The Weather Outside is…. Drenching

Here is a past post that should fit with “April showers.”

With this soak-you-to-the-bone weather leading up to and likely through the weekend event, I am thinking about ways to keep dry. As I think through my list, I realize most of them won’t happen because the bits and pieces needed are buried deep in storage. That doesn’t mean I can’t share them with you.
Reenacting events inevitably mean walking, likely through grass or even mud. With wool boots, I find my rubber over-shoes a must. They slip right over my boots covering up to about my ankle. Extant rubber over-shoes were found when the Steamboat Arabia was uncovered. Those made by Tingley seem to be the closest.
Just in case, still pack extra stockings or socks for everybody.
A wool coat can help keep the wet off of most of you. A long paletot gives you great flexibility in the arms while buttoning up the front to keep you dry.
If you don’t have a coat, consider the largest, plain or plaid wool shawl you have. Wrapping this around you will help keep you dry.
We talk a lot about parasols in reenacting but not much about umbrellas. Use an umbrella, a period umbrella of course.
Skip the fashion bonnet. Instead opt for a sunbonnet or for a hood. Water can cause a bonnet to soften, warp and even run.
If you carry a bag, make sure it is water-resistant. You may want to try a pocket instead. A pocket hidden under layers of skirts can usually stay dryer than a bag carried out in the open. If you must carry medicines or modern technology put them inside painted canvas bags or zip-lock bags just incase.
For larger bags, choose one with a heavy carpet and good closure. If it has a leather or painted canvas bottom, even better. Leave the bandbox at ‘home’.
You will be happier with your tent if you have sod-flaps and overlapping doors. Also put down a good water barrier under your flooring. I find a wool rug helps control the moisture better than other fibers.
Inside your tent let wool rule. Wool rugs on the ground help keep the area more comfortable. Put a wool blanket layer over your cot or ticking first. Be sure it drapes almost to the ground on each side. This keeps the moisture from coming up from underneath. Make you bed how you prefer. Then cover it all with a wool quilt or blanket. This will keep the moisture from getting in during the day. If you are sensitive to a moist pillow, wrap it with an extra wool shawl during the day to keep it dry.
Don’t hang your clothes. Put them in a trunk or box with a layer of wool covering them to help keep moisture down. You may consider a layer of wool on the bottom as well.
As you settle in for the evening, light a candle or two (safely). Whether the candles really do help cut the moisture or not, they help psychologically.
What do you do if you do get drenched?
If you can lay or drape your dress flat that will be best. Hanging it can cause it to stretch under the weight of being wet. If you have a trim that can run, be sure to lay the dress so the fabric does not lay back on itself particularly the trim.
If your bonnet get damp, set it up on a hat/bonnet stand. If you don’t have on make-d0 with something like the back of a chair. Do not lay it on its side because it will warp.
If your bonnet gets particularly wet, try to blot the trimmings so there is no running water. If your flowers are pinned in or on, consider removing them so they will not run on the bonnet itself.
If your boots get wet inside, stuff them with newsprint or fabric to absorb the water. Do Not put them near the fire as they can be damaged. (most warranties do not cover fire damage)
If your corset gets wet, layer it inside material to press out any excess moisture. Drape it over the back of a chair to dry.

Published in: on April 10, 2023 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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