try ebaying for materials too. I’m sure some of the more veteran clothiers here will be able to suggest appropriate materials. Things like Linen (for light shirts/casual) and wool are always being sold by someone.

Still really strugerling after a long weekend searching local fabric shops they don’t seem to have much anymore help anyone I’m in Northampton

Cheers mike

I looked into it. There are cloaks pretty cheap already made and, depending on whether you are satisfied on it being not QUITE what you want you can get an alright deal. I trade time for money; is it going to take you 2 days to make it? save 16 hours work and just buy one. If you are broke (like me) then make do with what you can find. Patchwork is cheap. use what you can find in wardrobes and bargain bins.

I know where you are at. I left mine on a train and no way can I afford to replace it,

If you do FB try here:

Lots of very friendly knowledgeable people who can help you source materials, suggest best types and even make you one depending on your budget, time and intentions.

tried looking on ebay but kinda flying blind there dont know much about material havent seen any complete cloaks that i like and i have sent a request to join that facebook group but no reply yet i really dont want to buy something i dont want or like just as its all there is i would really love to make it as my friends mum is an amazing sewer so im thinking with my imagination and her skills we could come up with something great thanks for all the help guys


I can reccomend
Plenty of styles and a great service. Their wool cloaks are a great investment and will last for years. They also trade at a couple of re-enactment fairs
which are midlands based.

if you’re having one made, the a half circle cloak* And* a seperate hood are a really good combination.

For the cloak, you want Wool lined with linen, For the Hood, Wool, linen lining optional.

Generaly speaking Cynthia Virtue’s excellent pages are a good starting point,

Hoods in particular,

And a good general piece on 1/2 circle cloaks,

A hood is a terribly versatile piece of clothing, you’ll not regret having one.

[quote=“Seren”]I can reccomend
Plenty of styles and a great service. Their wool cloaks are a great investment and will last for years. They also trade at a couple of re-enactment fairs
which are midlands based.[/quote]

that’s fantastic but expensive £315 for a cloak is rather expensive but its bang on what I was looking for


I made my own cloak for my character at LT. I used a good quality fake fur, (about 1.5 metres @ £27 a metre,) and I lined it with fleece, (about £6 a metre.) I made a couple of holes and tied the cloak at where my neck would be. I gave the fur a light coating of waterproofing spray and rain mostly runs off it now, (though I have to reapply it after it goes in the washing machine.)

It has seen me through the last 5 years and is an excellent extra layer at night, both while I am out and about and when I am sleeping.

If I was making it again, I would trim down the section at the back of my neck so it didn’t just bunch up and I would add a windproof membrane between the fur and the lining, (because the wind gets mighty bitter up your kilt on cold nights…)

I am also looking at making another cloak. I intend to use an army blanket as the base and line it with something light in weight and tasteful in colour.