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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The American Plainsmen Society (Moderators: Caleb Hobbs, Tsalagidave)  |  Topic: Leggings? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Leggings?  (Read 2802 times)
Niederlander
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« on: December 05, 2015, 10:43:29 am »


Hello the camp!  Due to same back issues that have gotten worse over the years, I just about can't wear boots with any sort of heels over an inch tall any more.  Shoes tend to work better for me, so I wondering, were any sort of canvas leggings worn in the 1850's?  Maybe leather?  I've got Hanson's book on scouts and it shows some leggings that go about to the knee, and I've seen a picture of Little Bat wearing some.  How do those fasten?

Second question;  What are some good resources for pictures of people on the frontier in the 1850's?  I've found a few pictures here and there, but is there any seminal work on the subject?
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Mogorilla
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 11:33:39 am »

Hi,
I wear leggings, as I really do not have calves, I have full blown bulls and boots rub.  Go to the leather portion of this forum and search for Botas.    I made mine off of a pattern posted by Chuck Burrows (the pictures of his botas are amazing FYI)  These are simple and require no sewing. 

Here are mine.   I made them from some deer hide I got on sale at Tandy and picked up some conchos somewhere.  I think they show how they attach pretty well (just tie)

Laid Flat


Inside laid flat with boot knife


With items


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Tsalagidave
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Dave Rodgers


« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 03:33:49 pm »

Ned,

I have a great source for you. Get the Sutter's fort Costume Manual.  It comes unbound so have a 3-ring binder waiting for it.  David W Rickmam did the illustrations and text beautifully.  He dumped years of earnest research into it and its a goldmine of 1830-50s era clothing in general.  He has a comprehensive section on leggings.  I also know of some great books on making mocassins for any climate that may be of use.

-Dave
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Niederlander
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2015, 07:42:09 pm »

Thanks!  I'll look for that one.
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Niederlander
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 09:56:46 am »

I've been trying to get in touch with the guy in charge of such things at Sutter's Fort.  So far I've not heard back from him.  What are some of the books on moccasins?
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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 09:42:56 am »

Ned, I believe the old Buckskining Books Volume I-VI had some good articles.  I moved last summer and have not unpacked my books so I cannot be specific.  The books were published by Muzzleloader Magazine.
T-Joe
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Tsalagidave
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Dave Rodgers


« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2016, 04:47:37 am »

Here's another: Craft Manual of North American Footwear, by George white (1969). 2nd edition was 1992. It is an excellent resource and can still be ordered online.

-Dave
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ChuckBurrows
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2016, 01:15:40 pm »

A couple of thoughts on moccasins (been making and wearing them for over 50 years):
1) The hard sole types are historically fairly late - circa 1850 for the Southern Plains and as late as 1870 for the Northern Plains
2) Prior to that the one piece western side seam style was by far the most common amongst the tribes. Shoshone chief, Washakie, is shown wearing them in an 1860's photo.
3) The Pucker toe with arch inset as seen so often in the 1837 Miller prints are a Metis style but were worn by others as well - a photo of Mariano Medina (formerly Modena) shows him wearing this style
4) Some of the eastern tribes, such as the Delaware and Shawnee, who had moved west continued to wear their traditional often center seam and eastern pucker toe styles. The 1840's era painting of Delaware scout, Black Beaver, is shown wearing a pair.

Now for some ideas:
1) One moccasins were originally make them, wear and patch them until they wear out shoes, not intended for long term wear. At times they were even made from green or semi tanned hides.
2) Since that's a bit harder and more expensive to do today here are some recommendations for longer wearing mocs
3) I use the German Tan hides from Crazy Crow - they are tough, cheaper than real brain tan (or much less back breaking work), and if you buy seconds the neck area is often extra thick and tough. An even less expensive alternative is "buck tanned" cowhide (most commercial deer and elk are IMO too soft for good mocs)
4) Add an outer sole - if I have seconds of the GT from CC I use that thick neck area for added soles other wise for the added outer sole I use the latigo soles sold by CC or make my own from buffalo rawhide that is partially softened.
4) Add an inner sole - again I use the neck section of the GT - this way you technically get three soles, two of which can be fairly easy to replace
5) On side seams the outer sole can be added before sewing the main seam close if you use the baseball stitch which doesn't require turning the moc inside out and FWIW I have seen fur lined winter mocs using this type stitch so it's PC/HC up to point anyway.
6) Done right it's then quite easy to re-sole them and with three soles your feet won't be so tender ( I go barefoot as often as possible to toughen my feet - when younger I had a 1/4" thick callus on my soles so I could walk even on gravel without pain.
) Bead or quill work was seldom done for everyday mocs. Most full beaded mocs are post 1870 and were for fancy Sunday-go-to-meeting purposes. IMO one reason the hard sole became popular was the top with the beadwork could be re-used by re-soling. The mocs with beads even on the soles are often called funerary mocs, but in fact were used mostly for extra fancy wear - when sitting cross legged in council one could see them and since beadwork could be expensive and was always labor intensive it was a form of oneupmanship. Later the pow wow culture and Wild West shows had an influence on clothing as well.

Please remember though that mocs tend to be slippery, especially on wet surfaces, so be careful. One 'trick" I learned years ago from and old Blackfoot man that had only ever worn mocs was to walk slightly pigeon toed, which can help grip as you walk - ever notice how the Duke walked? he picked that walk up from Yakima Canutt, who I have been told grew up wearing mocs. Some folks use Shoe Goop, spread on the sole and then add sand while still damp - this can help but they don't turn into Vibram soles by any means. I've done the same with pine (any evergreen actually) pitch and it can help, especially on grass.
7) I wear side seams and have always added the 6-8" upper to wrap around the ankle - done right with the tongue tucked underneath it will prevent most crap from sliding into you mocs.
Cool If wet feet are a concern get some Gore-Tex booties and wear with wool socks - some folks just use plastic bags for the same purpose. I generally only wear wool socks or use scrap blanketing to keep my feet warm, but then I live where it's dry most of the year and even the snow tends to be dry and powdery.

Anyway hope that helps - the Craft Manual is a good one, but for those wanting an actual pattern they are available from CC and other vendors. No matter what though I find most patterns require a bit of tweaking and when I get a good fitting pair I take them apart and make a pattern......
as always others mileage will vary........
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aka Nolan Sackett
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ChuckBurrows
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2016, 01:42:03 pm »

PS Here's a link to the image of Washakie I mentioned above. It was taken in 1870 by by famed photographer, William Jackson.

http://ilovehistory.utah.gov/people/first_peoples/tribes/images/shoshone-washakie.jpg

You can tell the mocs are side seams by looking at the inside of his right foot - no seam there...
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aka Nolan Sackett
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Oregon Bill
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 06:29:18 pm »

Reading Chuck's post here is heart-rending. He had less than four months to live when he shared this with us, and as usual, he shared everything he knew, which was  always a lot. I'll not meet his kind again in this life. RIP friend.
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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 04:37:46 pm »

I knew he was ill and he had not posted in a while.  I did not know that he had crossed over.  RIP.
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Oregon Bill
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 06:58:16 pm »

Joe, Chuck died in late April of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, according to my info.
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Tsalagidave
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Dave Rodgers


« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2016, 01:48:11 am »

This was a sad loss to the group.  I wish I knew him better.  It's good that there are so many "salt of the earth" people here but sad that I'll never get to know them all.

If ever someone wants to eulogize a pard they knew well on this site, please do so.  I think its good to celebrate the lives of our friends who have crossed the great divide.

-Dave
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Mogorilla
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2016, 07:55:17 am »

I really miss Chuck's posts as well.  He was a true artist and his work never ceases to inspire me.   When I learned he passed, I went and saved as many of Chuck's images as I could.   His work had impact, and in the words of Bill Tyler, That shines.   
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The American Plainsmen Society (Moderators: Caleb Hobbs, Tsalagidave)  |  Topic: Leggings? « previous next »
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