Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Forge Clothes


Recommended Posts

I had so many pairs of pants with the thigh areas turning to mesh, that I NOW ALWAYS wear a leather apron when grinding or cutting with my angle grinder.  No more aerated pants!  (I sometimes wear the old ones in hot weather to stay cool, LOL).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lol, the only bad fire I've ever had was caused by the sparks from my side grinder. I don't use it much but was building a bumper for my Willys Pu. I went to the hardware store for, sheesh,,, welding rod. When I got back I saw smoke coming from a corner of my shop and someone waving his hands and pointing madly. I ran to my well and began frantically s pumping my cute lil red handpump,,, got the picture?  :) . Up comes the volunteer fire department. I'm 3 miles out of town, and they save my shop. The only real damage was 10 or so plastic bags of different sizes rivits (hundred count and up) all melted together. 

The fire chief was a local kid who had been to my shop with his school classes and boy scouts as he grew up. 

The real irony is they let a million dollar home go up in flames the week before.

Just goes to show,,, who you demonstrate for is pretty important!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Wearing sneakers, I was gas welding a rear body panel in a Mustang. Moved the torch to hammer the weld, and saw a flash out of the corner of my eye. I had directed the torch at my shoe, and set it ablaze.  With both hands full, (one with hammer, and one with torch) I was forced to stomp it out with my other foot.  That was 1985, I have not worn sneakers since. Ever.   All my clothing is 100% cotton, and boots are leather.  No more plastic clothes for me.

As to welding, and grinding.  I've had hot stuff jump into my shirt, down my pants, in my ear.  Welding overhead while laying on your back, can teach you all kinds of new dance moves. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point in not wearing many synthetic fabrics is not that they are any more flammable than natural fibers but that they will melt and stick to your skin which makes treating a burn much more difficult and much more painful.  Natural fibers just turn to ash when they burn. 

This should be particularly noted by smiths of the female persuasion because it is hard to find female underwear which does not contain nylon.  The only source I know for non-nylon women's undergarments is an outfit called Gohn Brothers in Indiana which caters to the Amish community and carries a line of all cotton women's unmentionables.  Gohn Brothers also carries drop front (no fly, like a sailor's trousers) work pants which wear like iron.

Also, nomex is a synthetic flame resistant material used in flight suits and the like which does not melt but just turns to ash like natural fabrics. 

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Wool, a natural fiber, chars before it will ever burn. It doesn't hardly burn form a spark or ember.

If it does char you will will smell it quickly. That is because the fiber is made from the natural polymer keratin a proteinaceous polymer. Proteins have subunits. They are amino acids. Three of the amino acids have sulfur in their molecules (methionine, cysteine, and cystine), 

They are the main culprits for the stench.

But the smell serves as a quick warning long before serious damage occurs.

The preceding is over long but that is,   just me.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


You are correct. But the majority component are closely and randomly meshed fibrils is keratin. They are really jumbled up , when seen under a microscope. And that random meshing makes leather resistant to knives and arrows.

A side note worth mentioning Kevlar bullet proof protect against relatively blunt bullets but do little against sharp points (e.g. arrow heads)  and sharp knives.

Some benighted folks have tested a bullet proof vest with a knife and a few of them have been seriously wounded and a few killed.  (Darwin award anyone?).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

And that is the difference between natural fibers which are derived from animals, e.g. wool or leather, which are made up of animal derived protein and plant derived natural fibers, e.g. cotton or linen, which are made up of cellulose. That is why burning wool smells nasty, it is burning hair, while burning cotton smells more like some sort of wood smoke, they are both cellulose.

Under certain conditions in archaeological contexts one or the other may be preferentially preserved.

""By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hair, (like wool),  is primarily made up of keratin.

Dust also smells when burnt as it is primarily comprised of dead sloughed off skin cells, which are mostly keratin.

Cellulose,  as you point out, is a polymer made up of sugars. (saccharides, and disacharides), And it burns much faster.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys wanna smell nasty..  Try hot shoeing a horse foot..  

All that burning tissue..   And yes, the chemicals mentioned are what hoof is made from..  

It's interesting how most who love steak cooking love that smell.   But there is something about that same smell.. (joke of sorts) when burning that shoe in and the huge cloud of smoke that goes with it.. 


Leather is my favorite material for any protective gear when working with metals..  blacksmithing, fabrication work or the like..  

Cottons are my favorite for Martial arts clothing and prefer a Duck cloth..    When wet can be used as floation and also as a breathing bag for under water use.. 

I do wear some synthetics while forging without issue but always melt them when using welding type gear or even fabrication type items. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like said.. Joke kinda..   Lots of people like that charred taste and smell..  Remember a few years ago the campain against charring meet as they did a study and it leads to Cancer..   

I am partially a veggy..  I still eat cheese and eggs and fish once in awhile.  But a bean eater for sure. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uh HUH, another vegetarian shot at honest omnivores. plttt.  By what criteria do you determine animals have a greater right to live than plants? 

The carcinogens found in browned meat are found in ALL caramelized foods, like: toast, Post Toasties, caramel candy, baked bread, biscuits, anything that's been browned with heat.

I don't want to hear any complaints if I say you're full of beans. :P

I love beans, they go well in any meat dish. Red beans and rice is a favorite of mine, no need for spice, a little salt is fine, though I don't mind cajun if it isn't too hot. 

Frosty The Lucky. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frosty,  I don't really look at what others do and judge them..   In other words.. Someone eats meat..  That's their choice.. Someone doesn't eat meat that is their choice. 

With that, Energy never dies..  All items are created of energy and the same energy resides in all.  plant, animal,. etc, etc. 

Universal connectedness.   Butterfly effect,  pond and ripple, wave and ocean..  :) 

Years and years ago I used to be very hard core about what I ate from a martial arts standpoint..   No "Sugar" at all.  i would do maple syrup once a week and maybe a tablespoon of honey once a month. 

I did that for years and years..   I used to have a 30" waist and 27" thighs and could do 3 free hanging true 1 arm pull ups from full hang other arm hanging at the side.

I usta be very hard core about everything.  I had to come to understand only perspective based on forgiveness and love is really fitting for who I am.  

It was a joke of sorts on then charred meat..   LOL..  My sense of humor is getting the better of me.. :)   

I'm much more funny in person..  ;) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...