Ontario Visited is pleased to present our Video Series, Ontario Re-Visited ~ Discovering Your Roots.
Each month we bring you post new Discovering Your Roots videos.
Ontario Re-Visited ~ Hot Stuff! (Clothing)
But wool was used for hundreds of years, if not thousands, because it was one of the most widely available, inexpensive, and versatile fabrics available to humanity until the last 40 years or so. Depending on the weave and thickness, wool could make quite comfortable blankets, coats, or cloaks, and was even used for athletic clothing and swimwear. Wool wicks moisture away from the body, making it an ideal fabric for cold weather wear, since the material will keep sweat from staying on the body and will prevent outer moisture from penetrating. Outdoor wear, even today, is highly dependent on wool as an inner layer, especially in socks, because other fabrics (like cotton) will swell with moisture and, once wet, will get extremely cold and make the outer layer essentially useless in preventing cold-weather fatigue and injuries.
So, for military uniforms, wool is beneficial in cold climates because its moisture-wicking properties, and is also not as uncomfortable as you might imagine in hot climates. Wool breathes, it’s part of the same microscopic geometry that makes it wick moisture, and so in even direct sunlight it does a good job of blocking sunlight while allowing fresh air to penetrate. An undershirt of cotton with an overshirt or blouse of wool was a standard of the US army, even in the west, where temperatures could fluctuate wildly.
Original historic “Art Sketch” by Susan ‘Shadow’ Caron