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Unite or Die Snake

 

Last updated: January 2018

 

Assembling Your Kit

 

Building a historically accurate kit is both challenging & rewarding.  Experience has taught that assembling an accurate kit takes time, research, & of course, money.  Carefully reviewing these pages will save you all of these, as well as, frustration in the long run.

Build your kit in stages, assembling basic clothes & eating equipment is most important.  We do not expect anyone to be “fully” kitted at their first event (or even by the end of their first season). 

     It is easy to buy a nifty looking item at sutlers row which later turns out to be functionally useless or out of period & historically inaccurate.  If in doubt, ask an experienced member before purchasing an item.  The Regiment is fortunate to have several members which will make clothing for near the cost of materials which contributes to the uniform appearance of the Regiment as well as making it easy to secure clothes.  The colors for the Regiment’s coat, waistcoat, & breeches are documented from regimental records & members are expected to assemble a uniform in accordance with the historical documents.  Linen was more common in the 18th Century than cotton.  Members are encouraged to purchase linen over cotton items as they buy new, or replace old clothing. 

     Many of the members have found making or assembling parts of the kit themselves to be very rewarding & in the long run, less expensive than buying from sutlers.  Patterns are available for everything but shoes.  J. P. Ryan patterns are generally considered good & instructions on how to make good patterns are found in Tidings from the 18th Century by Beth Gilgun.  Several sets of patterns are also available at the North West Territories Alliance Tin Box Patterns & through the Brigade of the American Revolution

Nearly all clothing, whether custom made or bought “off the rack” from a s sutler, will require minor adjustments of buttons or seams.  Learning basic hand sewing techniques for patching small holes & tears, as well as, attaching buttons is practically a necessity for the living historian.

     As we portray a Regiment on campaign, wear & soiling on uniforms is expected.  Period documents indicate soldiers routinely had only one or two of an item to last the season (unless additional items were “procured”).  Uniforms with the remnants of mud, grass, & powder stains are appropriate.  The Regiment encourages “honest wear", that is, wear made by actual use.  Several members accelerate natural wear by doing chores in their small clothes which produces natural tears & wear patterns.  Do not simulate tears or sew on fake patches.  Additionally, leaving clothing outside exposed to the weather will add natural wear.  Drying clothing in the sun will produce sun bleaching for linens.  Naturally dyed items will “weather” & stain more easily than modern dyes.  "Stone washing", bleaching, or other artificial methods of aging clothes are NOT recommended.  It does not look natural & is clearly noticeable. 

Because the Regimental coat is expensive & more difficult to replace (both in the 18th Century & now), extra care is recommended.  Cuthbertson states Regimental Coats were worn primarily while on duty to preserve them & we advocate that as well.   When clothing requires cleaning because of extreme soiling & smell, see methods to clean clothing.

     All portrayals require eating utensils as follows in order of importance -
Wooden or horn spoon
Tin or wood plate or bowl
Tin cup or other (i.e. leather mug)
Fork (twisted wire would be most common for soldiers/camp followers)

Please Note:  crockery was too fragile for moving army.  Williamsburg style pottery is pretty, but inaccurate for a military camp.

     The basic & expanded kit for each impression are described below.  Click on the link to jump to the descriptions.