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source for custom outdoor clothing/gear?

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  • source for custom outdoor clothing/gear?

    I have a pair of Scarpa gaiters designed specifically for go-fast use. they are made from the stretchy material "that shall not be named" in this forum. Prob is that they are in poor condition and very hard to repair. I want to use this base design to design something better, but I need a craftsman to make the design. any ideas on a company or person that I could work with?

    I'd like to imagine that there is demand for this product, but Scarpa and Crazy Idea both discontinued the product for some reason..

  • #2
    REI in Berkeley had an adjacent/across the street business selling yard goods and hardware. They did sewing repairs and custom work. Nothing good lasts forever so no idea if still there.
    nee, Whiteout


    • #3
      two ideas.

      both water based apparel companies that do their own sewing in hood river

      immersion research. not sure if they do anything out of the material you want. I have asked them about doing custom 3/4 length version of their long underway bottoms, and they said they could probably do that.

      promotion wetsuits. they do all types of neoprene, a rubber face fleece material, and do rash guards from at least light stretchy stuff. promotion has been made me a custom version of their wind top 3 times now. its been the same pattern with material substitutions, but they have been happy to do it, and only charge me 10 bucks over retail for them. love promotion products. I have a bunch.

      not sure if either would be willing to do an entirely new pattern?



      • #4
        We have a whitewater gear sewing outfit here that I've used occasionally for custom projects (mostly work-related), but with the pandemic-related outdoor-recreation boom, they stopped taking custom orders to focus on fulfilling orders to retailers. I've heard of other sewing outfits with the similar "problem" of too much business.

        There's a smaller one here that focuses on SUP bags, and the proprietor is a tele skier, but his website is currently down. I'll chat him up next time I see him on the mountain.

        A guy on my hockey team -- also a tele skier -- repairs tents and the like at one of the outdoor stores. I'll chat him up too.

        One thing I've learned talking to small sewing/gear factories: They often don't like making or altering clothes. It's like it's a dirty word or something. So for something like gaiters that straddle the line between gear and clothing, definitely pitch it as a piece of gear.


        • #5
          Your best bet is to find someone local, because being able to stand over their shoulder and say "No -- not like that, like *this*" makes all the difference.


          • #6
            Another data point -- I had a very heavy duty motorcycle suit customized by a local seamstress. I searched local businesses and found one that had been around for a long time. It required stronger needles and thread than normal, but after quizzing the seamstress and being satisfied that she knew what she was doing, the results were great. +1 to Mike's point that being able to go over the article with them in person is important for getting the right result. I suspect any old-school seamstress will know what thread and stitching to use for lycra, since stretchy fabrics are not uncommon in women's clothing.


            • #7
              USU has a degree program in outdoor product design.

              A place closer to you might have something similar. Students are always looking for projects.


              • #8
                there should be a "maker" website like Fiverr. you just describe Maker jobs and people bid. hell, for all I know there is a website exactly like , prob called "Makerr" . hmm, maybe I should look.

                lol, so a couple of quick Googles later, turns out that Fiverr has an entire genre of "clothing design and mfgr". sounds fine if you want a baseball jersey, but sounds like a dumpster fire for "skimo gaiters"....whats a skimandowaiter? Eskimo Taiters? Shimanopapers? no thanks.
                Last edited by bauerb; 11 January 2023, 05:23 PM.


                • #9
                  a couple of maybes

                  Specializing in sewing repairs of outdoor equipment including apparel, backpacks, tents, and more. Authorized repair center for Tubbs & Atlas snowshoes.

                  Buy a sewing machine and make them yourself! Not that hard, really. I have made stretch gaiters for my trail runners, and non-stretch gaiterish tops for some modified Garmont excursions that I took the cuffs off of. Just takes time to get the shape right.


                  • #10
                    If the old ones you have could be used as a starting point for the new design, that will make things easier and much more likely that you can get somebody to do it. Otherwise, for them to design and make without having your boots in hand is probably a non-starter.


                    • #11
                      I own a sewing machine. its a little pink and white number designed for ages 7 and older. works great( but no reverse ). I agree about using the old gaiters as a pattern. the shape is good, but the durability is bad.


                      • #12
                        Andy Tuller at Outa Ware in Bozeman MT



                        • #13
                          On another note.

                          If you guys are looking for a new ski pack check this out. Way lighter than my Osprey pack and made in US. Gavin is up in Jackson and great customer service. I’ve had one of his packs for several years and no signs of wear, and reasonable pricing.


                          • #14
                            Fabric wise, I've had good luck with Spandura - it's made with the same yarns as Cordura, but stretchy. Also referred to as Durastretch in some places.

                            Also - havent' used this, but it is much heaveier than the Durastretch, supposedly used for football pants:

                            Football Pant Cordura Nylon Lycra - Navy - 54 inch - More durable than Heavy Nylon Lycra. 4-way stretch abrasion resistant and breathable.


                            • #15
                              CrazyMtnSkier I just emailed the guy in Bozeman. thanks !