Jan 20 2014

Nearly Finished Winter Clothing

Published by at 8:38 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

Thought I’d share some developments on my full winter clothing.

I found I very rarely would need two layers of reindeer fur, so I decided to turn my inner coat into an outer coat. Very few modifications were made, but a collar with the fur turning inward were added around the neck to reduce draft.

The coat is wild reindeer body fur. The hat wild reindeer belly fur. Early autumn killed. Around my neck there is a fox-tail fur collar.

The outer mittens are bark tanned reindeer skin. The inner mittens; cropped winter fur of domesticated reindeer.

Under the leggings, I’m wearing trousers of moose buckskin. The leggings are of cropped winter fur of domesticated reindeer.

The shoes were originally made as stockings out of cropped winter fur of domesticated reindeer, fur turned inwards. They work pretty well as shoes on their own, but I don’t like wearing hairless skin towards the snow, as the moisture absorbs so easily. New winter shoes of leg skins are in the works.

Additionally I’m going to make a light inner parka out of fox, marten and feral cat skins. And I’ll make a kilt, loincloth or breechcloth to wear with the fur leggings, possibly without the buckskin trousers. The inner mittens are becoming worn out so I probably have to make new ones soon and leg skin outer mittens is an additional priority.

fur1 fur2


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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Nearly Finished Winter Clothing”

  1. Matton 16 Feb 2014 at 2:16 am

    Right on, good stuff.
    How durable is it? How many seasons do you expect to get out of hair on deer clothing? Guess it depends on terrain and use, in my experience traveling through dense vegetation is rough on clothing, but such travel is not done often. The other that is brutal for clothing is firewood cutting and handling and heavy building work.
    Not sure what cropped domestic reindeer fur means. I understand that its from domestic reindeer fur… cropped means that hair has been sheared some to reduce weight? Do you crop\shear and dress the fur yourself or is it purchased dressed and sheared ?

  2. Torjus Gaarenon 16 Feb 2014 at 12:24 pm


    The clothing is pretty durable. Siberians who use this kind of clothing every day in winter use them for 4-5 years as winter clothing, and then reuses it a decade or more as summer clothing.

    The durability is because of the tanning methods. I take care not to crack the grain while softening. If you do, the hair can come out in bundles.

    Cropped means that the fur has been cut shorter. I always tan the skins myself. The shearing was done with a knife.

  3. Matton 17 Feb 2014 at 12:07 am

    Thats more then i expected, very impressive for bush use.
    Does cropping the hair make the garment less heavy, with only small loss of insulating value?
    What makes a piece of winter clothing become summer clothing ?Hair loss ?Is the hair shaven off after it becomes a summer piece?

  4. Harryon 01 Dec 2014 at 4:52 am

    Did you ever make the inner parka? I’d love to see pictures of it. How many feral cat skins did you use?

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