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nomenclator
01-29-2007, 10:07 AM
How does cotton-knit long underwear compare to wool, resin-fibers such as polyester? I know resin fibers tend to get smelly and wool and cotton do not but I think wool may be warmer and dries faster should it get damp, or wet, and that you are very uncomfortable in cotton if it gets damp or wet but not so bad in wool or polyester?

Also cold-weather outerwear? How do you keep warm and protected from wind, without wool, fur, leather, and preferably without synthetic fibers.

Flower
01-29-2007, 10:29 AM
My husband and I both have Columbia's double whammy jackets for the really cold weather. No animal products and they keep us really warm while protecting us from the wind.

As for the long underwear question, my husband has been wearing cotton long underwear for years. He's worn it sledding with the kids and while working (in a 20 below grocery warehouse freezer), and has never had any problems with it. He used to have wool long underwear, and the cotton stuff is just as good. Plus, it's not scratchy like wool, which makes a big difference.

~Wonder
01-29-2007, 10:41 AM
Wool long underwear sounds really uncomfortable. Should I wear long underwear, which I haven't in years, it is cotton. My coat is cotton with a polyester filling and lining. It keeps me wind free and plenty warm. It washes really well too.
~Wondre http://wonder.sitehacks.com/biker.gif

Miso Vegan
01-29-2007, 10:43 AM
There's a relatively new fabric on the market called Modal. It comes from Beech Trees and is very eco-friendly.

Also, bamboo fabric. I mention both of these becuase they both have wicking properties and anti-bacterial propoerties.

I have seen modal long underwear but haven't seen bamboo, although that doesn't mean it's not out there somewhere.

stegan
01-29-2007, 10:43 AM
as far as the outerwear, it's hard to find something warm that would meet your criteria- there's always the polartec polar fleece, which is mainly made of recycled soda bottles. My winter coat is from EMS- it's totally synthetic, but also really light and not that bulky- it keeps me super comfy and warm.

nauthiz
01-29-2007, 10:54 AM
Wool isn't necessarily warmer than cotton or synthetic fibers, but it does a much better job of retaining its insulating properties when wet. It is also much more absorbent than other fibers, so it takes a lot more water for you to feel wet.

I wear cotton long underwear unless it's *really* cold because I find that it feels more comfortable against my skin than synthetic, but I assume that's a matter of taste. When it's very cold, I skip the standard long underwear and go staight for a pair of cold weather biking tights - they're more expensive than underoos, but *so warm*.

As for the rest of it, if you're willing to shell out for really good winter clothing then your base layer really shouldn't be getting wet unless you're stomping around in mud puddles or something. I use a water and wind resistant midlayer, shell, and powder pants, and when I'm out skiing I never think twice about laying down in the powder or anything like that.

I'm really not sure how to do it without the synthetic fibers, though. But to be quite honest, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It takes ridiculous amounts of petroleum to make cotton, too. I don't know about exact amounts, but I do know that with cotton the petroleum products are getting dumped straight into the groundwater rather than handled in a factory where there are stricter pollution controls. A well-made synthetic jacket is going to last longer than a cotton one, too, because the fibers are more resistant to abrasion.

sane-ax_addict
01-29-2007, 11:21 AM
i had wool long johns as a child. i don't remember much about them other than my grandmother getting upset when i wouldnt' put them on ("i paid good money for these!!") because they were friggin' itchy as hell!!

gravity_defiant
02-21-2007, 08:53 PM
Also cold-weather outerwear? How do you keep warm and protected from wind, without wool, fur, leather, and preferably without synthetic fibers.

Came on just to ask about this. I wore a big puffy ski parka to a job interview today, felt absolutely ridiculous, and decided that I really badly need a grown-up coat. I did a very preliminary check at one store, and from there it looked like my choices were wool or down. :( Any ideas for something vegan, but still professional-looking? And warm! I live in upstate NY, so I definitely need a serious coat.

Help?

8bit
02-22-2007, 03:30 PM
Unfortunately, synthetics haven't quite caught up with wool in the warmth and comfort when wet and ability to hold shape when wet aspects. Knitters are aware of how wool fibers have a natural crimp that seems to be where the magic comes from. They are getting close, though, and I have a few sets of Patagonia capilene long undies that get worn every day in the winter. They feel nice, hold up well, come out of the washer practically dry, and you can recycle them with Patagonia. I have some wool stuff that I'm going to wear until it's done but the capilene is so much easier to wash that it gets worn a lot more.

I agree with the assessment that cotton is pretty petroleum-heavy. I've been reading some articles that cotton takes about 2/3 the energy to produce as synthetics, but machine drying over the lifetime of the garment means that the cotton is much worse in the long term. This isn't an issue if you line-dry everything, but if you're like me and dry cottons and give synthetics a few hours on the line it's a consideration.

bird
02-22-2007, 05:27 PM
Unfortunately, synthetics haven't quite caught up with wool in the warmth and comfort when wet and ability to hold shape when wet aspects. Knitters are aware of how wool fibers have a natural crimp that seems to be where the magic comes from. They are getting close, though, and I have a few sets of Patagonia capilene long undies that get worn every day in the winter. They feel nice, hold up well, come out of the washer practically dry, and you can recycle them with Patagonia. I have some wool stuff that I'm going to wear until it's done but the capilene is so much easier to wash that it gets worn a lot more.
yeah, i had those last year. i loved them until i found out that had latex printing. i think they se latex over the other alternative because it's more natural and probably sustainable. which is awesome for them as a company but a bummer for me, as someone who really loves their clothes but is allergic to latex.