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Water-Laden Loden

March 23, 1997

Your article "Heidi-Wear Chronicles" (March 9) repeats the myth that loden cloth is waterproof. It is not, and anyone who wears it in more than a mild sprinkle will find themselves 10 pounds heavier and spend a lot of time drying their coat out--and it may lose its tailored shape.

We purchased loden in Salzburg, Austria, and were soon caught in a downpour in Innsbruck. We found that it soaked up rain quite well and soon soaked the wearer. Later, after a good spraying with Scotchgard, the coats became more or less rain resistant.

The term "waterproof" should be restricted to real foul-weather gear.

JOSEPH S. RYCHETNIK

Palm Springs

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