What type of wool?

11:14 a.m. on July 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I think I'm starting to get carried away with DIY projects here. The bilgy tarp tent is underway, and the rain jacket is going to be a winter project. It won't take long though and since it rains up to 16" in 24 hrs here in the winter I will need stuff to do. 

So, guys and gals, I would like to make a pair of wool cargo pants. I don't know much about wool other than I love the stuff (I wish I raised Alpacas). What type of wool would you use to make a pair of cargo pants? I can't find a women's pair I like and fits right that won't burn a hole in my pocket and the military kind would never fit me. I'm a women's size 2. I will probably only need 2-21/2 yards to make them. 

Here are a couple of styles to give you an idea of what I'm shooting for. I'll have to try and find a pattern at a fabric store and possibly throw in some modifications. Here is the first one (these are men's, but you get the idea):


Now the next pair (lol) I really did laugh out loud when I saw the price for these. Since I don't have the $835.00 to throw down on a pair of these, making them is my best bet. I'm still laughing...that is so outrageous. The $1,705 for the poncho is even worse, I know. Even if I were given that much money I would not EVER be able to talk myself into paying that for a pair of pants....ANYWAY, back on the subject. These pants look so comfortable, especially to hike around in, except I would like to put pockets on the back...


10:11 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah ... I hear you 'bout the insane prices for gear like you are referencing.   I live one block away from an Orvis dealer.   I go in there just for laughs.

Cool, quality stuff ... but, the prices are on-the-moon.

I have some wool outdoor trousers, I acquired years ago, from Filson's.  (google, if not familiar).   Not inexpensive ... but, they have proven to be durable.


Here's my suggestion:

Look for an Army-Navy surplus store in your area.   They all sell the olive-drab colored, wool utility blankets.   Those things are "bomber", and very inexpensive.   Some ( I have a couple,  handed down to me by family )  seem to be moth-proof.

Use one-or-more for your fabric.   I think (?) you will be pleased.


10:38 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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M1951 Korean Wool Field Pants are a great trouser, and they can often be found for $5-10.  They are admittedly heavy, but they're tough as nails.  I'm sure they could be tailored and modified with great results.

10:48 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Good idea Robert. I didn't even think of that. 

11:28 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Army surplus and rag wool gloves are made from "tag wool" which is what we shear off the leg, head and nether regions of sheep.  Its itchy coarse and cheap.

The best wool comes from merino sheep and is the best, softest, finest and most expensive. 

It depends on your itch tolerance.  I wear cheap surplus pants but I wear them over a base layer.  Merino is soft and can be worn against the skin but will set you back serious $$. 

Other animals produce nice fibers such as mohair and alpaca which is about the same cost per pound as gold but wears like a dream, or so I hear, I can't afford it.  

12:03 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Here is some on Amazon for $20/yd, which is less than half  the cost of  most of what I could find.


8:26 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow - I can't afford the mohair or alpaca either. I have some merino and alpaca socks, the rest of my wool stuff is the itchy kind.

Gonzan- thanks for the link. I'll keep it in mind. Merino would be a lot more comfortable. I want to keep them as light and soft as possible without going over $50.00

11:01 a.m. on September 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Capow21 --

It's been about a month since you started your project / quest.

What's the latest?


10:53 a.m. on September 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I haven't got to the pants yet. I just started a 2-man Bilgy Tarp Tent. I am hoping to get it done by the 18th before I leave to go backpacking in WY. I will post a report of the project from start to finish as soon as I'm done. 

The pants and a rain jacket are going to be my winter projects. I'm excited about the pants though!

April 5, 2020
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