1805-1815…what style of pants?

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If you were heading up the Missouri in this time period what sort of pants would you be wearing?

Were cloth leggings still a thing at that point?

Not interested in answers using buckskin as the primary material.
 
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Drop/fall front wool or linen I am guessing.

At least that is what I wear at the moment.

There was a similar discussion on another thread.


RM
 
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@brazosland I'm not sure you could have picked a more transitional time period. This is going to be fun.

From a style standpoint you can choose between:

1. Breeches
2. Pantaloons (aka pants- and tight fitting)
3. Trousers just below the calf and wide legged, think sailor's slops (going out of style)
4. Full length trousers (coming into style)

These were mostly drop fronts with small drop falls, but a fly front would not be totally absent as they existed from at least 1760, although not becoming popular until around 1823.

Material included:

1. Russia sheeting
2. Linen
3. Cotton (including Nankeen- originally from China- yellow in color)
4. Duck
5. Corduroy
6. Calico
7. Wool
8. Flannel (from wool, not cotton)

Muslin, Fustian, Moleskin and I'm sure a few other materials I'm forgetting existed in the broader fur trade era, just not sure about 1805-1815. Others might know.
 
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@brazosland leggings? You bet. and generally made from one of the materials listed above or deer or elk- sometimes lined with flannel, especially for the HBC and NWC folks. And either secured below the knee/above the calf by garters or if leggings go high above the knee (Indian style to the crotch typically) then secured by some form of straps/leashes/ties to a belt.

You know the fringes we like to cut on the sides (of cloth or leather) cause it looks sexy (and maybe helps shed water- not sure I buy this)? Well it seems that they originated as flaps of cloth or leather that were left on the outer sewn part of the leggings to protect the stitching from the abrasion of the snow (again HBC and NWC folks).
 
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@brazosland I'm not sure you could have picked a more transitional time period. This is going to be fun.

From a style standpoint you can choose between:

1. Breeches
2. Pantaloons (aka pants- and tight fitting)
3. Trousers just below the calf and wide legged, think sailor's slops (going out of style)
4. Full length trousers (coming into style)

These were mostly drop fronts with small drop falls, but a fly front would not be totally absent as they existed from at least 1760, although not becoming popular until around 1823.

Material included:

1. Russia sheeting
2. Linen
3. Cotton (including Nankeen- originally from China- yellow in color)
4. Duck
5. Corduroy
6. Calico
7. Wool
8. Flannel (from wool, not cotton)

Muslin, Fustian, Moleskin and I'm sure a few other materials I'm forgetting existed in the broader fur trade era, just not sure about 1805-1815. Others might know.
Just a note. The calico was more of 6-8 Oz range and a stripe was the most common, not the light flower print common today.
Cord had been a wealthy man’s fabric, but at this time it had become a common working man’s trouser fabric. So common it fell out of favor with the rich
Narrow fall was common, broad fall would come in to style in a few years. Side button pants were known, fitted without a fly
 
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Corduroy? Really. Hmmm…I cut cut up some of those aweful cord pants you see at Goodwill. I wonder if my older brothers have any of theirs left over from the 70’s. 😂 Those would make fancy looking leggings!
 

DixieTexian

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Cotton was starting to be ginned much more commonly in the South at the time, so it wouldn't be out of place, but it probably wasn't the prevalent fabric quite yet. You could research to see what the numbers of cotton gins in your area were in those times to get a better idea to how available it would have been.
 
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If you are thinking of making your own I would go with duck canvas (untreated). I've used it to make myself pants and it is very durable.
 

Red Owl

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You might want to check out the museum of the fur trade. Because they are in western Nebraska a lot of folks think they are only mountain man oriented but they deal with the entire period. They have Alexander Henry's legging that I think are a wool blend, no fringe.
Off hand, I'd go with pantaloons, a blend, wool/linen, etc. Gray would be a good color.
 
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Cotton in its various forms of textiles was a very common item throughout North America in @brazosland time frame.

For commercial usage it was imported to the US from China, England and France until around 1825 when viable domestic commercial production began to replace imports.

The HBC post Nottingham House stocked Duck and Cotton trousers in 1802-1806.

NWC orders for 1802-1807 have recurring requests for stripped cotton, and blue nankeen (cotton) trousers.

McKenzie while on the upper Missouri in 1804-1805 encountered the Gros Ventres and stated "We observed a great change in their dress...viz., Russia Sheeting trousers, swan down vests, corduroy jackets, calico shirts, etc. all resembling Canadian Voyageurs clothing...". After repeated enquiry the Gros Ventres said they had been at war with the Blackfeet and taken it from them. [where did the Blackfeet get them?]

In 1808 an American by the name of Jacob Perkins developed a method that completely mechanized calico printing that was increasingly used by the textile industry, both in the US and abroad, from 1810 onward.

The Germantown Historical Society has a pair of Cotton Knee breeches from 1812.

Winterthur, Bequest of Henry Francis duPont, has a pair of Cotton corduroy breeches circa 1775-1810.

Calico was a popular shirt material in colonial times. In 1766 Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan of Philadelphia were sending calico shirts for the Illinois trade. In 1771 they sent "Callicoes with large red, blue or purple flowers" to the same place.

What was to become the Office of Indian Trade in 1806, began purchasing Calico for indian trade in 1796.

There is a vast amount of documentation on this for those that want to chase it down.

I could go on and on but suffice to say that the amount of Calico and other Cotton based textiles in the US and Canada in the late 1700's and early 1800's was huge. Everyone was wearing something made from cotton, including the Indians that had access to either Traders or Forts as they preferred textiles over skins for clothing- they even started using it for their dwellings in place of hides. HBC and the OIT provided cotton textiles for just this purpose.
 
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flconch53

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@brazosland I'm not sure you could have picked a more transitional time period. This is going to be fun.

From a style standpoint you can choose between:

1. Breeches
2. Pantaloons (aka pants- and tight fitting)
3. Trousers just below the calf and wide legged, think sailor's slops (going out of style)
4. Full length trousers (coming into style)

These were mostly drop fronts with small drop falls, but a fly front would not be totally absent as they existed from at least 1760, although not becoming popular until around 1823.

Material included:

1. Russia sheeting
2. Linen
3. Cotton (including Nankeen- originally from China- yellow in color)
4. Duck
5. Corduroy
6. Calico
7. Wool
8. Flannel (from wool, not cotton)

Muslin, Fustian, Moleskin and I'm sure a few other materials I'm forgetting existed in the broader fur trade era, just not sure about 1805-1815. Others might know.
Lindsey Woolsey also
 
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