What do you think of when you imagine an adventurer? Big, tough armor? Clanging metal? This is a common misperception, for over half of Vana'dielian adventurers equip no such armor!
Mages and those who use Far Eastern fighting methods wear lighter equipment, and many prefer cloth goods. Even those who wear armor in battle often prefer to change into something more fashionable when going out on the town. How does a veteran clothcrafter cope with such high demand?
To find out, I scheduled an interview with a clothcrafter named U.
- --Hello! Thanks for finding the time for this interview. So, the first thing everyone wants to know is, what is your current skill level in clothcraft?
"94. Ingredients for recipes at this level are difficult to obtain, so I fear that it will be a long time before I reach 100. I am also a journeyman in all of the other crafts, with a skill level of 55 to 60 in each. Not many clothcraft recipes require a sub skill, but I decided to raise them all anyway."
- --Why did you choose clothcrafting?
"I began my life in Vana'diel as a monk, and I wanted to make my own equipment. Also, I thought that clothcraft sounded fairly simple, as most recipes make use of earth crystals, which are fairly easy to obtain. There are some recipes starting out that require wind and lightning crystals, too, but for the most part, crystals used in clothcraft are not very difficult to acquire."
- --So you are a talented craftsman, but how is adventuring going?
"I'm a ninja, level 75. I was a monk until level 60, but when I started "Rise of the Zilart," I fell in love with the way of the ninja. I am also a level 72 bard and a level 70 white mage. I make most of my own equipment for adventuring."
- --It looks like you've tried several jobs, then. Do you think it's hard to be a clothcrafter if your level is still low, though?
"No, I do not. When I first began synthesis, ingredients were cheaper at the guild and the auction houses. Lately, they are becoming more expensive, so it may be best to obtain ingredients by yourself on the battlefield. When your level is high enough that you can move through Giddeus without being attacked, harvesting becomes rather useful, as well."
- --What kind of ingredients do you harvest?
"Moko Grass, Linen, Saruta cotton, and red moko grass, among others. I also get marjoram and mugwort, but they are not used in any clothcraft recipes. I sell anything I cannot use to the auction house and use the profit to fund clothcraft. Sickles are not easily broken, so it is easy to accumulate a wealth of items to synthesize or sell."
- --How do you obtain ingredients that you can't get by harvesting?
"For the most part, I just fight monsters and get ingredients from them for free. I use a lot of silk thread, so I always kill crawlers on sight. I have also managed to convince the members of my linkshell to sell me ingredients that they pick up for a low price. I used to use giant bird feathers to make fletchings, but lately feathers are difficult to find. That is where my friends come in."
- --What do you sell for profit?
"Recently I have been trying my hand at ENMs with my friends, gathering valuable ingredients such as galateia and kejusu satin. I use the materials for synthesis, and then sell the products and divide the profit among those who helped me defeat the ENM. Doing so also helps me raise my clothcraft skill, although in truth I have failed before and lost the ingredients we worked so hard to get.
"Occasionally, I also try to make HQ sets of field, seer, and trader's gear."
- --Have you used more gil raising your skill, or have you made more gil through the products you create?
"Well, I think I have made more gil than I have used, but I honestly think I have made more money through my other crafts. Clothcraft mainly creates durable goods, and adventurers often sell their cloth goods after moving on to a new set, so the products are rather common. There is not really a particular item that constantly sells at a good price, so I have found that it is best to look at the prices at auction before creating anything."
- --Is there anything in particular that you would like to make?
"That would have to be men's formal wear. Women already have opaline dresses, so I would like to be able to make something nice for men to wear at wedding ceremonies."
- --What is the most memorable item that you have created?
"That is a rather difficult question. Well, I suppose it would have to be the vermillion cloak that I made for my friend. It even has my name on it."
- --I'm afraid it's time for closing remarks, now.
"My wish is for adventurers to consider not only the strength of equipment when making a purchase, but also aesthetic quality. Also, it is a wonderful feeling to wear clothing you have made yourself, so please try it out, even if all you can make are simple things for the time being!"
- --Thank you very much for your time.
Naturally, U wore equipment that he had made himself. His manner was very composed, imparting the atmosphere of a gentleman talking of a hobby, rather than a way of making money. If U was any indication, clothcrafters are exceptionally warm people, just like the clothing they make.