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Old 13-05-2009, 01:01   #1
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Traditional Nautical Clothing?

hi there

I was wondering if any of you people could recommend to me where I could get real good thick nautical clothing for out at sea or at port.
i mean the sort of basic traditional, no logos etc dark navy sailors jumper/sweater made from lush wool.
there is a website/store called nauticalica, but they are very expensive.
i just want the normal/traditional dark navy sweater.
i'm asking if someone could give me several links of websites where they sell nice thick basic nautical clothing, not the modern hyper-fleece etc but the real casual organic stuff. i know you can just go to an army surplus store or fashonable store, but often the clothing is old, impractical and dingy
also a online store which sells practical things like underwear(white etc) and like shirts and practical/traditional fleece/wool red blankets etc


thank you!
i live in australia, but any online store is great.
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Old 13-05-2009, 05:20   #2
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Welcome aboard, Capt.

Try Googling for companies that supply the offshore fishing industry. Good luck!
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Old 13-05-2009, 08:32   #3
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Panagonia Patagonia Outdoor Clothing, Technical Apparel and Gear for Climbing, Hiking, Skiing, Surf, Fishing

best stuff around for quality... IMHO
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Old 13-05-2009, 08:54   #4
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Try Hamilton Marine

Hamilton Marine in Maine (USA) has a mix of traditional and modern clothing for fisherman and sailors. They have online sales also. I have had good luck with them and pretty fair prices.

hamiltonmarine.com

Steve
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Old 13-05-2009, 13:50   #5
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When I was in the Navy my sweater wasn't what I'd call lush but it was wool. Maybe the Aussie Navy dresses their sailors better!
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Old 14-05-2009, 12:06   #6
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Guernsey/Jersey

The traditional navy/raw wool fishing sweater that many Commonwealth countries visualize is the Guernsey. This was a reasonably heavy wool sweater whose yarns were left with a bit of the 'grease' (natural lanolin) to help shed water. The sweaters often were knitted in tight stitch patterns to increase the amount yarn used, resulting in thick and sometimes stiff fabric. The wool was *not* soft and luscious, but often scratchy and wiry. The sweater was traditionally knit with a big centered round neck, no front and back, so when one side began to show wear you could turn it around and wear it the other way 'round. A 'myth' about these sweaters is that each port/family had distinctive patterns in order to identify a body that washed ashore; not true, especially since most of the sweaters have always been exported outside the English Channel islands.

The best way to get them now is the same as it was then; marry a knitter, or make it yourself. A good guernsey will take about 4 weeks of knitting through your watches.

But there are a number of places making guernsey/jersey style sweaters. Few of them still use a greasy fisherman's wool though. I believe there's a place in Australia, actually, that's making them.
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Old 14-05-2009, 13:23   #7
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If your planning on looking traditional, then I would go with what you are describing. If you want to stay really warm, dry and comfortable then I would take another route.

There is a good reason why traditional nautical clothing is not worn by most modern sailors. Natural materials can absorb water which makes them no longer warm. Additionally, natural fibers can smell, itch or rot.

Modern boat clothing consists of a thin tight synthetic layer against the skin which wicks moisture away, and then thicker layer of fleece which acts as an insulator and then waterproof shell as the outer layer which acts as a wind and water barrier.

Gill has a much more detailed description. Gill's Layer System
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Old 16-05-2009, 21:09   #8
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Sorry,
I could not get "into" the polyester stuff.
I'll take my wool sweater and my flannel lined jeans
wool socks and wool mittens
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Old 16-05-2009, 21:28   #9
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Here's my vote for a Guernsey - I have one that I generally prefer to my modern Henri-Lloyd weather gear">foul weather gear. My wife knit it with wool yarn using a small needle. It's more comfortable in varying temps than synthetic and keeps my undershirt dry in all but downpour conditions. I wear it most days as an outer layer throughout Maine and Newfoundland winters - I very rarely put on my parka.

Disclaimer: I sweat a lot, so most waterproof layers make me sweat - negating any weatherproof benefits.

Unfortunately, Guernsey’s are a personal thing. The wool yarn alone for mine cost about $100. Given the labor, a complete real Guernsey would probably be $500-$1000. If you doubt this figure, you probably have not seen a real one…they're an artifact from an age when materials cost more than labor.
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Old 16-05-2009, 23:18   #10
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Real wool

I picked up knitting after a sail with a particularly crusty sailor. There I was in my shiny new foulies, fleeces, and hi-tech fabrics shivering through the night watch. He was sitting scrunched up under the dodger wearing a sweater and watchcap, knitting wool socks. I asked him why he did it and he said he couldn't afford to buy good wool socks, or sweaters, or hats designed for sailing. As to whether knitting is femmy, he pointed out most of the people who think that haven't the balls to sail at night in a gale, and that one shouldn't offend a guy with pointed metal sticks in his hands during night watch.

So yah, I knit, and I have a couple nice guernsey style sweaters. And a half-dozen watchcaps which aren't quite right.
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Old 16-05-2009, 23:23   #11
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So yah, I knit, and I have a couple nice guernsey style sweaters. And a half-dozen watchcaps which aren't quite right.....
Bet they are warm though.
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Old 17-05-2009, 00:04   #12
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Yah, but you know the DIY mantra "I'll do it better next time"? I keep trying to make the perfect watch cap - warm, doesn't get pushed down into my eyes by the foulies hood, stays on, thick enough to block the wind, covers the ears... - but it always seems to fail on one or another thing, so I make another one.

I'm almost done with a new sweater project too: a light wool sweater not much heavier than a t-shirt, to wear during PNW summers in the mornings/evenings. But I'm so busy preparing for the cruise I don't have time to finish it... probably won't get done until this fall, after I no longer need it.

On the other hand, let's try to remember those *other* traditional sailor clothes - really oversized cullottes made of flax or cotton canvas. Where do you think the white pants traditions came from?
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Old 19-05-2009, 06:03   #13
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I used to wear woollen army pants while working hauling nets. Much more comfortable than the synthetic stuff and lasted longer. I love my tweed coat for walking in drizzly weather.
Have you read the Brendan voyage where they took a fisherman from m one of the islands north of Scotland and wondered about his woolen clothes when they had the synthetic foul weather stuff. They ended up thinking they should have gone with the traditional woollen clothing of the monks of the day.
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