Lilith (lilith_queen) wrote in little_details,

Plant-based fabric and food sources in temperate swamps?

Setting: small, isolated village of hunter-gatherers situated near a large lake in a shallow, temperate freshwater swamp, which in turn is surrounded by (believed to be monster-infested) forest.

Time period: medieval-ish; it's a standard fantasy setting.

My problems: I can't figure out what their clothes would be made of, other than leather. They don't keep animals, except for chickens, so wool is right out. While I know what their jewelry looks like and what they would wear--kilts and loincloths--I cannot for the life of me figure out what fabric it would be made of.  I was thinking hemp fabric, because the stuff grows everywhere, but I'm not sure how suitable it would be for clothing or how well it would hold dye. Flax and cotton also crossed my mind, but from what I've read they seem to be more labor-intensive than I'd like.

I am also not sure what edible plants grow in swamps. Wikipedia and Google turned up some things, but I'd really like to find more: would some things be more likely to find than others? Would certain plants only grow under specific conditions? The plants I found so far that grow in muddy or swampy soil are: water spinach, wasabi, watercress, lotus, purslane, water pepper, bullrushes, cattails, quince, wild rice, water chestnut, water lettuce, figs, lemongrass and sassafras.

Search terms on Google, Wikipedia: hemp, hemp cloth, suitability of hemp as fabric, swamp plants, edible swamp plants, edible aquatic plants

It's fantasy, so I can fudge a few things here and there, but I'd really prefer not to pull too many things out of my ass.
Tags: ~clothing, ~food and drink (misc), ~plants

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