In the massively popular space-settlement sim, RimWorld, your colonists have many of the same needs that real humans would have on a hostile and wild planet, such as adequate clothing. Especially when the environment is so unforgiving and prone to destroying even what you wear.
Clothing will gradually wear away in RimWorld, so you’ll need to replace it often. We’ll help you choose what fabric and material to use, and what clothes to make them into to keep your settlement running smoothly.
Let’s get started!
While at first, it seems there are only truly two categories of fabric you can put to use at the sewing table, there are really four if you break them down by their method of production. These categories consists of the following:
- Grown fabrics like cotton or devilstrand.
- Trade fabrics like hyperweave that can typically only be acquired via trading or looting ancient structures
- Wool that can be sheared from tamed animals.
- Leathers that are acquired by butchering animals that have been killed by hunters or ranchers.
Every kind of fabric in the game has various qualities that affect the products you can create with them. Some fabrics are better than others at protecting your colonists from hot and cold temperatures. Meanwhile, others are capable of blocking more damage than others if your unarmored colonists accidentally find themselves in a firefight.
Lastly, there is a wide range of “beauty” stats among fabrics. Some like guinea pig fur making luxurious, valuable clothing or furniture. Higher beauty will make the entire environment around a piece of furniture more appealing, while beautiful clothing will be more comfortable for a settler.
Categorize Your Clothes
You should set up different clothing categories for the different kinds of colonists in your RimWorld settlement. At least have one for those you intend to draft and send into battle, and a separate category for workers that won’t be doing any fighting.
You should also use these menus to only allow colonists to wear gear that is between 61%-100% durability. They’ll complain about having worn-out clothing once it dips below 50% durability, but any gear below 60% durability will suffer a massive drop in its sale price. “Recycling” your high-quality used clothing by taking them to a trader to sell is a winning strategy for any RimWorld settlement with decent tailors around.
Crafting & Obtaining Clothing
You make most clothing at a tailoring bench. It’s worthwhile to go ahead and build an electric tailoring bench early on, even if you don’t have enough power to keep it turned on. This is because, unlike other electrically powered workstations in RimWorld that would be completely unusable, you simply take a work speed penalty for running a tailoring station without electricity.
You can also buy some clothing. If you own the Royalty DLC, you can only acquire powerful Eltex clothing from trades, quest rewards, or looting from ancient structures.
At the start of the game, you’ll be capable of growing cotton which can be harvested to give you cloth. Cloth, while usable in most tailoring work bills, isn’t very good as a clothing material compared to almost anything else you can acquire in RimWorld.
However, it’s necessary for plenty of other utilities like carpets, pool tables, and industrial medicine. As a fabric, cloth is unique in this aspect and should be excluded from use in tailoring bills. Instead, you should stockpile cloth for its numerous uses later in the game.
After some time spent at the research table, you’ll unlock the ability to grow one of the best fabrics in the game. This is a mushroom called Devilstrand, and as the in-game tooltip says, it creates a very dense piece of clothing that renders your colonists almost completely immune to damage from fire.
This is important since when colonists take burning damage there’s always a chance they’ll panic and try to run to nearby sources of water, risking fire spreading through your entire settlement. There are no other fabrics that even come close to the fire resistance properties of Devilstrand.
Clothing and furniture made from Devilstrand are also among the most comfortable and beautiful of all the fabrics in RimWorld. It ranks among the top three fabrics in every category, except for insulation against cold temperatures – its only real shortcoming. Devilstrand clothing even pairs well with armor to provide some of the best and easily available protection in the game.
Tips for Growing Devilstrand
However, Devilstrand is hard to grow. It takes about 45 days, and can only be planted in soil by a colonist possessing 10 or more skills in plants. You should try to grow it in rich soil. With a 45-day grow time, if you experience any winter at all on your map, you’ll likely only get one devilstrand harvest per year.
One way around this problem is to create an indoor grow room for your Devilstrand. Simply keep a sun lamp running every day to keep the mushrooms growing. On the flip side, growing a huge patch of Devilstrand can be easy on a hot map. It only fails to grow when temperatures reach 132F. All this difficulty will be worth it to keep your colonists properly protected.
Guide to Wool
Harvesting wool for clothing can be an effective way to keep your non-combat colonists warm and comfortable through winter in RimWorld. The clothes you make from wool also tend to be valuable, and wool is produced renewably. But, if you’re picking which animals you want to start raising for wool, some creatures definitely produce better wool than others.
Sheep wool and bison wool are almost identical in statistics, and of the five types of wool are definitely the bottom of the pack. Muffalo wool is slightly superior, giving a little bit more protection against low temperatures than the others. Alpaca wool is second best in its statistics, except that it is significantly more valuable than all other kinds of wool. If you’re running a wool ranch and mill for profit, alpacas are your best pick.
However, the best wool in RimWorld stat-wise comes from the lumbering Megasloth. Their wool takes longer to grow than any other woolen animal, and they eat more as well. However, they do produce slightly more wool per day than any other animal. The defense stats on their wool are more than double their other wool counterparts, and they can handle lower temperatures as well.
Megasloths also don’t need to be kept in a pen, since they’re smart enough to be told what zone to stay in. They make excellent companion animals and can absorb a lot of damage. You’ll need a lot of animal skill to take care of a Megasloth, which makes them a great late-game pet.
Leather Pants Forever
If you check out any forums talking about RimWorld, you’ll likely come across a popular joke about turning any particularly unfriendly raiders into hats. This is because you can, in fact, butcher raiders for human leather and turn that leather into cowboy hats.
Of course, dead humans aren’t the only source of leather in the game, but they are the most disturbing. Unless you have the Ideology expansion and have chosen to run a cannibal cult, or your colonists all have a morbid personality trait like psychopath or cannibalism, acquiring human leather is a lot more trouble than its worth. Especially since it’s not very good for protection from attacks or the weather. It’s mostly just good for freaking people out.
You’ll likely stockpile a large amount of lightleather and plainleather as your hunters start to take down the game in your local area. Whether it’s from deer, caribou, or just the rats that will try to sneak into your fields. Lightleather, pigskin, birdskin, and patch leather should likely only be turned into clothing that you intend to sell or replace as soon as possible. They’re at the bottom of any conceivable metric for leather clothing.
Plainleather is acceptable, but you’ll want to upgrade to something thicker for your combat-involved colonists or anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors in extreme temperatures. Non-combat colonists might really enjoy wearing guinea pig fur or chinchilla fur. Both of these are near the top of the charts for beautiful furniture or comfortable clothing. Plus, they provide a lot of environmental protection.
Among the strongest materials in the leather category are wolfskin, bearskin, and heavy fur. All of these provide excellent defense against sharp attacks, which are the deadliest kind of strikes your colonists might encounter. They also all provide strong protection against the cold. However, all of these materials pale in comparison to the power of Thrumbofur.
You can only acquire Thrumbofur through trading, or by slaughtering a rare Thrumbo that can only spawn via events. Acquiring two Thrumbo that you can breed is very difficult. Plus, they take a very very long time to reach maturity. It’s very unlikely you’ll be able to acquire enough Thrumbofur to make more than a few garments over the course of a game.
Only Hyperweave can truly compete with Thrumbofur on many of its positive qualities. However, Hyperweave is even less accessible than Thrumbofur, only being available via loot caches.
Best Clothing to Wear?
Now that you’ve acquired all these materials, the question remains. What is the best clothing you should have your expert craftsmen actually make for your colonists in RimWorld? The answer to this will depend on both the role of the colonist and the environment you find yourselves in.
There are six accessible slots where clothing can be worn. From innermost to outermost, the layers of clothing are skin, middle, outer, belt, headgear, and an eye slot that is only used for blindfolds in the Ideology expansion. You can overlap items between these slots as long as they don’t cover the same body parts.
Inner Layer Clothing
For example, you can wear a button-down shirt and pants together, despite them both existing on the skin layer because they don’t overlap at all in terms of body parts. You can also wear a button-down shirt, a bulletproof vest, and a duster all together. While they all cover the torso, they do so via three different equipment layers. The defensive capabilities of clothing are applied from the outermost layer inward. However, each layer has a chance to stop an attack, and all the layers will help you with temperature regulation.
Button-down shirts are all-around better than t-shirts. They provide more coverage overall while taking a bit more material to create. That’s likely the only big choice you’ll need to make about the skin layer of clothes. The next layer will likely be a flak vest if you can afford them. Alternatively, go with a simple sash if you have the Biotech DLC. The sash has the advantage of still being usable by nudist colonists or Yttakin to maintain their increased speed while nude. A sash made of a strong leather material even provides some defense for these otherwise defenseless naked colonists.
Outer Layer Clothing
The toughest decision, with the most options and by far the largest material investment, will be for the outermost layer of clothing for your uniforms. Dusters and capes are the best choices on most maps. Picking between the two is really a matter of how much labor you’re willing to invest in clothing. Capes are unlocked by the Royalty DLC and bear nearly identical stats to a comparable duster. However, capes can be worn by nobles who have specific clothing demands.
If your map gets too cold for a duster/cape to provide enough insulation, jackets give more cold insulation. However, they come at the cost of hot insulation and the protective leg coverage of a duster/cape. If your map gets incredibly cold in winter, or you’re living in a very extreme biome like the arctic, you need parkas. A parka comes with numerous disadvantages compared to a jacket, providing less defense and no protection from heat.
Picking a hat can be a tough choice in the early game too. More than any of the other clothing items, which hats you’re wearing will really depend the most on what kind of materials you have around in RimWorld.
Unlike other clothing, a lot of hats provide a bonus to social interactions. While it can be easy to misunderstand this as something that could affect trade prices, it does not. The social standing bonus from various hats refers to the impact of various social interactions between your colonists. This means when your colonists compliment each other or engage in deep talk, the social bonuses from these interactions will be multiplied.
Bowler hats provide the highest social standing bonus on account of the sharp, put-together look they give your colonists. However, of the three hats available in the base game, bowler hats provide the least insulation to either hot temperatures or cold ones.
Cowboy hats provide some amount of a social bonus, but a little bit less than a bowler hat. They make up for it by providing a good deal of head protection and insulation from the heat of the sun. A high-quality cowboy hat in certain temperature zones can actually be more effective than a flak helmet for protection. A tuque can’t be made of leather and provides no social bonus, but insulates your head much more than the other hat options.
If you’ve got the Ideology DLC, a wider range of hats becomes available. Meanwhile, the Royalty DLC unlocks the top hat, a nicer version of the bowler hat. If you choose to do so, some of the roles introduced by the Ideology DLC might require a certain uniform to be worn by whoever is filling that role. Many of these uniforms will just be hats, with the most defensive-minded being a visage mask, since a visage mask can be made out of various metals.
The Biotech DLC allows kids to wear most of the hats that adults could wear. However, it also adds child-sized helmets in case you’ve got some really devious security plans. The Biotech DLC also added a couple of options for covering your face to protect yourself from toxic environments. A face mask can protect you from lesser toxins, but a gas mask could allow you to move normally through heavily polluted terrain. These are both poor choices for non-polluted terrain, lacking any significant defensive or insulation value.
Ideology Clothing & Biotech Tinctoria
The Ideology DLC introduces a bundle of specific styles for your clothing, providing some variations in the display of certain clothing items to correspond to the tone set by your group. Morbid cannibalistic raiders tend to use lots of skulls, making threatening-looking armor and clothing.
Ideology also allows you to set a preferred uniform of clothing for your colonists in RimWorld. You can make your clothing preferences completely mandatory. Alternatively, you can leave them on the “relaxed” setting, so your colonists just get a +1 mood boost from wearing whatever you’ve chosen. This is the only time robes or burkas could ever be viable as an outer layer of clothing.
A huge bonus from selecting some relaxed options for your clothing is that new colonists of your ideoligion will spawn onto the map wearing the clothes you’ve selected. Plus, you won’t take any penalty if they need to change into something else. Starting with button-down shirts and cowboy hats, along with a +2 mood bonus at all times just from wearing them, is easily worth it.
The Biotech DLC added tinctoria, a plant that can be harvested to create dye. This dye can be used to paint furniture, walls, and floors, but can also be used to dye your colonist’s hair or change the color of their clothing. Making all their clothing match their favorite color, or the color of their faction will provide an additional mood boost. Plus, it looks cool to make everybody wear matching uniforms.
Join the High Ground
Providing your colonists with the clothing they need for the environment they’re in is key to survival in RimWorld. Get ahold of some devilstrand, thrumbofur, or megasloth wool, and you’re all set to start sewing some uniforms. With the right clothes, your colonists will be ready to take the high ground.
If you have any questions or think there was something we missed in our guide, let us know in the comments below. And make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more RimWorld content!