Fevarik: Traditional Clothing
"When I was growing up on Collena, these robes were the only thing I wore. They're soft and comfy, stretchy and clean! Unfortunately the military wouldn't let me take a set with me before this mission started. Aside from my parents, it's about the only other thing I miss from home!"
The Regalti have a civilization that's been mostly in space for nearly four hundred years. Of the hundreds of ethnic groups that have been around since well before the Exodus, nearly all of them maintain some form of national dress or traditional clothing. They'll wear it casually and on special occasions such as holidays, festivals, and celebrations. To the majority of Vusinor and Maorian, this seems nonsensical for so many different groups to somehow coexist. These two species have civilizations thousands of years older and have become so homogenized and mixed together that individual races and ethnic groups don't exist. To the Regalti, their identities and origins, and their various religions are rather important to them and will fight against their individual traditions being taken from them. The traditional clothing of whatever nation or people they come from is no different. This article will specifically cover the robes of the Fevarik Regalti and what they use them for.
At the most basic level, Fevarik clothing consists of a robe, pants, and a vest. They will wear heavier boots or thinner slip-on shoes with the clothing. Sometimes a thinner robe is worn underneath as an undergarment.
Robes can be sleeveless or have long, exaggerated sleeves. The body length of the robe can also be any length and longer versions are sometimes worn without pants. Sometimes shorter versions of the robe are tucked in the pants, or worn over them. Fevarik Robes when worn without a vest are usually tied with a sash running around the waist. The sash is often tied simply at the sides to prevent interference with a Regalti's tails. Around the upper chest area, the robe has a rectangular shaped fastener to prevent the the robe from falling open.
The robe is often the most colorful part of the clothing set, and can be any color or any brightness. Patterns are often printed on the robes but are often simplified lines and shapes. The wide, exaggerated trim of the robe is always a different color from the main body of the clothing. The different colored fabric around the shoulders is a relic of earlier times and existed for flexibility in moving the arms. Today, Fevarik robes are rather loose fitting and normally have stretchy fibers woven in with the fabric, but the slots of fabric remain.
The Fevarik live in a Warm Oceanic type climate but cold winters are common the further inland you go. Because of this, there are winter robes that have an extra panel of the same or thicker cloth sewn on the inside. Regalti will also sometimes wrap long pieces of cloth around the ends of the robe sleeves and wear gloves for even more warmth.
The vest is often rather simple, often being only one solid color for a smooth appearance. It ties together on one side, either through buttons, or with ribbon. There are usually pockets sewn on the front panel near the waist, but sometimes there are also back pockets. Regalti will also sometimes wear symbols or insignia indicating their family or religious affiliation. Usually it's either a single small image near the top of the chest, or a much larger one in the center of the vest just below the neck opening.
The back of the vest and robe has an extended vertical neck opening that extends down the back. This is to accommodate the Regalti's dorsal limbs (usually just called tails). These are extensions/divisions of the spine growing out of the upper back. Alternative designs include a horizontal slit or a hole opening in the clothing near the base of the shoulders. The back of the vest also has the same design.
The pants usually have straight legs, but are also often flared at the ends. Generally they are always a solid color but can also sometimes have patterns like the robe. The Pants are secured by four straps. The front straps are tied around the back first, and the back straps are then tied around the front. The fabric is long enough to leave no gaps on the sides when tied properly. Modern variations of the garment almost always have pockets.
When worn with boots, the pants are often tucked in, but many younger Regalti won't do this. During wet seasons, a long piece of cloth is wrapped around the lower leg from the ankle all the way to the knee. This prevents the pants from getting muddy.
There are relatively little differences in the physical form of this clothing between genders. Some Regalti cultures with androgynous clothing will use color to differentiate between genders, but other cultures like the Fevarik don't follow those rules. You don't need gender specific clothing to tell Regalti apart, as it isn't difficult to tell the difference between a male and female Regalti by looking at their faces, though being able to see UV light makes it easier to tell the difference.
Colors and Patterns
As for colors and patterns, there can be just about any combination of solid colors and patterns. Rarely, full color images are embroidered all over the robes and vest. Younger and unmarried Regalti tend to wear brighter colors and the colors get dimmer and more subdued with age. Dark colors are worn on days of mourning. Solid colors tend to be worn on religious holidays, and just about anything is worn on festival days.
The Fevarik word for cotton is Araiki and is superficially similar to cotton plants on Earth. Cotton on Collena comes from the puffy shells formed around seed pods of various species of Sphere Trees. Unlike Earth's small, fluffy cotton balls, the cotton balls of sphere trees can be much larger than your head. Only specific species of Sphere tree are used, and have been bred over the generations to increase cotton yields. Various methods exist for extracting the seeds and processing the fibers, but usually it is done by machine. Around half of all Fevarik Robes are made from cotton and the vest is almost always made from this material.
There are many species of arthropods on Collena that form protective cocoons and nests made of silk, and the Regalti have exploited dozens of these species over the millennia to harvest silk for making clothing with. The most common species that Fevarik silk comes from are Thiaika. On Collena's moon Sephar, silk is more often harvested from Tolariash.
For the vast majority of Regalti that live in space, access to natural materials like cotton and silk is expensive. Growing plants and animals just for clothing is time consuming and expensive when done in space. This leaves only the surface worlds as the only viable option, but there simply isn't enough grown to go around. Most farmland on the planet surfaces are dedicated to food, not clothing.
The Solution to such a problem is rather simple. The Regalti already use Algae Bioreactor that provide most oxygen to their space colonies. Excess Algae is also harvested and turned into food. The Regalti just harvest excess cellulose from the algae biomass, which is then refined into various materials.
Rayon is one such material. Depending on how it's made, it can mimic the properties of cotton, silk, and many other different fabrics. Due to how cheap it is to produce, and the widespread availability of raw materials, Rayon is the most common fabric in space.
Polyester is a common synthetic fiber, and can be manufactured in very large amounts from raw materials found on the moon Ikon. Other materials include wool and leather from Hysovi