Picking Outerwear Fabric

By Tiffany - Sunday, November 10, 2013

My next step with my winter jacket is picking the proper fabric. For a Canadian winter, something that can stand cold temperatures, sleet, and snow is necessary. It also has to be breathable, so you don't roast and then freeze in your jacket.

At first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to use a fleece fabric or just a coated shell fabric. A fleece fabric can be nice and smooth on the outside and warm and fuzzy on the inside. That means, you don't need to make an outer shell and inner shell. If I decide to go that route for the future, Discovery Trek Outfitters and the Rain Shed carry such fabrics.

But, I liked the idea of having the outer and inner jackets, since that gives three different options for what to wear (just the inner, just the outer, or both together). Outdoor fabric has a lot of funny names, like 'ultrex', 'gore-tex', and 'cordura'. I was unsure of what I wanted for my project, so I got samples.

The type of fabric that is good for outer shell jackets is sold by the Rain Shed and by Seattle Fabrics. The samples I got from Seattle Fabric and it's fun to touch them all and look at all the colours.

In the end, I choose 2-ply Ultrex. I really like the nice, woven finish. The back is coated. This is what is called a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. Because of the coating on the back, the jacket will have to be lined to protect it. I will use a nylon taffeta or polyester lining for that.

I went with the burgundy, since I thought it would look best with my brown hair. Hopefully, this will make a nice outdoor jacket.

I really like touching and playing with the samples. I feel like I learned a lot more about outdoor fabrics. Now that I know what these fabrics are like, I think I can make a whole bunch of other projects for motorcycling, hiking, and my other hobbies.

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