Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Woollen Capote, traditional bushcrafting wear

Woollen Capote
Something’s just sing of the fur trade era, they typify the Mountain man and his hardy, free life style. Things like the Hawken Rifle, the butcher or camp knife and the Woollen Capote.

While I now have the perfect butcher/camp knife I still aspire to own a 50 calibre Hawken rifle and am now the very pleased owner of a Woollen Capote.

Traditionally made from one blanket the Capote (a corruption of a French word meaning coat or cape) was torn or cut with a knife (Indians didn’t have scissors) and then stitched in one of many various style.

Cut and sewn for warmth and ease of motivation these fantastically warm coats look a little bulky when new but are actually very unrestrictive making them as Ideal now for the bushcrafter as they were 200 years ago.

Being made from almost one entire blanket they are a little bulky to roll and carry when new but they have many pro’s to out weigh this slight negative point – of course they can be worn for warmth, around the campfire they are safe and will not melt if accidentally burnt. Being wool they remain warm even if soaked for up to 6 days!! But they are also the ideal overnighting blanket being big enough to roll yourself in for a warm cosy nights sleep!!

Originally Capotes were made from Hudson Bay blankets and the blankets had a point system. So highly prized where they that a 4 point blanket (with 4 small black lines on one edge denoting its points) was equal to or traded for 4 beaver pelts.

Available in various colours I opted for a nice red one and looking like Father Christmas aside love the rich scarlet colour. Hand made but machine sewn my Capote is a quality item cheaper in price and more traditional to the 'shrafting' ethos than later items such as Swannis.

Now available from the Good old US of A see the links column of the bearclaw website for the maker’s details.


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