Blanket Leggings in the West

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Dadboss

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Osborne Russell purchased a " wrapper blanket for leggings " in 1835 at Fort Hall. My guess is that a wrapper blanket is a solid color wool blanket of the "trade blanket" variety, but I'm not sure. Does anyone have any insight as to how these blanket leggings may have looked? My own guess is that they weren't like the blanket leggings seen being worn by Native Americans in the east in the 18th century. Any help would be appreciated.
Allen G.
 

tenngun

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Looking forward to answers. I don’t know of a painting or drawing that show them. Our artist seemed to have preferred the mountains in the summer. Kurtz shows winter but details are lacking.
Indian made wool legging in the west that we have examples of all are post and long post mountain man period.
I would wager they looked more like eastren style, flat topped and maybe mid thigh or a little higher. Since he says blankets I would suspect white blue or red with black bar. And littte care in bar placement. As two or three men could get leggings from one blanket.
There is a duffle coat from the Great Lakes at this time. Dark blue with matching leggings made from heavy blue blanketing, but it’s a tailor made set, where Russell seems to discribe something made on the fly.
 

Scarface

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Osborne Russell purchased a " wrapper blanket for leggings " in 1835 at Fort Hall. My guess is that a wrapper blanket is a solid color wool blanket of the "trade blanket" variety, but I'm not sure. Does anyone have any insight as to how these blanket leggings may have looked? My own guess is that they weren't like the blanket leggings seen being worn by Native Americans in the east in the 18th century. Any help would be appreciated.
Allen G.
From what I've read they repurposed wool blankets for leggings or used fur on Buffalo hide. I once saw a drawing of two "mountain men" wearing blanket leggings. They were from below the knee to the ankle. They even had the stripe at the top signifying that they were made from old blankets. I wish I could remember where I saw the drawing. I recently made a pair of leggings out of some fur on Buffalo Hide I found a good deal on. I had enough hide that I cut them to go from above the knee to the bottom of my ankles. I was planning on making them from below the knee, but since I had enough I figured to make them longer this way my Frock coat goes down to the leggings for more warmth. I use brain tanned leather lace to tie them on.

Now mind you these "leggings" are different than the leggings you think of Native American's wearing or Long hunters. Those type of leggings were used without wearing trousers like what the Mountain Men were wearing with leggings on the outside for warmth. The Museum of the Fur Trade Encyclopedia on Clothing is a great resource. One interesting thing I read is that original leggings wore by Native Americans were cut just above the knee. It was the Long Hunters that made them longer up on the thigh. The French Canadian fur traders also commonly wore leggings and the majority of the time they and Indians after trading with Europeans wore leggings made out of cloth and not buckskin that is now commonly portrayed.

Then there is what I'll call the myth that Euro-American fur trappers wore breech clout and buckskin leggings that is also portrayed now by some reenactors. I do not believe this to be true as the only evidence I can find is that French Canadians wore breech clout and leggings and they were not made out of buckskin, but cloth.
 

tenngun

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I recall an article written about Kentucky, no I take that back it was in a book written for yours about the frontier, I will try to find out what it was and make the reference.
Anyway,
A reverend was complaining about young men coming to church in Kentucky in ‘Indian dress and bare thighs above their leggings’ and how much it caused ‘consternation’ among the young ladies.
But in days of my youth I did the whole clot and leggings thing until the SPCA asked me to stop scaring the dogs.
But try as I might I could not find a frontier painting or drawing that ever showed white men in them in the west.
A girl of about seven came with her family to a voo as a tourist. I had a tipi and the family wanted the grand tour.
The little girl asked about the wings on the tipi. I showed her how they worked and let her work a pole with dads help to open and close one.
Then she asked why we had smoke flaps on our diapers
I hate kids!
 

tenngun

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The book was one by Edwin Tunis, I don’t recall which one as I read them all in my twenties.
They were great. Not perfect and I had to unlearn a bit he taught but 99% good
 

Cruzatte

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A girl of about seven came with her family to a voo as a tourist. I had a tipi and the family wanted the grand tour.
The little girl asked about the wings on the tipi. I showed her how they worked and let her work a pole with dads help to open and close one.
Then she asked why we had smoke flaps on our diapers
I hate kids!
Tenngun, sometimes you just kill me. :D
 

LongWalker

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There is a photo dating from about 1859. This is of James Carnegie, the 9th Earl of Sussex, modeling clothes he either wore or collected while touring Canada. From the info, it isn't clear if these were Metis or from the First Nations (maybe Cree?). While the online exhibit is no longer online, it was archived. You can read about the trip here Southesk
earl.jpg
 
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