'Do they really keep you dry?' and other frequently asked questions..
Q. But does a cape really keep you dry?
A. Yes. But don't take my word for it - I make them! Here's a customer's answer to someone asking this question on Facebook: 'I discovered they are like having an umbrella on your shoulders iykwim? Hood for dry head, shoulder umbrella cape for dry rest of me! Winner!' (Anna S. - Happy owner of a Double Tier Mark 1 Moss Side)
The rain capes create a pyramid type structure over your body which channels the rain outwards and the rain drips off and away. Compare this to a standard fitted coat which stops at the bottom or legs. Have you ever experienced heavy rain running down your coat onto your legs? That doesn't happen with rain capes. They aren't in contact with legs. Neither capes nor coats have a hope with sideways rain - legs will get wet whichever. And, these are capes - they aren't designed for mountain walking in torrential rain .. you'd probably want to pick something really technical and go with waterproof trousers too. But for my daily dog walk, festivals, just-in-case-it-rains-clip-it-to-your-belt, foraging, travelling etc etc, they work really well, aren't plastic and look lush!
Q. What's the difference between a single and a double tier cape?
A. Technically speaking, about 0.6m of fabric. The double tier cape is basically a single tier, but with a second, shorter layer of waxed cotton attached around the neck hanging to just below the shoulder. This gives a slightly fancier look - a 'tier', 'layer' or 'frill' of fabric. It is unlined to save weight and bulk, but will add a little extra warmth and rain protection, and will add a bit more to the silhouette of the cape. Have a look at the photo at the bottom of this page..
Q. What's the difference between Mark1 and Mark2?
A. In a nutshell, Mark2 capes have hurricane straps and a better overall finish. This does not affect the performance of the capes whatsoever. All changes except for the hurricane straps were aesthetic changes - different types of visible seaming, a different lining to the standard wax capes (cotton instead of polycotton). Mark2 capes were made later by a different manufacturer who enjoyed the process of improvement discussions between myself and Pam Chalmers the pattern developer.
The hurricane straps were developed after the gale force winds weekend of summer 2018 that saw many festivals abandoned - I was a a tiny festival on a coastal cliff top wearing my single tier Mark1 Cardinal Singh which I still wear and love and thought - hm, I think we need something extra for this! So we added matched waxed straps. Want to add your own cotton webbing straps to a Mark1? Message me!
Q. Can I wash my cape in the washing machine?
A. Only if you have one of the washable rain capes - these are the Bright and Pastel collection - Purple Dove, Pink Freud, Rubber Duckie, Coat D'Azur, Cape Noir. These can be washed at 30C with non-biological only. The oils and waxes in the material these capes are made from have been specially developed by British Millerain to be washable.
Standard waxed cotton rain capes may be dry brushed and sponge cleaned with cold or tepid water only. Harsh detergents will strip the waxes.
Q. There are so many poppers - how I'm supposed to do up my cape?
A. We have a YouTube tutorial to help - go to the Care tab on this website to watch it. Any questions, drop us a line!
Q. I'm going to a festival at the weekend - will my cape come in time?
A. It depends where you live, how many days before you order and how reliable and fast Royal Mail decide to be. Drop me a line before you order and I will do my best to get it to you in time. This might mean increasing the postage charge to get next day guaranteed delivery. Please remember I am a one woman operation and sometimes I might be away, but I'll do my best!