Re: Polyester vs. Cotton in Uniforms. (Was Wishlist)
Ed Darrell (EDarr1776@AOL.COM)
Sat, 21 Dec 1996 15:20:03 -0500
In a message dated 96-12-20 08:07:26 EST, Marc Godbout said:
>I have never been in favor of the uniform being used in outdoor
>activities, such as hiking, so the material should be something
>that's comfortable in non-active situations.
It's with some trepidation that I post again, noting that my last little
number on cotton vs. polyester seemed to spark quite a fire.
BUT, when I was a Scout, long ago though after the Flood, our all-cotton
uniforms were quite usable for all activities. That's why the front pockets
on the shirt were "cargo" pockets, for example. The tough cotton was up to
most challenges we presented.
I especially came to appreciate the uniform's durability when a junior
officer and camp staffer. We were required to be in uniform at all times. A
couple of cotton shirts and shorts got us through the week -- if we got one
dirty, a quick dunk with Camp Suds cleaned it, and it dried quickly (and
crisply as if ironed!) in the Rocky Mountain air. The 30+ year old shirt I
looked at last week made it up and down mountains, rapelled many rocks,
forded countless streams and performed at least 20 in-the-water
demonstrations. Cotton AS AN OUTER LAYER was vastly superior in summer heat
to anything else, and it worked well in the fall and winter campouts. Having
lived south of the Mason-Dixon line for 17 years now, I speak from long
experience that cotton is preferable to polyester in outerwear in virtually
any season here.
Chiefly the cotton uniform was durable, comfortable, easy to clean and looked
good. It burns poorly compared to most poly blends, which made it a good
thing to have on one's back when leading cheers at a campfire (always keep a
good friend at your back). I have burn spots from ashes in some of my poly
shirts of much newer vintage -- not a one in the cotton shirt.
It was twill, of course. Twill would be good -- it would also be nice to
have a good cloth closer to oxford cloth. I note that permanent press
treatments now are done on all-cotton fabrics.
I can get good cotton stuff from L. L. Bean and Lands End that looks better,
wears better and performs better than the stuff I get at Scoutfitters. It
didn't used to be so. Call it nostalgia if you wish. I'd like to see a
return to all-cotton, even if only an option.
Ed Darrell, Duncanville, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City