Surviving the Emperors New Clothing
By Joseph Parish
We’ve all heard the tale of the emperor’s new clothes and as a survivalist I often wonder how long after the balloon goes up would it be until we start wearing similar clothing? Few people take into consideration the need to replace our attire in a post crisis America.
Suppose we open up a discussion here of a hypothetical situation which could take place 3 or 4 years after we have lost our infrastructure completely. Perhaps many people reading this have the skills necessary to sew but the question remains as to where would you obtain the needed cloth and the necessary thread to don your clothing. There just will not be any perfect substitutes for our store built clothing or our shoes however we will have to learn to get along with what we can accomplish ourselves.
And speaking of shoes, what about replacing your shoes? You certainly can’t walk into a local shoe store and request a pair of boots to replace the ones which are quickly wearing out. What will you do? In the same sense what recourse will you have in the event that your shoelace breaks and you have no spares?
In addition the comfort level of our homemade shoes will likely not be able to compare to the shoes we purchase today. Stop for a moment and consider how awkward your shoes are if you accidentally place them on the wrong foot. Now consider for a moment that shoes were not even made for right or left feet until early in the 1800s.
One response to obtaining cloth would be to have or learn how to construct an old fashion spinning wheel in order to weave the cloth that would be needed. Believe it or not there are many individuals these days that create their own cloth from the wool of sheep or from the fur of certain types of dogs, cats or rabbits. These same individuals would be more then glad to teach this skill to you. All that would be necessary is for you to locate where they are at in your area.
In view of all the information presented above I would like to present several recommendations that you may wish to consider.
First as difficult as it may, be you might wish to stock up on boots, coats, garments, shoes and underwear. Visit your local thrift stores as well as watch the newspapers and flyers for local sales on the items you may need. If you are purchasing children’s clothing be sure to obtain the items in graduated sizes. A good thought to keep in mind is as your children outgrow their clothing you may wish to pass them along to another.
Now is a good time to develop some traditional skills such as spinning, sewing, weaving, and perhaps even some cobbler skills. Obtain and store the needed tools necessary for each of these skills. Maintain a supply of sewing needles, thread, a sewing awl, etc. Learn how you can make a pair of sandals from old tires and how to craft a pair of moccasins. Although neither of these solutions will be the same as your new store bought boots at least they will be better than nothing at all.
Additional tools and supplies should include a good pair of scissors, yarn and even patterns of your choice. These patterns can be obtained for any clothing you so desire. You can obtain patterns for shirts, pants, shorts and jackets in all sizes to meet your family’s needs. One suggestion on the shirt patterns which you select is that you choose the patterns that display pull over shirts since buttons and zippers will be difficult to obtain. Use stretch pants or those patterns which utilize drawstrings. Save up lots and lots of thread and possibly a few thimbles which could be a benefit for your fingers if sewing by hand.
Needles and thread would certainly represent a good barter item and they really take up very little space. Since the cloth will be difficult to obtain, you may wish to purchase some plain colored sheets from the thrift stores or yard sales. Try to get them as cheaply as possible.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish