Confused over clothing

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simonineaston
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby simonineaston » 11 Oct 2020, 8:04pm

I have quite a lot of bamboo-based base layer items. Turns out the stuff is mostly just a reboot of the old viscose, using cellulose obtained from fast-growing plants. Unfortunately, however 'green' this sounds, the fact remains that the process of extracting cellulose from any plant material, including bamboo, is a filthy process and not at all 'green'... see here for a brief summary. Other claims such as bamboo fabric's biodegradability and its inherant anti-microbial properties (probably stemming from the marketing depertment seizing on the fact that bamboo fabric undeniably doesn't stink as bad as some early, plastic-based, base layers did :shock: ), have been debunked too, I'm afraid.
Bamboo-based fabrics do feel good tho' - merino (or any wool, come to that) has that slight itchy feel, if your skin's as soft & sensitive as mine it ;-)
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hufty
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby hufty » 11 Oct 2020, 9:11pm

Just to report that EDZ stuff seems pretty robust - they're the best I've found since the much missed chocolatefish went belly up. And for hiking and camping and so on, EDZ merino underpants seem to be a winner - or at least my pair are keeping their shape so far...

[No company affiliation or anything, just a happy punter.]
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby Bmblbzzz » 11 Oct 2020, 9:47pm

eileithyia wrote:Not a fan of wool and now in an effort to reduce my microfibre impact on the world have discovered bamboo baselayers.... brilliant and lovely and soft against the skin.

Sorry, but almost all bamboo fibre is synthetic. It's rayon produced from bamboo cellulose.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo_te ... mboo_rayon

There is some actual bamboo fibre but it's uncommon and not really that suitable for clothing. If it was, people in areas where bamboo grows would have been using it for centuries.
There are actually two methods of extracting fabric from the bamboo plant. The first is mechanical. This involves crushing the plants into a mush, using natural enzymes to break it down and then combing out the fibres and spinning them into a yarn. The fabric produced this way resembles linen (indeed, it is often called bamboo linen). This method does have some environmental drawbacks but could potentially be sustainable. However, because it is labour-intensive, it's expensive, and the fabric produced is not soft enough to be used in the bamboo fibre underwear that is increasingly popular.

The second method is chemical. The plants are cooked in a cocktail of chemical solvents - primarily sodium hydroxide (lye, or caustic soda, as it's more commonly known) and carbon disulfide. Both are known to be harmful to human health, and sodium hydroxide can harm aquatic life when released into the water supply. Many companies using bamboo fabrics claim that because these are only used in a small part of the production process, they are not significant. But a factory producing tonnes of fabric a year will expose both workers and the wider environment to a vast amount of such chemicals.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... boo.fabric

simonhill
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby simonhill » 13 Oct 2020, 4:53pm

Another factor to consider is loose or tight.

Yesterday I was wearing a fairly thick tight fitting thermal vest under a fleece. I didn't find it as warm as I thought it should be, particularly when just sitting around. Today, I have a much lighter (pseudo silk type) loose fitting vest and it feels warmer and more comfortable.

Yes, I understand the theory of trapping air and generally agree with it. Nonetheless, there seem to be plenty of skin tight vests around.

NB most manufacturers don't call them vests nowadays, but it's more succinct than thermal base layer or whatever.

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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby eileithyia » 15 Oct 2020, 9:59pm

PH wrote:
eileithyia wrote:have discovered bamboo baselayers.... brilliant and lovely and soft against the skin.

I have a bamboo shirt that I really like, but was disappointed to discover that it's a bit of a con. It's made by extracting the cellulose in the bamboo to make a viscose rayon, the source of the cellulose is largely irrelevant, neither is it very environmentally friendly
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2013/ ... bamboozled

I've come to the conclusion, that buying less and buying stuff that'll last, has more of an environmental impact than the source.


Thank you for the updates, and the eye opener... luckily I am also the sort of person who buys stuff to last, indeed I have helly hansen base layers that I have had since the mid 80s. But at least some of my bamboo ones are of bright colours, I was in Gaynors Ambleside yesterday and was horrified by the boring wall of women's clothing they had, dull muted pinks, blues and blacks..... no bright reds, oranges, turquoises, pinks or yellows.
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Paulatic
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby Paulatic » 15 Oct 2020, 10:53pm

eileithyia wrote:have helly hansen base layers that I have had since the mid 80s.

I’ve got two from that era keeping pace with yours. Seriously though if you thought the womens clothing drab have some sympathy for us men. The colourways are so depressing.
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby mattsccm » 16 Oct 2020, 7:51pm

I have about a dozen pairs of bamboo socks. Darn company keeps/sending them for some reason. Comfortable enough but thin so not very warm. My domestic manager tells me that they take for ever to dry. Noticeably longer than wool.

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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby Sweep » 17 Oct 2020, 5:45am

simonhill wrote:NB most manufacturers don't call them vests nowadays, but it's more succinct than thermal base layer or whatever.

:)
Yep, I think the marketing folk will try to keep "vest" buried and maintain their "thermal base layer" tag,
I reckon they think vest conjures images of someone sat in their pajamas eating pies, whereas thermal base layer suggests a rippling gym bunny who sees their body as a temple.
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby Sweep » 17 Oct 2020, 5:48am

simonineaston wrote:I have quite a lot of bamboo-based base layer items. Turns out the stuff is mostly just a reboot of the old viscose, using cellulose obtained from fast-growing plants. Unfortunately, however 'green' this sounds, the fact remains that the process of extracting cellulose from any plant material, including bamboo, is a filthy process and not at all 'green'... see here for a brief summary. Other claims such as bamboo fabric's biodegradability and its inherant anti-microbial properties (probably stemming from the marketing depertment seizing on the fact that bamboo fabric undeniably doesn't stink as bad as some early, plastic-based, base layers did :shock: ), have been debunked too, I'm afraid.
Bamboo-based fabrics do feel good tho' - merino (or any wool, come to that) has that slight itchy feel, if your skin's as soft & sensitive as mine it ;-)

Bamboo stuff holds sweat rather a lot as well, especially if used for cycling or anything with any degree of exertion, or at least my two aldi Tshirts do. So pretty useless. Good for general purpose use though.
As a vest,
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby eileithyia » 17 Oct 2020, 9:19am

mattsccm wrote:I have about a dozen pairs of bamboo socks. Darn company keeps/sending them for some reason. Comfortable enough but thin so not very warm. My domestic manager tells me that they take for ever to dry. Noticeably longer than wool.


This surprises me, I have some bamboo socks, very comfortable and the trainers socks I had for summer are far too thick for summer cycling ( I usually use trainer socks throughout the summer), my feet get very warm in the bamboo ones even in winter.... and not had any obvious issues over the how long they take to dry.
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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby Bmblbzzz » 17 Oct 2020, 11:52am

Sweep wrote:
simonhill wrote:NB most manufacturers don't call them vests nowadays, but it's more succinct than thermal base layer or whatever.

:)
Yep, I think the marketing folk will try to keep "vest" buried and maintain their "thermal base layer" tag,
I reckon they think vest conjures images of someone sat in their pajamas eating pies, whereas thermal base layer suggests a rippling gym bunny who sees their body as a temple.

Also, vest is some varieties of English refers to what we know as a waistcoat. Hence a gillet being called a windvest.

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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby pjclinch » 21 Oct 2020, 1:45pm

Thehairs1970 wrote:Help. I used to know what I wanted to buy - now I am confused.

In the good old days when I wanted a thermal top, that's what I used to buy. Normally, this would mean Lifa style top. Now we have base layers. Some base layers are for wicking, not warmth. Some are temperature regulatory, which I think mean designed to stop you overheating. Others are just base layers with no guidance at all. I would like a new top, probably merino wool sort of thing, that will pack down small but keep me warm at camp in the evening but is light enough to ride in under a waterproof or cycling top.


"Base layer" is anything worn against the skin to keep you comfortable, and depending on conditions that could be various different answers. I've got loads of different flavours, and I find that some combination of fabric and cut work better for me in some situations than others. Lifa, for example, is my Weapon Of Choice under a wet suit. Lightweight (100-150gsm) Merino I like for "general outdoorsy stuff", I'll go for a 200gsm for wintery stuff if I'm not in a big hurry. Hot days cycling I prefer a slightly looser fitting synthetic to Merino... and so on. I think you get the picture by now there are lots of answers that will do the job so try them on to see if you like the feel of the fabric and if the cut is good on you. I think that makes more sense than stressing over the marketing of dozens of different products.

Can't be bothered with all that base layer nonsense? Use a Buffalo top, and then you don't need one! (this is a possibility, I like a Buffalo Active Lite and nothing else around this time of year, the Special 6 comes out for proper cold in winter and I find those options more comfortable than layering setups, might be Heresy but I find it works).

Wondering what was wrong with Lifa? Nothing much, and it's still available and still works.

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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby KM2 » 2 Nov 2020, 9:46pm

I have some tchibo, no sweat top. Nylon inner with an interwoven cotton outer. It works, you feel dry until up stop then you cool and it’s not so comfortable. Helly Hanson do one with polypropylene inner face and a woollen outer face. Doesn’t rely on two layers touching for wicking. They work.
A Buffalo cycle shirt, so warm, I can’t use it above 3C, brilliant though. Easy to shake any sweat out so it feels drier in the cafe.

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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby pjclinch » 3 Nov 2020, 9:19am

KM2 wrote:A Buffalo cycle shirt, so warm, I can’t use it above 3C, brilliant though. Easy to shake any sweat out so it feels drier in the cafe.


For those not familiar, worth noting there are several grades of Buffalo.

The coolest are unlined Pertex windshirts with very little insulation value. These are pretty good for high activity and/or warmer days if you want to cut the wind or keep the worst of the dreich out. They're not really meant for use against the skin, but I've actually found them okay for that on those occasions I'm tempted to go for a jog.

Next level up is the Lite/Teclite level which uses a micropile liner. Weather as it currently stands (cool, autumnal, damp) is a good match to those as a single garment unless you're Going For It to some degree. I've worn mine next to skin at a bit below zero but that was cross country skiing at a pretty high exertion rate. Rather more relaxed XC ski I was wearing it with a light Merino base.

Next level up is the pile/Pertex combo, which does serious cold. I use this next to skin between a few degrees over zero (including those damp days that seem colder than sharp dry cold) and several below (XC ski tour at -9 earlier this year). I use it with a chunkier base layer for piste skiing.

There's stuff like the Tecmax above that, but unless you're looking to e.g. cross Antarctica or feel the cold incredibly badly I don't think you want to go there for cycling!

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Re: Confused over clothing

Postby Vorpal » 3 Nov 2020, 10:53am

TBH, I think it's best to have a few different weights & materials, so that you can choose what best suits the conditions on the day. I have a couple of synthetic base layers, and a couple of merino ones. I have acquired them gradually, mostly on sale, but I also got at least one of them used.

I prefer to dress in layers, so I can adjust as I warm up, or the weather changes.

Check charity shops; they often have nearly unused outdoor clothing, including base layers at a bargain. TK Maxx is another place to try.
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