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Blackberry Armour

Protection from brambles, not for cell phones
  [vote for,

I've recently had the need to rapidly traverse a very large blackberry patch. Ideally I would do it without actually trampling too many bushes, but even if I were beating a trail, good protection from thorns would be nice.

Denim is definitely not good enough. I've heard that thick leather welder’s gloves are effective protection for your hands when pulling blackberries, but a full body suit of leather that thick would be hot and heavy. Also if you're just trying to push through the bushes, the thorns will snag in the leather, or most any other fabric I can think of, slowing progress and causing more damage to the bushes.

It occurred to me that one could create an effective yet fairly lightweight and breathable scale armour out of plastic. I'm picturing scales cut from old plastic milk cartons (HDPE). It seems to me that while a thorn could be pushed through a thin plastic material like this, unless the wearer smashes a vine between his arm and some other solid object, there won't be enough force, and the thorns would just slide along the surface. Large areas could be made of solid sheets, but it seems like scales would provide much better breathability. The scales would of course have to be anchored so they couldn't flip up, and would need to have no exposed holes where a thorn could snag and poke the wearer. It would need a matching helmet with face shield, and a good way to interface with gloves and boots to prevent the possibility of the sleeves or legs getting pulled back, or small vines getting in.

scad mientist, Jul 17 2012

But for blackberries instead. http://www.bananaguard.com/
[Phrontistery, Jul 17 2012]

thornproof tweed http://thmb.inkfrog...r1uk/G1_052.jpg=600
Sadly thornproof tweed seems no longer made. I found several "vintage" suits advertised in my search. [Voice, Jul 18 2012]


       I've noticed a worrying trend here lately, which is the posting of ideas which are reasonable and practicable. This one falls into that category, so take this bun as a warning.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 17 2012

       When I go blackberry picking I wear wellies and trample loads of bushes to get to the juicy berries at the back of the blackberry thicket. It's OK as trampling old bushes promotes new growth, and blackberry bushes are so vigorous they can take any amount of trampling.
hippo, Jul 17 2012

       I was hoping this was to protect plants growing beside major roads from absorbing all that carbon monoxide.
Phrontistery, Jul 17 2012

       [21Q] You don't 'grow' blackberries - they grow wild in the countryside or on common land in massive thickets. Cultivated blackberries, which you are supposed to grow in your garden, are nowhere near as tasty as proper blackberries.
hippo, Jul 17 2012

       My understanding of Wellies is rubber boots that don't go past the knees. Around here, the thickets are much taller than I am. I completely agree there is generally no reason not to trample them, but the need that inspired this was to evaluate the terrain of some real estate that is entirely covered with blackberries. Trampling a trail would just take longer and make it easier for other prospective buyers to look at the land. The ability to quickly go through blackberry bushes could also be useful for off-trail hiking, geohashing, paintball, etc.
scad mientist, Jul 17 2012

       Next up, the Blackberry Amoire'.
RayfordSteele, Jul 17 2012

       Baked. I have a nice vintage (probably 50s) two piece suit in a subtle 100% wool tweed, nice cut, 3 button coat and braces-cut trousers. The label inside proudly boasts "Thornproof weave" and I have to report that when I wore the suit out blackberrying it really did work. And I looked damn stylish to boot. Now if only I had socks in the same fabric...
pocmloc, Jul 17 2012

       I can say from experience that level A and B Hazmat suits are impervious to blackberry thorns. They are hot but probably not as hot and heavy as the armor in this idea. As a bonus, you are also safe from poison ivy and mosquito bites. The plastic material seems thin but it is made to be very durable for obvious reasons.
DIYMatt, Jul 18 2012

       Chain mail is nice and breathable, if a little bulky.
RayfordSteele, Jul 18 2012

       yes to everything [hippo] has said! (well, in this idea anyway...I don't want to get too carried away!) Boot, wild berries,etc, and something else that I do- I pick the brambles in the autumn; strip the thorns with heavy gloves; boil them down and then make Native American baskets with them!!
xandram, Jul 18 2012

       But Chain mail is not neccesarily thorn proof, depending on the weave.
MechE, Jul 18 2012

       since when does thicket mean swamp?
Voice, Jul 18 2012

       I may have to try this for my father-in-law. He grows roses as a hobby; but at his age, his skin is very fragile and he keeps coming back in the house covered in blood.
lurch, Jul 18 2012


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