I need you guys to help me out here. I'm developing clothing ideas and I need to understand what animals and plants may be used to create such clothes.

Part of a story that I'm creating is a water country and most of the land is moist, wetlands, ponds, willow trees, victoria amazonica, crocodiles, turtles, beavers, possums and so on.

I need some names of species of AMPHIBIAN creatures or plants that can be used for making clothes from this kind of environment.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding.SE! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Interesting question. Are the clothes supposed to be used by humans or at least humanoid creatures? Have fun on the site! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Aug 8 '17 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ Also consider that if your people are human, water-related illnesses and things such as trench foot are big issues when exposed to water for long periods of time. You may want to consider some sort of waterproof footwear and legwear for wading through wetlands and the likes. $\endgroup$ – Aric Aug 8 '17 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ You tell too little about your world: what is the technological level? what kind of dwellers ("normal" humans or tritons mermaids, elves, ...)? What kind of life they do (fishermen, warriors, city builders, ...) $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Aug 8 '17 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, kristiyan. Please note that questions asking for list answers are strongly discouraged on the site, due to lacking an objective means by which to determine which list is "best." Additionally, what has your research already discovered for people who live in these environments in the real world? If you haven't already, i would suggest taking the tour to get a better understanding of the site. As is, this question may be put on hold until an edit is made to help define objective criteria for answers. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 8 '17 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ I understand and I didn't mean to start a long list. I apologize. $\endgroup$ – kristiyan lalev Aug 8 '17 at 13:48

To make clothes you need fibers.

Posidonia oceanica is well known for the fibrous balls it leaves on the mediterranean shores.

enter image description here

If those fibers can resist decomposition from sea water, they are good candidate for making durable water clothes.

Another well known source of fibers are fishing nets and fishing lines used by homo sapiens sapiens, made of durable nylon which can be used to weave clothes.

  • $\begingroup$ This is some helpful info! I will take it into consideration. Come to think of it Durable nylon combined with some with some floral decor would suit the world well however i need some general understanding on how nylon would be created. I tried to understand on wiki but all i understood was something about melting some materials and recreating them into nylon. $\endgroup$ – kristiyan lalev Aug 8 '17 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @kristiyanlalev You won't be able to make nylon unless you have modern levels of technology. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Aug 8 '17 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ Well thats not going to happen then. $\endgroup$ – kristiyan lalev Aug 8 '17 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ @kristiyanlalev, depending on your story setting, your water people can reuse (or steal) fishermen's nets and use them as source for nylon. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 8 '17 at 12:18

You can make leather from amphibian hides. Here is a hat made from cane toad leather. enter image description here

I was disappointed that my search did not turn up anyone wearing tight pants made of cane toad leather. If someone there can find such an image please edit this answer to add it!

Cane toads are little. But amphibians can get big. Giant salamanders still exist. That one is a sweet shade of pink, which would make some excellent tight pants.

enter image description here enter image description here

Salamanders this big live like crocodiles: ambush predators. They have awesome faces. One was found recently thought to be over 200 years old.

My answer: make your stuff out of salamander skin.

  • $\begingroup$ Thats a pretty interesting find! I do like the salamander themed clothes idea. $\endgroup$ – kristiyan lalev Aug 8 '17 at 15:24

There have been other questions that have touched on the leather thing, like this one. Pretty much, the biggest problem for an aquatic nation is that you actually need land and drying time in order to make leather. You don't have the hurtle, you are just using the land/water as a resource.

Amphibian is a weird word, because it can have different definitions depending on who you ask. Scientifically, we're talking frogs, newts, salamanders, that kind of thing. Historically, according to the Greeks, things that lived in and out of the water, like, say otters and your crocodiles.

While the Chinese giant salamander is large enough to make leather from on a larger scale, I can't find any evidence that anyone ever actually has. There's a Salamander Bonded Leather Company, but that seems to only be the name, and so salamanders aren't actually involved. However, don't let that stop you from doing so in your fictional world. The environment they live in sounds more like mountain streams than it does swampland, so it may not fit what you are doing.

However, when it comes to toads and frogs, there actually are places selling that.

The main problem is size, because you'd have to piece together small frog "pelts" to even make an outfit.

The answer to that is either giant frogs, which I fully endorse, or a type of bonded leather, where leather is:

made by shredding leather scraps and leather fiber, then mixing it with bonding materials. The mixture is next extruded onto a fiber cloth, or paper backing, and the surface is usually embossed with a leather-like texture or grain. Color and patterning, if any, are a surface treatment that does not penetrate like a dyeing process would. The natural leather fiber content of bonded leather varies. The manufacturing process is somewhat similar to the production of paper. SOURCE

Or you can just have them sew it all together.

AS far as thread and fabric is concerned, since you are building a world, and although this isn't what you asked for (since it is more sea life, though it could show up in a swamp estuary), there's byssal threads from mussels.

Now, looking at plants, the thing is that tech level is very important as far as answering this. Today's list of plants that can be made into fabrics is extensive, and many were unthinkable just 20 years ago. Reeds, straw, and bamboo can be made into fabrics. Really, most are just converted into rayon.

Give me a tech level, and I can start to answer as far as plants are concerned. With the right manufacturing, lots of stuff can be used that way. But if it's low tech, then you have a problem.

There's good news though. If you aren't married to it being a plant that grows IN the water, flax may be surprisingly your best bet.

Flax is often found growing just above the waterline in cranberry bogs. Heavy clays are unsuitable, as are soils of a gravelly or dry sandy nature. Farming flax requires few fertilizers or pesticides. Within eight weeks of sowing, the plant can reach 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in) in height and grows several centimeters per day under its optimal growth conditions, reaching 70–80 cm (28–31 in) within 50 days.


  • $\begingroup$ Right, this is a pretty good statement. I'm really confused because this is absolutely my first attempt at creating a world and what im creating world for will be a shounen Manga comic. I can't say for sure the level of technology however the environment is based on a "water dragon's" emanating aura which affects the environment around him and amplifies anything related to water or moist. Over time humans adapt to that aura and learn to channel their inner energy called Chi by practicing a martial art called tai-fu. With that they can manipulate water depending on how skilled they are. $\endgroup$ – kristiyan lalev Aug 8 '17 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @kristiyanlalev When building a world and then asking a manufacturing question, tech level is absolutely key. Are there cars? Steam engines? Do they have the concept of an assembly line? Does the magic replace tech as far as industry is concerned? Tech level is important because Medieval times vs. the Industrial Age or even the Age of Exploration, all have different capabilities. You can always say through to today, because you intend on hand waving the rest with magic. Folks just need a little more from ya to answer more narrowly. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Aug 8 '17 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ /giant frogs, which I fully endorse/ ! $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 8 '17 at 19:44

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