This is the Academy of the IKV Melota.
This is where you will find useful information on HOW TO to many of the things that we assume are regular processes for our ship.
The document is my opinion. It is the opinion of one Warrior and not representative of any ship or fleet affiliation that I have. I am also not qualified to sew or do leatherwork. I have to ask my parmachai to do this work for me. So with the disclaimers out of the way, here are my opinions:
These are thoughts for new Warriors that do not yet have uniforms made. Well, they are also good thoughts for Warriors that are retiring a uniform in favor of a new one.
First off, I don't like vinyl. Vinyl does not breath, and it gets very hot in the summer. It looks like vinyl with all aura of the Yugo interior that vinyl exudes. It rips and tears like vinyl. Vinyl uniforms are a high maintenance uniform. I hear my fellow Warriors complain about damage to their uniforms and the repair time spent keeping their uniforms presentable.
Second, leather is hot in the summer, and darned expensive to purchase. However, leather is leather. It creaks like leather. It looks like leather. It smells like leather. And it breathes! It is also strong like leather which makes a very tough, hard wearing uniform. I am the only Warrior in the DFW area with a leather uniform. I'm not talking about pants and blouse. Just the actual upper torso armor and bishops mantle. I don't worry about damage to my uniform. I wear it while fighting as armor since my uniform was designed to be functional as armor. My upkeep and repair is negligible since it does not take injury that easily.
The survivability and good looks of the leather has inspired more DFW Warriors to replace parts of their vinyl uniforms with leather. Little by little, many uniforms are being upgraded to a more survivable and better looking material. These uniforms simply look better because the leather looks good.
We are lucky enough to have a leather wholesaler in the DFW metroplex. Our ship's members co-funded a bulk membership to our local leather wholesaler so that we can buy in bulk and buy at less than retail. This is worth considering.
In my case (and the cases of the new uniforms of a lot of Warriors), my armor was designed from the word "go" to not only look klingonese, but to be functional in Batleth combat. The leather brigandine absorbs kinetic energy from the blows. It also spreads the impact over a larger area making each blow more survivable. It looks good on film. It looks good in pictures. And it truly makes the Batleth competition more fun by reducing the discomfort and risk of injury.
My uniform can be seen on my website www.janissaries.net .
The cost of my brigandine and bishop's mantel was $150 in leather. There of course is more cost once bracers, gloves, etc are added. So you can tell that there is some definite up front cost here. The kinetic displacement is worth the money. But the lack of constant maintenance is very worth the money.
One minor aside about my personal uniform relative to the other new leather uniforms under construction. Mine does not look perfectly klingon. But given all of the uniform variations seen in the movies and TV shows, it is merely another variant. This imperial outfit will stop a .38, .380, or 9mm hardball as well as real knives. It was originally designed as an interim measure when my ballistic vest was stolen and before I could replace that thousand dollar object. This brigandine based uniform was designed to be my combat armor / klingon uniform, go with my kilt as scottish armor, and finally be my temporary Threat Level IIa ballistic vest. I am definitely not recommending that everybody create a brigandine as the cost of the metal washers equaled that of the leather. Each bolt is holding a washer behind it. This ran the weight up to 25 pounds. The total cost was $300 with 50/50 being leather and metal.
I have found that the additional 25 pounds of overlapping metal really helps this bantam in the ring when facing walking planetary monitors. But just a serious buffalo hide bodice would be a step in the right direction.
Now that I have harped on leather, I am going to throw a new twist. I have to mention the uniform of a fellow DFW warrior. He built a uniform of all gray and metallic cloth. It looks good. I mean it really looks GOOD. It is the coolest (thermal reference) military uniform in the DFW area. In the Texas summer, that makes a real difference. But the real wow is that being all cloth, he pitches the whole thing into the washing machine after each event. Having performed an excellent quality job of sewing, his imperial uniform is cool, low maintenance, and machine washable.
I have to admit, that though I prefer the leather look, doing a cloth outfit right has its benefits.
For an interesting approach to a non-military cloth uniform for Warrior women that are not as top heavy as they wish they were, look at the tunic of my parmachai.
We designed her tunic to look military, but then not. It looks formal, but then not. It is ankle length though the image does not show that. It also does not try to show off cleavage. For some women Warriors, this is a good thing. This design may be what some women are looking for. Look the part, without the lOOk of the Duras sisters.
Thus spake I for what little my opinion is worth.
Lt. Cdr Salek sutai
Ship's Brewer IKV Melota
Ship's Commo Officer