Batemy has come to discuss something with me.
“I want to make warm clothes,” she says.
Batemy, our farm’s tailor, used to be a soldier in the Demon King’s Army. Born to a family of tailors, she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and dreamed of carrying the family business. Eventually, she found herself settling here since our needs align.
But now she wants to try something new.
She adds, “Winter is just around the corner… so I want to make appropriate clothes for the upcoming season!”
…Wow, it’s that time of the year again, huh?
I’ve already experienced two winters here as an otherworlder.
Our first winter was so unexpected we couldn’t prepare in time, but we turned things around during the second.
During that time, Batemy, as the only person who could make clothes, was vigorously active.
She quickly put together warm cotton futons and tailored warm fur coats for all of us.
“…You’re right. But don’t we have fur coats already?”
So, making warm clothes is not a new endeavor.
Our farm has gotten more residents again, so we need her to shake things up again and mass-produce clothes…
“That’s not it,” replies Batemy. “Fur is alright, but I want to make something else, something warmer.”
According to Batemy, fur is the main material for winter clothing.
Since most animals have fur to endure the cold, it would make sense that it’d also warm us up if we wrap ourselves in it.
“But there’s no room for creativity in that!”
Yet another fussy comment from our designer.
What do you mean?
“Fur is already a finished design, so there is little room for originality on the maker’s part. Besides, it’s so bulky that it can only be made into an overcoat…”
“Oh, you have a point. It’s hard to imagine wearing it as loungewear.”
Even though our houses are furnished with a heater, we still wear clothes made of silk or cotton, just like in the summer. And since it’s cold, we wear a futon around us.
We would even wear fur coats indoors sometimes.
“I guess we should level up in that respect…”
“That’s why this winter, I, as a designer, would like to make beautiful and cool clothes to solve this problem!”
‘As a designer’?
Batemy represents a popular fashion brand in the Demon Kingdom’s capital.
And she’s growing more aware of this.
“So, I was wondering if you could grace me with your wisdom, Lord Saint…”
“You think I’m some kind of box that just magically gives brilliant ideas or something…?!”
“Is there anything at all, Lord Saint? A fabric that’s not as ostentatious as fur, but as compact as cotton or silk, and retains heat better than either…”
It’s even called wool and is a staple for winter wear. If you make a sweater or a belly band out of it, it will keep you pretty warm.
“Yarn? What’s that?”
You don’t know what yarn is?!
“Don’t you have it here? You spin sheep’s wool to make yarn and the like…?”
Calm down, me. Don’t judge this world.
Some things that are common knowledge to my people may not make much sense here.
But there’s at least one thing I thought should exist here as well—sheep.
Since this world has therianthropes, there must be sheep.
But maybe there aren’t?
That’d mean there’s no wool, sweaters, mufflers, bellybands, or woolen pants.
I can see why Batemy, an expert in clothing, has faced a dead end in making winter clothes.
“Are there no sheep in this world?”
Which is it?
You have sheep, but don’t use their wool?
What does that mean?!
“Um… I don’t see how sheep are related to making clothes…”
“Well, sheep are livestock raised for their wool.”
They may also be raised for other purposes, such as meat.
I hear jingisukan is pretty good.
“I don’t think we’re on the same page, Lord Saint… Isn’t that usually the purpose of raising sheep?”
Something unexpected came from an unexpected place.
It took me a long time to understand because I’ve only ever seen it in movies.
I heard that long ago, especially in Europe, they used sheepskin to make paper.
In the same way, it’s common practice in this world to make paper from animal skins.
Maybe the Demon Kingdom’s sheep farms make paper from their skin.
“What do they use for paper in the Mermaid Kingdom, by the way?”
“Kelp,” briefly answers Platy as she walks past.
I guess it depends on the culture of each place and how they use natural things.
What is prized as a treasure for others may well be garbage to some. It happens a lot.
But it’s easy once you get the gist of things.
All we have to do is get some wool from a sheep farm.
I’m sure here, people only pay attention to their skin and not the wool.
I can see a future in which I can buy wool for dirt cheap.
Maybe even for free!
“Um… I really don’t understand what you’re trying to get at, Lord Saint…” says Batemy, looking at me pitifully.
“Huh? Why? This is wool we’re talking about. Wool! If you make yarn with it and knit it, you’ll have a great winter clothing production system!”
“Yes, but I don’t know what wool is.”
So, there has been a discrepancy in our conversation.
“I mean, sheep doesn’t have this ‘wool.’”
To see things for myself, we left the farm and went to visit a sheep farm in the Demon Kingdom.
The Demon King’s Army directly manages the farm and buys up all the sheepskin produced.
“Paper is essential for political affairs, after all,” says Batemy, who accompanied me as my guide.
On the other hand, this is the first time I’ve seen a ranch here.
Then again, I’ve never been to one in my world, either.
Nonetheless, I can understand this ranch’s peculiarity.
This place specializes in raising sheep for parchment, with sheep freely grazing the pastures.
But those sheep in question…
They have no wool at all!
They look as fleshy as a newborn baby!
“But of course. If they had fur, it’d get in the way of writing and couldn’t be processed into paper. Their lack of it is what makes their hide good material for paper, don’t you agree?” says Batemy as if she’s talking to a child.
By seeing it in person, I was able to find out what the discrepancy in our conversation was: otherworldly sheep do not grow wool to make it easier to produce parchment.
My switch to the textile industry won’t be realized if the situation is like this!