Tailoring Essay

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By needle and thread I make my bread …. Och! I know what yer thinkin’ right enough. Tailor!? Who’d want to be a tailor when there’s more excitin’ things to be doin’ with my time? Tailor! Phaw! What a sissy profession! Ye must be daft. Well lads and lassies, I’m here to tell ya that ye’d be runnin’ ’round in the altogether if it weren’t for us ‘sissy’ tailors! Where do ye think all them fancy duds ye’re wearing come from, eh? They don’t grow on trees I can tell ya that. Furthermore, until ye’re up there with yer fancy warrior or — heaven forfend — magery skills, ya gotta eat and ya gotta buy supplies. They don’t grow on trees neither. Yez kin call me a sissy all ya wants and I’ll just go off cryin’ to the bank… So go ahead and laugh all ya wants. – Ostwind, GM tailor, circa Britannian Year 320.

Of all the professions in this fair land, tailoring is, next to mining, the most profitable profession by far. It’s certainly a deuce of a lot safer than mining. And Ostwind is right — it is possible to make large sums of money tailoring if you put your mind to it. However, much has changed since Ostwind’s day (when making 3-4k gold an hour was big money), and nearly everything that was profitable then, isn’t now, and much of what was not worth doing then, is now central to the trade. Examples of the changes that have come include the creation of Trammel, a total reworking of how the crafting menu is set up, colored leathers, Bulk Order Deeds, Runics, and the Age of Shadows changes to item properties. Grandmaster is no longer the top end of the skill advancement, and new items have emerged with the new facets and the return of Elves to Britannia. This essay is about how to build a character whose primary emphasis is on tailoring but since it is not really possible nor is it a good idea to build a ‘pure’ anything — this treatise will discuss additional skills and attributes which have been chosen to enhance the tailoring aspect and maximize the profitability of the character.

Some of this material is slanted to the raw beginner. Too bad for you ‘experts’. Just skip over the ‘simple’ stuff. Of course there just might be something here even you jaded ‘old-timers’ might find useful or — heaven forfend — didn’t even know.

Creating your tailor

Choices: Blacksmith, Custom “Advanced” character, or The Advanced Blacksmith

There are three choices of how to start out as a tailor (pardon me if I break out of character into a game mechanics mode here) –

  1. If you already are experienced with how the crafting menus in Ultima Online work, then the “Advanced” Character Menu option option will work best for you. I’ll tell you how to best set up this sort of character, shortly.
  2. If you are totally NEW to the concept of crafting in Ultima Online (or have been away since before 2003), I suggest getting back in slowly, by choosing the standard Blacksmith template offered during character creation. I will describe this method (which is really just a variation of the first), immediately after the “Advanced Character” method. Yes, I know it seems strange to be a blacksmith and a tailor, but it really isn’t that much of a stretch, historically. For the most part, a Britannian Tailor is more an Armorer, than a true tailor (though capable of working with cloth), as most of your profitable work will be the making of leather armors once you reach Master and higher skill levels.
  3. Lastly, if you’re one of those “I want it now” types, and have the gold (or money, if shopping at EA’s web page) to get an Advanced Character Token, you can jump a character’s skills up to the 70s & 80s by having the character use one of these tokens. You can figure out what to do with this thing yourself – it’s out of the scope of this essay on being a new crafter.

Do note that, if you start a character in the Stygian Abyss “Enhanced” client (referred from here on as the SA client, though it’s officially just called the “Enhanced” client these days), you will go through a tutorial before being released to the outside world (one that is really worth finishing, so don’t opt out of it).

And, if you are new to the game (or returning from before Mondain’s Legacy), you will want to familiarize yourself with the new Questing System.


For the most part, it’s better to be human as a crafter (the Elf benefits mostly are resource gatherers). Elves get no benefits, and a lot of minuses, for crafting. They DO, granted, get certain benefits for lumberjacking and mining, but those are of little concern until you get those skills to Grandmaster (100 skill), and you can always do the quest to turn from human to elf, at that time. Personally, I don’t even think those benefits are worth it, and have kept my crafters human (even turned the ones that became elves back, after disappointing results). With Stygian Abyss, one must remember that the Gargoyles start out in Ter Mer, so accessing the New Haven quests will be a bit more problematic. If one is planning to create a character that is a Gargoyle, to have Imbuing to go with Tailoring and other crafting skills, you’d be better off creating the Gargoyle with Imbuing and Mysticism (and maybe Item Identification as well), then create another, human crafter in a different slot – and, once the human gets all their skills to 50+, use soulstones (such as the single-use ones now craftable) to transfer the skills over to the Gargoyle. (if you have to use the same slot for both, create the crafter first, use the soulstones, delete it, then create the gargoyle).

You might be wondering, “What does all this other crafting have to do with learning to tailor?” Good question. The truth is, all the ways for a non-combat tailor to pay his way through his early career, other than leeching off of his combat-capable housemates, have dried up in all the changes to the financial system over the last decade. As a result, one of the best non-combat ways for the Tailor to pay for his raw materials is to mine ingots, and make items to simultaneously train his Blacksmithy and Arms Lore, while selling the resulting items for gold. That gold then goes to buy thread or bolts of cloth (whichever gives the best return for our money at the time). On top of that, you will be using the Tinker skill to craft your own sewing kits, tinker tools, mining tools and smith hammers (just because the two quest items recharge, doesn’t mean you can use them that often) that will be constantly consumed during your training.

Starting attributes & skills – Advanced Character (the free type)

When it comes down to it, it’s best for an experienced player to start a crafter as an across-the-board crafter mule; you can always drop the skills you don’t want, later. Start your attributes as follows…

  • STR — 50
  • INT — 20
  • DEX — 10 (and lock it until your STR hits 125)

Whether this is a primary or secondary (mule) character makes no difference in choice of physical attributes (STR;INT;DEX). The primary attribute for a tailor is STR but don’t neglect INT.

You need at least an 11 INT in order to cast 4th Circle spells and you will need one particular 4th Circle spell — Recall — if you intend to be a successful tailor. Of course, this will go up quickly.

Forget about DEX — DEX has absolutely nothing to do with tailoring. Successes and failures which are wholly dependent upon the Tailoring skill (though you’d think otherwise). You might as well go ahead and lock the attribute (clicking on the arrow beside it until it turns into a lock) for the time being.

You need STR to be able to carry the materials that are necessary to make things. Tailoring requires you to have your tools and raw materials in your pack. You can hold up to 550 stone — in your backpack, but won’t be able to move; this can severely cramp your style.

A human character can carry substantially more than an elf, and at low levels this is a major consideration. Stripped to your undies at 50 STR an elf will only be able to carry 215 stone, compared to 275 stone for a human. At 100 STR, the difference becomes 390 vs. 450, and even greater at the maximum (without spells or equipment) of 125. Note that 15 stone of your character’s weight is his backpack and (apparently) his underwear, so subtract 15 from those amounts to get your naked carrying capacity. However, there is also a safety margin built in for being overweight – you can still walk without being fatigued, and recall/use gates, if only 1% overweight (1/100 of your carrying capacity, rounded down even if in the 90s). As humans also get 10% more leather when skinning dead creatures, you’ll need the extra carrying capacity, even if all you’re doing is following behind a party member, skinning his kills while he does the hard part.

Now, for your choice of skills, you have different options, based on if the character is made using the 2D or the SA client. 2D gets 3 skills and 100 points, SA gets 4 skills and 120 points. Select the following:

  • Tailoring: 50
  • Carpentry: 49
  • Magery: 1*
  • (SA) Lumberjacking 20*

* Make one of these 1 point, the other 20 points, starting in Stygian Abyss. I suggest making Magery the 1 pointer if you’re playing on the regular shards, as it can be bought in New Haven cheaply.

Why Carpentry? Well, Carpentry is another of those crafting skills (Like Tailoring) that does not yet have a New Haven quest, and can be combined with the other crafting skills to make the things you need around the house. Most of the furniture requires cloth, and as a result also requires some skill in Tailoring; other items, used for crafting skills, require tinkering or blacksmithy to make. So, it’s a natural choice. See the description of Carpentry for the full list, and think of all the nice furniture you’ll have for your house. Taking Lumberjacking (if starting in the SA client) will give you a head start on collecting wood for carpentry. Eventually, though, you’ll want to move the skill to a combat character, when you get the need to free up skill points. But, in the early stages of Carpentry training, you;ll want to have quicker access to normal wood, and won’t be venturing into Fel to chop with the crafter. But, Carpentry’s another essay, so let’s get back to tailoring…

Carpentry-crafted House Add-ons (and other items) That Require Tailoring
Item Name Supplies required Carpentry Tailoring
Dressform 25 Wood 10 Cloth 63.1 65.0
Loom 85 wood 25 cloth 84.2 65.0
Small Bed 100 wood 100 cloth 94.7 75.0
Large Bed 150 wood 150 cloth 94.7 75.0
Pickpockets Dip 65 wood 60 cloth 73.6 50.0
Spinning Wheel 75 wood 25 cloth 73.6 65.0
Bamboo Screen 75 wood 60 cloth 80.0 50.0
Shoji Screen 75 wood 60 cloth 80.0 50.0
Elven Spinning Wheel 60 wood 40 cloth 75.0 65.0
Training Dummy 55 wood 60 cloth 73.6 50.0
Fishing Pole (the only non-add-on, but useful training item) 5 wood 5 cloth 68.4 40.0


Now, for skill advancement (and funding your training), you do the following. As with the standard templates, the game will currently default start you in New Haven* (Ter Mur for Gargoyles – Gargoyles don’t get the tutorials), despite the city choice menu that is leftover from before New Haven’s creation. And, since you started with 1 point in magery, you automatically get a starting spellbook, a few scrolls to put in it, and magery reagents.

* Unless you are playing Siege Perilous, and that’s not a shard for brand new players. You should already know the ins and outs of the game before playing there.

  1. If you start in the Stygian Abyss client, you have to go through a tutorial, before being released into town. It’s well worth the effort, in the long term. The rest of this starts when you get to the bank (oh, and remember to loot your corpse when you die in the tutorial – the zombies are only hostile until you die)
  2. First of all, go ahead and bank your sewing tools, carpentry tools, raw materials for those skills, and magery stuff – you won’t be needing them for a while. If you want, go ahead, and claim your first tailoring Bulk Order Deed from the tailor shop next door (Bulk order deeds will be explained later on).
  3. You will start with 1000 gold in your pack (a little more if you killed things and looted in the SA tutorial), in front of the New Haven bank. Your first move will be to go to the west (the road past the north wall of the bank), to Amelia the Tinkering Instructor. Here, you will use the gold to (first) buy a tinker tool & several shovels (they are lighter than pickaxes), then have her train you in Tinkering, Mining, and Blacksmithy. You COULD also do this at George Hesphaestus in the Blacksmithy, or Jacob in the mining area (see below), but it will be more convenient to do it at Amelia, since you will also be shopping from her and her associates. To train a skill, you click on the NPC (clicking on him to get a bar, then clicking on the bar, in Stygian Abyss) to bring up their context menu, selecting “Train (skill name)” from the choices, and paying the NPC the price they ask for. For these skills, this will take all your money, and you still won’t have enough to train Blacksmithy up all the way (it can wait).
  4. Now, double-click on Amelia, and bring up her training quest. (do this AFTER buying up the skills, as you can’t buy training for skills while any of the training quests are in affect).
  5. Now, leave the tinker shop, and head south toward the bay. Follow the bay shore (once it was a lake, but BAD things happened – hence NEW Haven) south counter-clockwise to find Jacob. Accept his quest as well (the mountain around his forge, and that forge itself, is where you get accelerated gains in mining). Mine there for ingots, and learn how to convert ore into ingots (separate the ore into individual pieces, as you will fail a LOT at 33.3 mining). If you need more mining tools, there’s another quest giver by the forge that will give you picks for several ore. When you get to 50 mining skill, claim Jacob’s quest reward (a pickaxe that does not break when it runs out of uses, but instead recharges a use every few minutes), and head back to Amelia.
  6. Now, finish Amelia’s quest in her shop, making clock parts (sell some of them to the tinkers, use others for more tinker tools from a quest NPC in the back, and go back mining if you need more ingots). This will put you to 50 tinkering, and you will now have the hang of using the crafting menus (which I will go into more, later on, if you need led through them step by step). Claim Amelia’s reward, and deposit it in the bank (it has 500 uses and doesn’t recharge, when Jacob’s & George’s only have 20 uses, but recharge over time).
  7. 50 Tinker will put you in a position where you can start crafting your own tools reliably, and 50 Mining, a way to gather ingots for use in several of your skills. Buy a Smith’s Hammer, now, and pay to train your way to 40.0 Blacksmith (you can buy it up higher than the other skills, which typically stop at 33.3 or less), and as high Arms Lore as you can get (should be 33.3). If you have to, mine ingots and sell them to Amelia and George Hesphaestus, to get the money for this training. After buying the skills, go to George and accept his quest, making daggers & maces (you’ll have to switch to maces around 45 or 46 skill, otherwise you won’t gain). Go mining (and, now, crafting your own mining tools with tinkering) when you run out of ingots. When done, you will probably have Arms Lore around 40-50 skill, and Blacksmithy at 50. (And yes, as long as you’re there, claim smith Bulk Order Deeds, and run next door for the tailor BODs, whenever you are eligible for them, all during your training). As your recycling return will be horrible at this point, go ahead and sell the things you make, and save the gold – mining is easy enough, that you don’t need to buy ingots – plus you will need to train mining up anyway.
  8. You will now want to get a means of travel – if you are going to be a crafter that runs from the hint of conflict, Magery is your best bet. Go to the Mages in New Haven, and buy up Magery as high as possible. Evaluate Intelligence is optional, as none of the spells you are likely to cast (healing, travel spells, summons) over your career require it. Accept the quest for Magery, and for Evaluate Intelligence if you wish. A decent spellbook is a reward for the inscription quest – unfortunately, training the inscription skill is expensive (but, it is a crafting skill, if you want to go that route – but no character can have ALL crafting skills at the same time). Buy some scrolls from the NPCs that you need for your starter book, then go play with the spells in the Old Haven Ruins to the East. They don’t HAVE to be offensive spells, but if you want to try to kill things, it’s up to you (and if you succeed, that is more gold for you). Note that Magery reagents can either be bought, or picked up off the ground, but the latter can take forever (not to say you should pass up a good thing when you see it).

You are now ready to start down the road to training your tailor skill, and joining the ranks of the craftsmen of Britannia. Skip the next section (which is an alternate means of starting a tailor), and progress to the sections on the actual skill.

An Alternate Starting Point for those totally new to crafting – The Standard Blacksmith Template (SA version)

There are some advantages & disadvantages of this, compared to using the Advanced Template.

  • Advantages include that you start with higher STR, and it costs less to buy up Mining, Blacksmithing, Tinker & Tailor. You also start with their tools. As a result, you’ll still have about 800 gold (that can be spent on Magery and its gear).
  • Disadvantages include that you must start this in the Stygian Abyss client (Tailor is missing off the template for 2D client characters), you don’t get that starting carpentry (then again, you might not even want it) and you will have to buy your Magery spellbook, ALL of the scrolls for it, and reagents (though it is quite possible that friendly people in New Haven will GIVE you a spellbook, possibly already full of spells).

The standard Blacksmith starts out with the following attributes:

    • STR — 60 (better than what you can start with using Advanced)
    • INT — 10
    • DEX — 10 (as with the other template, lock it until your STR hits 125)

And, it starts with these skills:

  • Blacksmithy: 30
  • Mining: 30
  • Tinkering: 30
  • Tailoring: 30 (but ONLY if you create the character in Stygian Abyss Client)
  • Note that an incentive to play the newer clients was introduced during the Kingdom Reborn client era (The half-finished predecessor to the SA client) that, when they altered character creation to go along with the addition of New Haven, the 2D starting characters only get 3 skills starting out, not 4, for the standard templates. However, since there is a substantial quest benefit for using SA to at least create the character (the ability to later challenge the Dark Knight for a quest item that can ONLY come from having started in SA), it can be worth the hassle to start in SA long enough to go through the tutorial, then change back to 2D once safely in New Haven proper. When you get the chance, (before you get your crafting skills too high) temporarily aquire the fighting skills to complete the battle with the Dark Knight in SA).
  1. If you start in the Stygian Abyss client, you have to go through a tutorial, before being released into town. It’s well worth the effort, in the long term. The rest of this starts when you get to the bank (oh, and remember to loot your corpse when you die in the tutorial – the zombies are only hostile until you die, and the point of the tutorial is to teach the new player how to find a healer, and to loot their corpse)
  2. You will start with 1000 gold in your pack (more if you looted kills in the SA tutorial). Your first move will be to go into the wooden building to the north of where you appear, and find the Tailor Grandmaster. They should be able to train you up to over 30 skill (probably not much – the 30.5 to 33.3 range, most likely, so it will be a minor expenditure). You do this by clicking on him (clicking on him to get a bar, then clicking on the bar, in Stygian Abyss) to get his context menu, selecting “Train Tailoring” from the choices, and paying the Grandmaster what he asks for.
  3. Now, go west, to George Hesphaestus, and the Blacksmithy. Bring up his menu and, one at a time, buy up the Arms Lore, Mining, Tinkering and Blacksmithy skills. the first three will only go up to 33.3, but the Blacksmithy will train up to 40.0 skill. Between these skills and Tailoring, you’ll only have spent about 200 of your gold so far.
  4. Double-Click on George to get his Blacksmithy skill gain quest, then go a little further down the street to Amelia, and get her tinkering quest. From there, turn south, and follow the bay shore south counter-clockwise to find Jacob. Accept his quest as well. See the hints in the other starting method, above, for how to handle skill gain and accumulate resources and wealth, and don’t forget to gather those BODs.
  5. Now, go to the Mage shop, and buy your spellbook, scrolls, and reagents (again, if you see someone at the bank, ask and they might be able to help you further). See the notes above for suggestions on training this.

As with the other tutorial, it is now time to begin your training of tailoring.

The nitty-gritty of tailoring

The sewing kit is the main tool of the tailor; his/her materials are: cloth and leather (in the form of hides). It’s usually a good idea to keep at least 3 kits in your backpack, if you’re using kits that are not exceptional (like those bought from an NPC or made at low levels of tinkering – even Grandmaster Tinkers make non-exceptional ones some of the time). IF you’re going to be training your skill ‘full court press’ style (crafting till your full, recycling, then starting right back up, peraps even 10 or 20 kits might be in order. Typically, it’s best to drop each one into your open pack by targeting the extreme corner of the pack (your choice which corner), and drop them all there one at a time, so that they pile up in one spot. That way they drop right on top of one another and are always in the same place. Another option would be to have a bag, pouch or box in your pack, put your ingots into the box for the number of kits you want to make, then craft them (since the ingots are in the container, the finished items will also be in the container); for crafting your tools, this needs to be a different container than what you craft your tailor & smith items.

The other important tools you will be using are the loom and spinning wheel (see below). This really makes the PC a Tailor/Weaver, whilst the game distinguishes between these two skills in the NPC professions.

Tools of the trade

The tools of the Tailor Profession are as follows:

  • Spinning Wheel
  • Loom
  • Sewing Kit
  • Scissors (used to recycle things by hand, cut bolts into cloth, cuts hides into cut leather, cuts bone piles into workable bone for crafting, and turns cloth into bandages. Required by the Salvage Bag for it to work)
  • Salvage Bag (a much more recent addition that makes things so much easier- see the salvage bag entry at the end of this essay)
  • Later on, if you pick up imbuing, you might want an Unraveling Bag (works similar to Salvage Bag, but returns imbuing ingredients instead of crafting materials)
Using the wheel:

Double left click on the raw material (flax, cotton or wool) and target the wheel hub. One pile of wool yields 3 yarn, whereas a bundle of flax/bale of cotton each yield 6 thread. We will discuss this aspect in more detail further on (see: Maximizing profits).

Using the loom:

Double left click the stack of thread/yarn and target the loom near the lower crossbar. After selecting the loom, you will get a progress message. Keep double clicking the thread/yarn and selecting the loom. If your thread or yarn is in a stack, you can just use a “Last Object, Last Target” macro (how you do this will be discussed later). After the fifth spool or ball, the bolt of cloth will appear in your backpack. It is possible to stack bolts, but they will not automatically do this unless you start the process. Five thread/yarn will produce one bolt of cloth and it doesn’t matter if you mix thread and yarn. We will discuss this aspect in more detail further on (see: Maximizing profits).

Note — if anyone else is standing near the spinning wheel or the loom — make sure that they’re not using it. There is nothing more frustrating than contributing your thread to someone else’s bolt of cloth. Because of this, it is best to acquire your own wheel and loom for your home (say, by building them yourself with carpentry – that’s why Carpentry was suggested as an additional skill).

Using the sewing kit:

To use your Tailoring skill to create armor or clothing:

  1. Place cloth or hides in your inventory (as appropriate for the item being created).
  2. Double-click on your sewing kit; the crafting menu will come up on the screen. It has 3 areas; Left (the categories), Right (the items within a category), and Bottom (Options)
  3. If necessary, set your options, using the choices in the bottom side of the menu. This only first becomes an issue when you become able to use the colored leather types, as you have to change the leather type, to the type you intend to craft with. Other options include ones concerning marking your exceptional items (only apply after reaching 100 skill), not using the color of the material (usually not desirable), repairing an existing item, enhancing an existing item (again, only applies to the colored leathers, being applied to a regular leather item – more on this, later), and a shortcut “Make Last” button, which will repeat your last attempted item.
  4. Choose the appropriate category from the left-hand side of the craft menu.
  5. Select the item you wish to create from the right-hand side of the menu. You may have to page through to find the item you want, by using the arrow (if present) in the bottom corner of the right-hand side.
  6. If successful, the crafted item will appear in your backpack. You may create multiple copies of the same item by clicking the button labeled “Make Last” in the bottom section of your tailoring menu.

Note: You will not be able to craft any items if your backpack already contains the limit of 125 items. You can craft in a container inside your backpack, but if that container goes over 400 stone weight, any items that would go over 400 will fall to the floor. Lastly, if you are crafting from cloth, and have multiple colors of cloth in your pack (even if in different containers), you will be asked EVERY item, during crafting, which cloth to use, and be required to target it. As a result, it’s best to only craft from one color at a time, “decoloring” all the cloth with a default-color Dying Tub before starting if color isn’t important.

Example of the crafting menu for Tailoring in the 2D client, toggled to the leather selection process. The area where the leather types appear in the picture, is where the individual items would be listed, normally, after choosing a category.

Maximizing profits

The primary rule of any merchant is: buy low and sell high. That’s the ideal at any rate. How can we do that as a tailor in UO? Firstly — let’s talk about what not to do:

A. Don’t buy yarn or wool. (collecting your own wool and making your own yarn is fine)
B. Don’t buy stacked cloth off vendors (buy bolts instead)
C. Don’t buy bolts priced over 110 GP each (the default price is typically 100).
D. If gathering your own wool, don’t kill the sheep until AFTER you’ve sheared it!

A. A ball of yarn will cost you anywhere from 21-35 gp each and it takes 5 yarn to weave 1 bolt. Hence a bolt woven from purchased yarn will cost you from 105-175 gp/bolt. Get the picture? So, don’t buy yarn. The typical cost of a pile of wool is 74 gp — sometimes it’s more — for a yield of 3 yarn or 25 gp/yarn. It takes 5 yarn to weave 1 bolt; hence it takes 2 wool bundles to yield 1 bolt with 1 yarn left over. Buying 5 wool to yield 15 yarn (3 bolts) costs you 125 gp/bolt. Don’t buy wool either. Thread, on the other hand, costs 19-21 GP each per spool, which makes it the desired material to craft cloth with a loom.

B. Stacked cloth on a vendor has a default price of 3 GP per piece, going up at 1 GP per 1000 sold. Even at 3 GP, this is 150 GP for the equivalent of a bolt of cloth, and most weaver NPCs sell bolts starting at 100 GP each, only getting to 150 gp after selling 200,000 bolts (as they sell 4 different bolt types, all of which cut up to the exact same default color of cloth). As you can see, this can be an EXTREMELY costly bad idea – especially if someone ends up working it to 10 GP from buying 7,000 stacked cloth (that’s equivalent to FIVE HUNDRED GOLD per bolt equivalent!). There is only one time to buy stacked cloth, and that is on the rare occasion that you find an NPC (usually a tailor, not the weaver) with one of the desirable colors of “rare cloth” (colors that are not possible from dye tubs), and knowing which colors those are is more of a debate for experienced tailors, than something of interest to the new tailor. In fact, most people have no way of telling which colors are rare and which are not.

C. As noted, bolts typically start out at 100 GP each. As there are literally DOZENS of weavers on each shard, each selling 4 different stacks of bolts, and about as many tailors (each with 1 or 2 bolt colors, and that also sell cotton, flax and thread), there is no need to pay more for your cloth than what you would pay to MAKE the same bolts using thread (if needed, using cotton or flax to make the thread with a wheel, first). Buying bolts of cloth is a form of convenience (typically to save time), and any good general-use rune library (ask around on your shard for locations) will have rune books locked down that you can use to visit almost all of them to do price comparisons. Unless someone has gone totally crazy, and bought tens of thousands of thread, cotton & flax from the tailors, you should be able to craft your own bolts cheaper than you can buy them (even if buying the raw material), so buy bolts only when time is an issue (and don’t forget to loot/pick up any raw materials for more cloth, if you encounter them on the ground or on kills by your other character, to save more money).

D. A word about shearing sheep. It only requires a sharp edged tool. This can be a dagger or other edged weapon; strangely enough, some macing weapons will also work (they were probably coded using a bladed weapon as a template). Equally strangely it can no longer be done using scissors — which will come as a surprise to my Aussie friends no doubt but there it is. The UO Tailoring gods have decreed that scissors are not for shearing. Go figure.
Double click the weapon/tool, and then target the unsheared sheep.
Make sure that you’re not in WAR MODE when you do this else you kill the sheep. In the event that you do kill the sheep (klutz!!), skinning it will yield wool. But the wool you get that way is not normal wool! Take a close look at the accompanying illustration:

Look at pile “A” and compare it with pile “B”. Note that pile “B” has a slight pinkish hue to it (stained with blood from the poor sheep no doubt). Spinning a pile of tainted wool will only yield 1 yarn which yarn will not stack with yarn made from sheared wool. Whereas wool pile “A” (sheared/normal) will yield 3 yarn. Therefore, there is no excuse to murder sheep until AFTER you’ve sheared them. Of course, killing them after shearing, will make them respawn anew with a full load of wool once more.

Okay — we’ve talked about don’ts. What are the do’s?

A. Do weave your own cloth, when possible.
B. Do dye (or bleach, using an undyed dying tub) all your low-end BOD reward cloth (from normal small cloth BODs) all one color, and use it to further reduce your need to buy or make your own cloth, by using it first.
C. Do go out and explore, touring Britannia’s tailor shops looking for the best deals on thread and bolts of cloth, and don’t be afraid to stockpile when you find a good deal.
D. If you can’t gain skill from making an item, and an NPC sells it, fill BODs for those items by BUYING the items from NPCs to save materials and money.
E. Do gather your own hides/leather whenever possible (and make friends with the locals doing the Ilshenar Oaks spawn to help you out).

A. The first “Do” is primary: weave your own cloth whenever time and resources allow, to save money (I know, I’ve said that twice now). To do that you have to gather your own wool/cotton and/or buy thread while prices are low. Most will do the latter, taking advantage of opportunities to shear sheep or harvest cotton as occasions present themselves. In order to buy low or buy enough you have to be prepared to travel — which subject we’ll get to in a minute.

Be wary of any unstacked thread (individual spools, as opposed to lots of multiples) on a vendor. Sometimes people will sell spools (made, or found as loot) to the NPC, but when you sell any such spools to the tailor there is a chance that something happens to some of them. About half the time, such spools will be bugged after selling them to the NPC shopkeeper, and anyone who then buys them, cannot use them to create cloth. It’s no big deal as long as you are alert to the existence of this bug.

B. Similarly, the second “Do” is pretty basic. Almost no one ever wants anything made of those low end colors (rare exceptions being stuff made from the dark red cloth from the normal 20 cloth & leather small BODs, and you should be able to gather that cloth pretty much as you need it, on short notice). While 100 cloth may not seem to be much, multiply it by 160, and you get the equivalent of 320 bolts, and the full load of a pack animal (or 32,000+ GP worth of purchased cloth, or cloth made from purchased thread!). Whether crafting to train, or to fill BODs, using this cloth will make things a LOT cheaper. After “undying” the cloth (or dying it all to one color), use the “combine cloth” option to combine any odd stacks into 1 stack of folded cloth. Often, I will dye it all one color, instead of undying it, and use it first, so I can see (by the number of filled BODs, or the amount of skill gained) just how much I “saved” by using the free “reward cloth”, as compared to using made/bought cloth.

C. Also as noted in the “C.” entry of the “Don’ts”, you have literally dozens of NPCs from which to buy cloth, or raw materials for cloth. There are 12 cities each in “surface” Trammel & Felucca, plus 2 cities each in their Lost Lands, most of which have at least 1 tailor & 1 weaver. Some cities have more than one shop, or shops (like my favorite, Nujelm) that have multiple tailors and multiple weavers. Then, there’s Zento (the city on Makoto-Jima of the Tokuno islands/Samurai Empire facet), Umbra & Luna in Malas (the Age of Shadows facet – though typically the worst prices will ALWAYS be at the Luna shop, it is a convenient place for doing the crafting and BOD redeeming, as it is next to the bank). Ilshenar has the Gargoyle city, and perhaps even among some of the permanent gypsy encampments (and even the wandering gypsies have Smith & Tinker NPC, called the Iron Worker and the Vagabond). Assuming you have the requisite Magery to enter Wind (about what you need with Carpentry to make pentagrams, not to mention use Mark & Gate Travel relably), that means there are 30 cities that can be reached easily by marking runes (14 Trammel, 13 in Felucca (counting the Papua teleporter in Moonglow), and the 3 in Malas & Tokuno combined), and one can always find a good deal by visiting them (and, if you have assembled a suit with 100% LRC to travel in, it will be at no cost in terms of reagents and scrolls).

The following table lists the locations and names of tailor shops throughout Britannia:

Britannian Tailors
Location Shop Name
Britain The Right Fit
—– The Lords Clothiers
Jhelom Adventurer’s Needle
—– Jhelom’s Fine Tailoring
Magincia Stitchin’ Time*
Moonglow The Scholar’s Cut
Nujel’m Tailor of the Isle
Ocllo (Felucca & Siege Perilous) A Stitch in Time
New Haven (Trammel shards only) Finely Woven
Serpent’s Hold Silver Serpent Tailors
Skara Brae Shear Pleasure
Trinsic Adventurer’s Clothing
Vesper The Spinning Wheel – city
—– The Spinning Wheel – north bank
Delucia Tailor
Papua Tailor
Wind (requires Magery 70 to enter) Windy Clothes*
Luna (Malas) Clothier’s Colors
Umbra (Malas) Darkweave
Zento, Island of Makoto-Jima (Tokuno) Suteki Na Craftworks
Ver Lor Reg (Ilshenar, Central area) Skis-in-Lem
Desert Outpost (Ilshenar, east of Ancient Citadel) Tailor

* Note the following:
1. The actual location of the tailors inside Wind may be different from the actual shop on your shard, due to events in the distant past.
2. As of Fall 2007, Magincia is a ruin reduced to the building foundations. If and when it is rebuilt, the layout and building names may not correspond to the original city.

D. In the old days, one could buy or make cloth, make stuff, and sell the items for more than the cloth cost. Tailors & cartographers, especially, brought in gold even faster than those killing things things for profit; and if pooling multiple accounts’ funds from simultaneous play, it’s amazing what a family of crafters could do. After several people CRAFTED their way into castles on Lake Austin, on the first day the shard was open to brand new accounts only, this was changed. The heirs to the legacy of Ostwind got TOO good at what they did, and when the Ultima gods saw what they had wrought, the nerf hammers came flying. Now, in most cases, you now LOSE money when selling an item that doesn’t have durability, as prices for selling crafted items to NPCS now start at half the price they sell them to you at, and that whole part of Ostwind’s original essay went the way of the Silver Steed.

Now, with the ability of a tailor to turn in a tailor BOD and immediately get a new one (instead of having to wait 6 hours between BODs), thousands more BODs are turned in these days, than at any other point in UO history (And in Ostwind’s day, they didn’t even HAVE BODs). This quick turn-around will quickly deplete your supply of cloth, and drive up the prices of bolts in all the towns – but there is a way to make your cloth go further. Since you can now buy things at about the price (if not lower) than the cloth or leather cost to make them, you can fill normal Bulk Order Deeds for cloth and regular leather items by buying the items from the NPCs, and using them in the BODs. More on this later on, but it’s definitely a winning strategy. The list of Tailor shops above is important for this process, as is the list of the Leatherworker shops below. Also important are Blacksmith shops (the Armorers located in most Blacksmith shops sell all the leather armor pieces), and Provisioner shops (provisioners sell about half the hat types, and Cobblers (footwear NPCs – also part of the tailor BOD system) are usually found there as well). If you’re really desperate, mages also sell wizard hats.

E. Regular leather isn’t as easy to buy as cloth – only about half the towns have leatherworker & furtrader NPCs, and one of them sells hides (that weighs 5 stone each, compared to 1 stone for cut leather). However, the hides do cost half the default price of cut leather, so if you can find a furtrader selling the hides for 3-4 GP each, it can be worth letting the pile of 500 drop to the ground and cut up 100 at a time with scissors in your pack, and moved into a waiting pack animal (not like anyone is going to steal the pile while it’s over 500 stone, or put it into their own pet when it’s over 1600 stone).

The following table lists the locations and names of Leatherworker/furtrader shops throughout Britannia:

Britannian Leatherworkers
Location Shop Name
Britain The Best Hides of Britain
Nujel’m Nujel’m Tannery
Ocllo (Felucca & Siege Perilous) Better Leather Tannery
New Haven (Trammel shards only) Thick Hide
Buccaneer’s Den Buccaneer’s Den Leatherworks
Trinsic Trinsic Fine Skins
Vesper Tanner’s Shop
Zento, Island of Makoto-Jima (Tokuno) Suteki Na Craftworks (the only place in the game where tailor and tanner are together)

Gathering Leather 101

So, your best bet for gathering leather is to go get it for yourself. There are numerous creatures that even a non-combat tailor can kill for leather. Humans get 10% more, rounded up if the amount ends in 1-9 (15 leather for an elf becomes 17 for a human, in Trammel ruleset. The amount given is doubled in Felucca, (using the previous example, Trammel’s 15-leather creatures become 30 for an elf in Felucca, 34 for a human in Felucca). Note, however, that you cannot skin any item that has had its corpse already used for the “Animate Dead” Necromancy spell (or eaten by plague beasts, etc.), and sometimes corpses that have been drained with Spirit Speak will not cut either. Bonded pet corpses cannot be cut for leather, at least for deaths after their first. To gather leather, one targets the corpse with a bladed weapon, and cutting the corpse deposits a pile of hides in the corpse (if the creature gives leather), meat, and scales (if the creature gives scales – Sea Serpents and most dragonkind). The hides weigh 5 stone each, and require use of scissors to be reduced to the 1-stone pieces of cut leather.

Skinning a hide animal (by double left-clicking on a bladed object and targeting the dead animal) will also produce some raw meat in the form of ribs. Provisioners will not buy the raw meat though the butcher may. Provisioners will buy the cooked meat. Cooking the ribs (can be done in the field by carrying a skillet and a heating stand, and putting the stand on the ground, to cook) is a good way to raise your stats to higher levels instead of discarding the carved ribs. Within hours of hunting you will have gained several stat points that way. The Cooking skill can be just allowed to atrophy later, or you might end up making that one of your crafting skills.

There are two weapons that come in handy for leather gathering, as they can cut several steps out of the process – the Skinning Knife, and the Butcher’s War Cleaver.

  • The Skinning Knife only works properly when equipped. you can double-click on it, while equipped, and then target the corpse. The skinning knife is a 1-handed swords weapon.
  • The Butcher’s War Cleaver functions in the same manner, but does NOT have to be equipped (it just has to be somewhere in your pack). However, it weighs substantially more than the skinning knife. It is, however, the game’s only Bovine Slayer weapon, meaning if used as a weapon, it does +100% damage to Cows, Bulls and Gaman. The Butcher’s War Cleaver is a two-handed fencing weapon, and requires an uncommon Blacksmith recipe from the elven cities of Sanctuary or Heartwood to craft. However, it can be crafted with runics, to add additional properties.
  • Using either tool in the proper manner, as described, will cut the corpse’s leather (if any) directly into cut leather, and “usually” moves it directly into the character’s pack. I say “usually”, because there are a couple of caveats to this.
    1. First of all, the character’s pack, in terms of items, must be less than HALF full (under 63 items – BOD books count as 1 item for empty-4 BODs, +1 item per additional 5 BODs); being over 63 items results in the leather remaining on the corpse.
    2. Secondly, the leather temporarily exists in hide form, for the calculations, even if you don’t see it. If the weight of the hides would put your total weight over 390 or 400 stone, the process “hiccups” as well, leaving it in the corpse.
    3. In either case, while the leather is left in the corpse, it is still cut into the 1-stone cut leather pieces (as a stack), instead of hides. It is unclear whether the limit is 390 or 400 for the second issue, but both weights reflect old weight limits hard-coded into some of the ancient recesses of UO. 390 is the old maximum carrying weight, when it relied on strength alone, and stats could not go above 100 (it is still the carrying capacity of of 100-STR elves). 400 was the maximum capacity of a character’s backpack, before it was expanded to 550 with the release of Mondain’s Legacy (and most containers, other than secures, STILL have that 400 stone limit).
  • There appears to be the potential for conflict if multiple skinning knives, or a skinning knife and a Butcher’s War Cleaver are carried at the same time, where the process does not work properly. It is believed that a person uses item A, then when looking for an item with that property, the software finds item B first, and sees that it isn’t equipped, and causes the process to go awry. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s something to avoid.
  • Lastly, it doesn’t automatically loot anything else. For bones, scales, meat, gold and other loot, you still have to open the corpse and pull them out the old fashioned way (or right click the items in SA, to auto-loot each item from the corpse).

COLORED Leathers, on the other hand, are gotten only two ways – killing the creatures that give them, or buying them from someone who has done such hunting. They are cut the same way as normal leather, but require a high level of Tailor skill in order for them to be used in crafting. The types of leather are as follows:

  • Normal Leather: this comes from animals and easy monsters, ranging from greater mongbats to livestock & deer. Most are easy to kill, though the Gamans of Tokuno and the occasional Bull or Great Hart (both sometimes used by tamers to train their skill, then released) can be a danger to a Tailor not equipped for combat. For some unknown reason, the creatures of the Samurai Empire & Mondain’s Legacy expansions (with one exception), all only give normal leather as well (though in huge amounts – the Hiryu types give a base of 60, and several of the denizens of the Blighted Grove give a base of 40 or 48).
  • Spined Leather: The next-easiest leather to get (after the regular type), the most common sources of this in game are Lizardmen (Despise Dungeon’s top level has the best, safe, spawn, though the Champion Spawns with lizardmen have higher concentrations of spawn, with the danger of being swarmed, or PKed if in Felucca), and the Giant Serpents (found in the jungles, islands, and Trammel Destard dungeon). Lesser sources include Imps (including the Abyss spawn), Alligators (most of the same island locations as Giant Serpents) Ratmen of all varieties, and the Centaurs of the Oaks Champion Spawn & the Serpentine Passage. Strangely, the otherwise identical centaurs at the Twisted Weald Champion Spawn, close by to the Ilshenar version of Oaks, only give normal leather – probably because the spawn was introduced as part of Mondain’s Legacy. While the Lizardmen are by far the easiest kills, the Serpents also give the bone piles for making bone armor (not to mention the bone machetes for getting into the Blighted Grove), and the Centaurs carry around 80 arrows each, so both are farmed as much for their other loot as for their leather.
  • Horned Leather: Once one of the easiest leathers to gather, it came in piles of 20 (more if human and/or in Felucca) from Wyverns and Drakes in Destard & Wind – but the introduction of the Greater Dragon put the kibosh on most of the hunting there. While it was not uncommon for tailors with mid-range combat or magical skill to be able to take down these creatures, dragons were often too difficult, requiring a warrior friend along to hold off the dragons. The greater dragons proved to be lethal to most of these bodyguards (the tailors would gather the leather, and the excess gold for the warrior), and so few make the effort anymore, unless thay can sneak into a back tunnel where only wyverns, drakes and serpents spawn without dragons.
    A much more easy method that has evolved since involves the creatures that also give horned leather, but were always considered to not give enough to be bothered with (as the drakes and wyverns were easier, and with less karmic repercussions). These creatures are the Ki-rin and the Unicorn. Both Ki-rins and Unicorns give about half the horned leather of the wyverns, and are blue creatures (meaning they lower karma when you kill one, and will attack negative karma characters on sight!) The plus side of these creatures is obvious, once you realize that they, like the Centaurs, are also part of the Oaks Champion Spawn, and spawn in droves in the second & third stage of the spawn, respectively. As long as the person doing the hunting has high enough karma to not drop into the negatives, these can be farmed while advancing the spawn (and with Publish 57, special items were added as rewards for those working even the Ilshenar version of the spawn). The corpses don’t last long (being a champion spawn, they decay before they reach the point of being accessible by everyone), but if one has a character that can collect the hides (say, using a butcher’s war cleaver, then tossing the leather on the ground in remote spots once the leather gets stacked so high that it doesn’t auto-loot, the tailor can then come around behind them with pack animals, and get several loads of leather safely (as the entire spawn is made up of creatures that are not aggressive – at least as long as you’re not evil). For those who do not care if they become nefarious, there are some remote areas of Malas and Ilshenar with single creature spawns of ki-rin and unicorn (though the one in Malas has a mix of ki-rin, unicorns, pixies, and undead – the undead attack all players, and the three blue creature types all attack both evil players AND the undead on sight – with a little luck, one can sometimes even get the undead to kill the blue critters for you, without you having to do anything but draw the two towards each other to initiate the fight, then go invisible).
  • Barbed Leather: The most common source of this was the Dragons of Destard, but as mentioned before, the Greater Dragons made this fairly untenable. Any of the heavyweights of the Dragon family (outside of Tokuno, at least) give this leather; this includes Dragons, Greater Dragons, Shadow Wyrms, Ancient Wyrms, and Serpentine dragons. It can also be gotten from Nightmares, in a few of the remote spots of Ilshenar & Malas. For a while, the Nightmares (and the one Serpentine dragon in one of the remotest parts of Ilshenar) became a preferred source, but the publish 57 additions brought much killing to the Oaks Champion Spawn. And, like spined and horned, one of the creatures in that spawn gives barbed – the Serpentine Dragons of the fourth stage of the spawn. The dragons are gray, not blue, but still give a big karma hit, and are a little bit easier to kill than a normal dragon (though the fight takes longer due to different resists and hit points, most characters able to defeat drakes, but not dragons, can take down serpentine dragons).

As one can see, it is in a tailor’s best interests to make friends with people that like doing the Oaks spawn, or have another character capable of doing the spawn personally. You might even get some nice rewards, and some of the roughly 150,000 gold that falls when Oaks dies. It’s certainly better than BUYING the leather, as the Greater Dragon’s addition to the game have made it to where other players went from charging about 25-40 per for the horned and barbed leather, to where that 150,000 gold from Oaks wouldn’t buy 1000 of those leathers anymore.

Plain Spined Horned Barbed

Bears and llamas used to give fur but the original fur has disappeared from UO — at least other than the Grobu’s Fur quest item. Stygian Abyss introduced “Boura Fur” off those creatures, that looks nothing like the old fur (and comes in 3 colors). As yet, no one has found a use for the Boura Fur, but it’s likely something that will be added in later. Perhaps furs will come back when EA ever figures out a way to make weather more dynamic (the last attempt, the clouds in Kingdom Reborn, flopped hard). Then having fur might make more sense, but for now such things are for collectors.

The following table gives the output for leather for most creatures (event creatures aren’t included). If the creature only gives 1 leather in “Trammel” (for this chart, means all non-Felucca facets), it is not listed. “N.A.” means the creature is normally not found in Felucca, though might be found there from in-game events or tamers releasing a pet. Experimentation has found that in these cases, the leather will be doubled normally (but pets that have been dead before, and raised, do not give leather). Gargoyle numbers are the same as Elf numbers, and the following charts so not reflect whether or not a new, Stygian Abyss (SA) creature is located in the Felucca ruleset parts of the Abyss (not tested or done much exploring yet, so marked “??”)

Animals & Monsters Yielding Normal Hides
Trammel Felucca Trammel Felucca
Animal or Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield Animal or Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield
Bake Kitsune 30 33 N.A. N.A. Hind (deer) 8 9 16 18
Bear, Black or Brown (& Grobu) 12 14 24 28 Hiryu/Lesser Hiryu 60 66 N.A. N.A.
Bear, Grizzly* or Polar 16 18 32 36 Horse 10 11 20 22
Bull 15 17 30 34 Hydras (& Abscess) 40 44 80 88
Bullfrog 4 5 8 10 Llamas 12 14 24 28
Cougar 10 11 20 22 Panther 10 11 20 22
Cow 12 14 24 28 Reptalon (& Rend) 10 11 N.A. N.A.
Cu Sidhe 10 11 N.A. N.A. Rune Beetle 12 14 N.A. N.A.
Deathwatch Beetles 8 9 N.A. N.A. Snow Leopard 8 9 16 18
Gaman 12 14 24 28 Swamp Dragon 20 22 40 44
Giant Rat 6 7 12 14 Thrasher 48 53 96 106
Goat (normal) 8 9 16 18 Tsuki Wolf 25 28 N.A. N.A.
Goat, Mountain 12 14 24 28 Walrus 12 14 24 28
Gorilla 6 7 12 14 Wolf, Grey/White 6 7 12 14
Great Hart 15 17 30 34 Wolf, Timber 5 6 10 12
Greater Mongbat 6 7 12 14 Yamandon* 20 22 N.A. N.A.
Skree (SA) 5 6 ?? ?? Slith (normal)(SA) 10 11 ?? ??
* Base of 30 leather for Serado, the Champion of the Sleeping Dragon Spawn. The Enraged Grizzly Bears of the final stage of the Twaulo (twisted Weald) champion spawn give 32 leather (36 for human) each.


Monsters Yielding Spined Hides
Trammel Felucca Trammel Felucca
Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield
Alligator 12 14 24 28 Imp 6 7 12 14
Centaur* (Oaks & Serpentine passage) 8 9 16 18 Lava Lizard 12 14 24 28
Dire Wolf 7 8 14 16 Lava Serpent 15 17 30 34
Giant Ice Serpents 15 17 30 34 Lizardmen 12 14 24 28
Giant Serpent 15 17 30 34 Predator Hellcat 10 11 20 22
Giant Toad 12 14 24 28 Ratmen (all) 8 9 16 18
Hellcat (small) 10 11 20 22 Ridgeback 12 14 N.A. N.A.
Lowlands Boura (SA) 20 22 ?? ?? Ruddy Boura (SA) 20 22 ?? ??
Stone Slith (SA) 10 11 ?? ??
* The Centaurs of the Twaulo (Twisted Weald) Champion Spawn give REGULAR leather, not Spined. Twaulo himself does not give leather.


Monsters Yielding Horned Hides
Trammel Felucca Trammel Felucca
Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield
Drake 20 22 40 44 Unicorn 10 11 20 22
Ki-rin 10 11 20 22 Wyvern 20 22 40 44
High Plains Boura (SA) 20 22 ?? ?? Toxic Slith (SA) 10 11 ?? ??
Raptor (SA) 20 22 ?? ??
Sea Serpents (Normal, Crystal Sea Serpents & Deep Sea Serpents) 10 11 20 22


Monsters Yielding Barbed Hides
Trammel Felucca Trammel Felucca
Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield Monster Elf Yield Human Yield Elf Yield Human Yield
Ancient Wyrm 40 44 80 88 Serpentine Dragon 20 22 40 44
Dragon 20 22 40 44 Shadow Wyrm 20 22 40 44
Greater Dragon 30 33 60 66 White Wyrm 20 22 40 44
Nightmare 10 11 20 22


Monsters Yielding Bones (50% means half time will be body parts, not bones)
Monster Chance of Bones Monster Chance of Bones Monster Chance of Bones
Oni 50% Giant Serpent 50% Shadow Wisp 50%
Giant Ice Serpent 50% Horde Minion 50% Zombie 50%
Coil 50% Revenant Lion 50% Tsuki Wolf 50%
Rune Beetles ??% Appears to have a much greater chance of having body parts than bones
Ant Lion 100% chance of 3, but always the smaller (1-5 weight) types or skulls
Note: Bones recovered from shipwrecks can also be cut up and used by tailors.
Bones can also be found in “static” dungeon chests, when content spawn is triggered within them.

Raw bones will not do a tailor any good. To convert raw bones into usable bones, use scissors on them. You will end up with bones that are stackable, that no linger look like any of the original bone types. The bone types that you can cut up are: Bones, Jaw Bones, Pelvic Bones, Bone Shards, Spines, Rib Cages and Bone Piles. You cannot cut up skulls, body parts or bone containers to get usable bones, nor is bone armor currently recyclable. Note that you can tell how many craftable bones a bone object of the proper type will provide, by its weight.

  • Bone: 1 bone
  • Jaw Bone: 1 bone
  • Pelvic Bone: 1 bone
  • Bone Shards: 2 or 3 bones (varies)
  • Spine: 3 bones
  • Ribcage: 5 bones
  • Bone Pile: 10 or 15 bones (4 different graphics, two different facings for each. 5 are 10 stone, 3 are 15 stone).

Here are the large bone piles: if you’re looting for bones at a quickly-spawning area (shadow wisps at an Oaks or Twaulo spawn) while actually trying to advance the spawn, these are the ones to grab, as you’ll waste too much time collecting the small ones.


Felucca Safety Advisory (also applies to monster attacks on all facets): Note — when venturing outside the safety of the town guards in Felucca, always keep your pack open and visible. Be prepared to jettison your extra hides should flight become necessary. Remember this, however: “Running is not a plan; running is what you do when a plan fails.”Running is good for the soul; it is certainly good for your health. Nor is it unseemly. It is easy to gauge how far to run by bringing up the vision of your pursuers stats. As you run, when the stat bar disappears, your pursuer has been outrun; which is not the same as saying it has stopped chasing you. Nor are you necessarily safe from being cast upon; while other players’ casters have range limits, these can be visually skewed based on the communication speed of both your connection and their connection (the server can decide that you are closer to your pursuer — or farther — than either of you think you are, and using casting & targeting control macros can get spells off when the person is seemingly too busy to fire off an attack). Worse, monsters do not apparently have to stop to cast (like players do), are all but immune to interuption (except in the rare case they try to cast a spell too high for their magery, and the spell fizzles). They also seem to have casting speeds that are better than any player, and if both a necromancy & magery user, can cast BOTH TYPES SIMULTANEOUSLY, hitting you with two spells at once (3 spells if those two are a follow-up to an explosion, which has a delayed onset time).

If you can manage it, try to venture out with someone of your own level and someone with whom you have developed a trusting relationship. Do not go with just anyone who asks you to do so. I regret to say that even if they are entitled with the appellation: Great Lord, some of these are of such stripe as not to scruple to lead the unwary into an ambush by evil doers and afterwards sharing the spoils with them. On the other hand, most neophytes are relatively safe from this scourge since they own little of value. Which is a hint: if you go hunting, wear old clothes and leave your Gucchi backpack within the bank.

Armor-Making 202: Leather Types and You

As you can see, the tougher monsters also yield a tougher kind of leather. But first, you must understand what gives an armor its base resists.

  • Normal leather armor has 15 resists per piece, in a set spread (16 for studded & bone armor).
  • Making an armor piece exceptionally adds 15 resists assigned randomly, if made with a normal sewing kit, 6 if made with a runic kit.
  • If one has Arms Lore skill, it can add up to 5 (most shards; Arms Lore/20) or 8 (Siege Perilous; Arms Lore over 12.5) points to that random assignment.

The end result is a normal armor piece with 15 resists, or an exceptional armor piece that can have a minimum of 21 resists (Elf Tailor, no Arms Lore, Runic tool, all runic properties in things other than resists), up to 35 or 38 (Siege Perilous) resists for an exceptional piece made with a conventional sewing kit, by a Tailor with Grandmaster Arms Lore. (of course, add 1 more resist to any of these numbers for studded or bone armor). However, except to fill BODs or train skill, you will probably never craft with normal leather. Instead, you will use the appropriate leather for the job.

The material bonuses are as follows, for the different leathers:

  • 5 points (all in physical) and 40 Luck, for Spined Leather
  • 11 points (3 Fire Resist, 2 each in the other four resists), for Horned Leather
  • 12 points (2 Physical, 1 Fire, 2 Cold, 3 Poison, 4 Energy), for Barbed Leather.

To use a full suit of Leather armor (all 6 pieces – can substitute Female leather for tunic, and shorts or skirt for the leggings, if desired), exceptionally crafted by someone with Grandmaster Arms Lore, with a normal tool, as an example:

  • Crafted from Leather, each piece would 35 resists, 20 of which, per piece, would be random in assignment. This would be 210 resists total, averaging out to 42 resists pe location (but you’d have to mix and match crafted pieces to actually get exactly 42 in each). Before factoring in the locations where the 120 random resists fall, the suit would be 12/24/18/18/18 resists (Physical/Fire/Cold/Poison/Energy), and will average out to 36/48/42/42/42.
  • Crafted from Spined Leather, the suit would have 240 resists, and a total of 240 luck. The Physical resist would have all 30 additional resists from the leather type in it, making it a minimum of 42 – but almost certainly in the 60s, if not 70 or more resist. An average suit would be 66/48/42/42/42.
  • Crafted from Horned leather, the suit would have 276 total resists, averaging out to 55 (well 55.2) per resist. The minimums for a Horned leather suit would be 24/42/30/30/30, then the 120 random resists would be applied. An average suit would be 48/66/54/54/54
  • Crafted from Barbed Leather, a suit would have 282 resists, for an average of 56.4 resists. The minimums in this case would be 24/30/30/36/42, with an average suit being 48/54/54/60/66.

These are nice suits, but you’ll never see anyone wearing them, except on Siege Perilous & Mugen, where people can loot everything from your corpse (well, they can do that in Felucca on other shards, but other shards have Insurance, that will allow you to keep your stuff). Most likely, you’ll be crafting items to wear and sell with runic tools, and that’s a whole other essay.

Enhancing vs. Crafting

Enhancing allows you to take an existing piece of armor, and add ONE of the special leathers’ qualities to it. Of course, you can only do it to an item made of normal leather. You can do this to items looted from monsters, as well as Leather items made by a crafter. HOWEVER… The better attributes a piece has, the more likely it will break, and it will be gone forever. This is especially true for items that you are trying to enhance a property that already has an abnormally high value.

NEVER craft something out of normal leather with the intent to enhance later. It will only break, and break your heart. Simply put, the chance of ANY item WORTH enhancing of surviving enhancement, is a tiny fraction (at best 30% – most likely, 1% or under, if something you’d actually want to use yourself). ALWAYS make items out of the colored leather you WANT your suit to be made of, especially when using runics. It may seem a waste to get 100 luck on a piece of barbed armor, but you would have been 99% likely to BREAK that piece, had you made it with normal leather first, then tried to enhance with Spined. You just got to take what you get, which is sometimes why the use of runic kits is referred to as “rolling the dice” or “The Crafter’s Slot Machine”. Enhancing is practically rigged against the crafter to fail, so it should only be done to items that are found as loot (and the metaphors used for enhancing are too vulgar to relate here, as they tend to run towards violent crime against the crafter, instead of gambling).

On the other hand, a Grandmaster or higher Imbuer might be able to add properties to an exceptionally crafted runic armor piece made out of normal leather, to make it an equal to good items from a runic made of colored leather – but at the usual penalties of being an imbued item (see that skill’s description). You end up with exactly the item you want, but its maximum resists will be less than what a colored leather runic crafting could potentially make, and would certainly have a 99% chance of breaking on an enhance try.

One cannot imbue items that are already enhanced (or made from initially) the colored leathers. One can UNRAVEL your rejects from crafting with colored leather, but this requires the items be in an Unravelling Bag (and will typically give Enchanted Essences and/or Relic Fragments, if made with a runic tool). So, if crafting for a few keepers, do it in an unravelling bag, remove the stuff you want to keep, and pass it to your Imbuer.


  • Enhancing will NOT add exceptional resist bonuses to an existing armor piece, not make a normal item Exceptional (and therefore won’t add your name to the piece).
  • Enhancing with a Runic tool does NOT add any additional properties (that’s the job of the Imbuing skill from the new Stygian Abyss expansion).
  • Enhancing will not work on cloth items.
  • Enhancing will not make you rich. It will free up lots of storage in your house as you break things, even make you cry at the carnage inflicted on the items as you start with 20 items and finish with two (if you’re VERY lucky); but rich is not likely at all (on the other hand, if you’re SELLING the colored leather to the crafter, it might make you rich, but that’s a faction horse of a different color…).

Training Tailoring skill

Or, What to make and when to make it…

To raise your tailoring skill, you should make items that you have a 60% to 80% chance of success with, according to the Tailoring Skill list; to see what falls into this range for you, have the page sort by skill, input your current skill level, and hit “Update”. However, these items have little sale value, tend to be heavy (especially leather items), and many take outrageous amounts of material, that even at Grandmaster or higher skill, will only give you back half as much material as you put into them, when recycling (cutting up with scissors, using a Salvage Bag, or the Recycle agent of UO Assist). This is why it is recommended that you fill BODs with your items crafted for skill gain, whenever possible. Luckily, one of the unique factors of the Tailor BOD system is that it is “rigged”, below about 80-85 skill, to USUALLY produce BODs that you can gain skill on, most of the time. Once you get above 70 (where the exceptional & colored BODs kick in), the “rigging” system starts to break down, and you will be getting all sorts of BODs (even ones you can’t even make due to skill level or leather type) on a regular basis by 80 skill. In many cases, you will be filling these BODs simply to turn back in for new BODs – hopefully better ones.

Note, though, that you can still gain skill off any item you are able to make, that is less than 100% to make (and even some over 100%, once you use a Tailoring power scroll – See the Bulk Order Deed section). The chance to gain just starts dropping off dramatically in the 80%+ chance range. This Maximum Skill Chart gives you the skill level at which one can still gain from making each specific item, based on what level of power scroll you have used.

The normal shards have no limits as to how many skill points one can gain in a day, and have something called the Guaranteed Gain System, where (based on the time since your last skill gain for a skill), you will gain on your first attempt at a skill use in a difficulty that can give a gain, if no gain through use had occurred in that time frame (roughly, a little over 1 day, for high-level skills, which is typically where GGS gains are most important). If efficiency is more an issue than time, one can gain 3.0 skill points simply by logging in once a day for a month, make one item, then log back out to go back to playing a different character.

Siege Perilous, on the other hand, has a skill gain limiter (“Rate over Time”) that can give faster short term skill gains than the GGS system, but has mandatory time lengths between gains, and hard limits to the number of skill points on can gain in a given day in each skill, based on the skill’s level. SP players have been known to log in to their tailor account (SP is one character per account, compared to 5-7 per shard elsewhere), make an item for the RoT gain, log back out, set an egg timer or alarm, then repeat the process every time the alarm goes off (often doing something elsewhere on a different shard, or with a different account’s SP character, while waiting).

Arms Lore: You will also be wanting to get Arms Lore to Grandmaster, before you start crafting things to keep, or to sell. Arms Lore is in many ways less picky than the Tailoring skill itself, as any item that can be influenced by Arms Lore, can give gains, even if you’ve been 100% chance to craft it exceptional since you were a neophyte tailor. Simply, anything that has resists (other than shields), or can inflict damage as a weapon, gives Arms Lore gains. For a Tailor, this includes all armor types, as well as all hat types. Typically, just the act of training up any two of the major Crafting skills (Tailor, Blacksmith and/or Bowyer/Fletching) to Grandmaster, will get a character to well over 90 Arms Lore, even if starting at 0 skill (and the recommended training methods above will have you starting at 33.3). If still shy of Grandmaster Arms Lore, one can simply fill all the Tailoring Hat BODs one gets, until the skill is maxed out – or simply continue working Tailoring, as one of the most cost-efficient items to train skill over 100 (up to about 115 skill) are the Cloth Ninja Hoods. While there are no BODs for the hoods, the alternative is crafting things out of much more expensive leathers – plus if you do the Britain Library Collection quest, you can donate the Cloth Ninja Hoods to the Thief NPC for collection points instead of recycling them, if you so choose.

Bulk Order Deeds

The Tailor’s Best Friend (and sometimes worst nightmare)

Bulk Order Deeds (or BODs) are best given their own full treatment as to how they function, but you’ll need to know the following basic information.

1. What is a BOD (Small BOD)? A BOD is a Bulk Order Deed. BODs may be offered to anyone with Tailoring skill on request of the character, or when they sell items to NPC Tailors, Weavers or Cobblers. These deeds come in many forms but the one thing they have in common is that they may all be completed and turned in for a reward. The reward depends somewhat on the type of deed you turn in, ranging from special colors of cloth for the easy ones, to magical crafting tools for the rarer ones.

2. How do I get a BOD and how often can I get them? In order to get a BOD just sell any item that the NPC Tailor will buy or select “Bulk Order Info” from the context-sensitive menu when clicking on an NPC Tailor. The deed you get at and after 70.0 Real Skill is random, while lower skill BODs will usually reflect items you can gain skill by making, and will always be Small BODs, of Normal quality. Tailors get 33.33% exceptional quality BODs, as opposed to the 50% exceptional that Blacksmiths get in their system. Then again, it is MUCH easier to get top end runics with a Tailor, than a Blacksmith, so it more than offsets (though it can get frustrating after a while).
Under normal circumstances, you may recieve a BOD only once during a given time period depending on your skill level (based on real skill):

  • 0.1-50.0: every one hour (Normal cloth or leather – will be a BOD the character can gain skill from, while making the requested items)
  • 50.1-69.9: every two hours (type as indicated in 0.1-50.0)
  • 70.0-120: every six hours (All possible types, Large & Small, exceptional or normal – though there still appears to be a tendency, if a cloth or leather BOD, to be one the character can gain on, up until at least 80 skill).

This timer is per character, and it should be noted that a different timer applies to each BOD system. In other words, if a character accepts a Blacksmithing BOD, he must wait the appropriate amount of time before he is eligible to receive another Blacksmithing BOD but is eligible to receive a BOD for Tailoring. One may check in-game approximately how long a specific character will have to wait by selecting “Bulk Order Info” on an skill-appropriate NPC’s context-sensitive menu.
In 2005, a change was made in the BOD system, so that if one turns in a BOD, it resets the timer, making the Tailor immediately able to claim another BOD, on turning in a tailor BOD for a reward. This led to a form of BOD collection & filling known as “BOD Cycling”, which is discussed in the BOD Essay.

BOD types, by commonality: Unlike smiths, all Tailor small BODs will fit a Large BOD (3 different larges, in the case of footwear BODs). 8% of BODs will be Large BODs. Overall (Small or large), 26 of the 55 smalls, and 5 of the 14 larges, are leather types. If a leather type (and the character high enough level to get colored leather BODs), they are 30% normal leather, 42% Spined Leather, 21% Horned Leather, and 7% Barbed Leather.

3. How do I fill a BOD and get the reward? After receiving your BOD double click it and read it carefully. It should tell you the quantity and quality of the items as well as the leather type needed to complete the order. There are also two buttons on the bottom of the deed, the bottom one is the Exit button which will close the gump, and the top button combines the item needed with the deed.

  • Craft (or purchase) the items and add them to the deed.
  • To add an item double click on the deed in your backpack to open it(if it is not already open), choose the “Combine this deed with the item requested” button, then target and click the item you wish to add. After you add an item the gump will automatically reappear with updated information to reflect that you have added an item. If the BOD is not yet full, the targeting cursor will remain, so you can go straight to the next item, instead of having to mess with the BOD and its buttons again.
  • After you have filled the deed you may turn it in to any NPC Tailor, Weaver or Cobbler (but not the Tailor Guildmaster) for a reward. To turn in the deed drop it on the NPC and you will receive your reward. Rewards consist of: an item, an amount of gold (placed directly in your bank, and may take the form of a check), and an amount of fame.
  • As noted, you can now immedately ask for a new BOD to replace the old one. it is strongly recommended that you ALWAYS ask for a new BOD after each individual BOD turned in, as the chance for a replacement for that specific BOD will be lost, if you turn in another BOD. Also, if you are due a BOD from the normal wait times, always request it first, before turning in any BODs, as to not lose that opportunity.

What kind of rewards will I get for a BOD? For small BODs, you will usually get cloth of one of 20 special colors that cannot be gotten with a Dying Tub. These are divided into 5 tiers of 4 colors each, and only the top three tiers (and even then, mostly the top tier) have any value to you other than using to fill more BODs. There is also a slight chance that you will get sandals (of one of the 8 colors of the top two tiers) instead of Tier 4 or Tier 5 cloth.
The most valuable rewards are from the Large BODs. You fill large BODs by filling small BODs for each of the parts, then combining the smalls with the large, in the same manner as you combined items with the smalls. Rewards for the larges include the Power Scrolls that will let you train Tailoring above 100 skill (as well as allow training for much longer periods using easier items), several types of house decoration (most of which you’ll never need very many of, and only fill larges for them when you have a need or request for them), Runic Sewing Kits that allow you to craft armor with magical powers, and the Clothing Bless Deed, which allows you to bless a clothing item, so that it stays with you, when you die (instead of being left on your corpse). The Barbed Runic Sewing Kit and the Clothing Bless Deed will be your most desired rewards.

Arcane Clothing

Skilled tailors have the ability to use Arcane Gems on some pieces of clothing and thus create Arcane Clothing. The following pictures are of the Arcane Clothing from the now-defunct Third Dawn client Frontal view, backside view. (frankly, the Arcane items were about the only thing that actually looked better in the 3D client as opposed to the normal client)

To use the arcane gems, double-click a gem and then target the piece of clothing you wish to make arcane. You must already have an exceptionally crafted piece of clothing, and it must be one of the following: Robe, cloak, leather gloves, or thigh boots.

The arcane clothing lets you use charges of it in place of reagents. When you cast a spell without sufficient reagents (or sufficient Lower Reagent Cost equipment), the clothing will lose one charge per spell. Charges will only be drawn from the clothing if the wearer does not have sufficient reagents for a spell in his backpack.

When the charges are gone, the arcane item loses the special appearance it was given when it was made arcane, although the label remains (complete with maker’s mark)… It can be recharged by targeting it with another arcane gem, but you won’t necessarily recharge it fully with one gem even though only one gem is required to enhance a piece of clothing.

Arcane clothing is charged with 24 charges for a Legendary Tailor(120). For each 5 points lower, one charge is deducted. So from 115.0 to 119.9 skill, only 23 charges will be applied and so on. By combining a robe, cape, thigh boots and leather gloves you can be equipped with 96 charges maximum. You do not have to be a tailor to recharge an Arcane clothing item that has run out of charges. However, the higher your tailoring skill, the more charges will be added (with a maximum of 24).

Arcane clothing can be dyed like regular clothes, but it cannot be blessed. Also, do not change blessed clothing into Arcane clothing since the blessed status will *not* be retained.

Note that arcane gems are now stackable, but are bugged, so that if you try to use a pile to recharge a single item, instead of using one gem, it will consume all the gems (and only give one gem’s charge). Crafting with stacked gems, though, appears to be working fine, since the change.

Tips and tricks

 A word or two about macroing: Simply put, unattended macroing is verboten — forbidden — any software that does such things is forbidden in the game, and forbidden to be discussed on Stratics. However, attended macroing, if done within the guidelines and limitations of the Macro systems of the two clients, or with UO Assist in the 2D Client, is perfectly legal.

The most basic macros one can set up, are done so in the client, and are most useful in relieving the drudgery of gathering resources and making cloth. First is simply a “Last Object” macro. If the last object you used is an item requires targeting, it will bring you up a targeting cursor. This is useful for reducing things such as wool shearing and the cutting of corpses with a Butcher’s War Cleaver into a button plus a target, as opposed to multiple clicks of the mouse, provided you don’t make some other item (like clicking a corpse, to loot it) the last object.

Almost as simple, and even more useful, is a two line macro, combining “Last Object” with “Last Target”. This will allow you to take a pile of wool, and after the first clicks on it and the wheel, reduce the process of adding more wool to the wheel to a single button press. The same macro, with the object now your yarn or thread, and the target the loom, will reduce cloth-making to simple button presses. Practically every profession can use this simple macro to great effect in some form or another – a miner can repeat a mining dig; a fisher can repeat a cast; a lumberjack can repeat a chop; a potion user can repeat a potion use (especially when tossing explosions); a spellcaster using a scroll can use the macro to target something with the scroll that could not be safely targeted normally (example, a telekinesis scroll, on a treasure chest the person just picked, but cannot see after backing off to a safe distance to open the chest with the spell), etc.

UO Assist allows recording of sequences of actions in the 2D client, such as hitting the “make Last” button in a crafting menu a set number of times. Trigger the macro, click the tool, and the tool does its thing (and if the tool wears out, quickly clicking a new tool will continue the process). Despite what others might claim, UO Assist is the only legal 3rd party program that can be used for macros in the 2D client, that actually interfaces with the client.

Some specialized keyboards and keypads have options to set up certain keystroke combinations to do things in game, but those items still are only doing things that would take longer to type in – and are only legal as long as you do not use looping options. Any loop that is continuous, requiring you to break out of it, is illegal by any means (even if the loop is something as simple as weighting or wedging a single key down on a basic keyboard), according to developers’ statements in the past. That said, for non-looping functions, even the developers use the extra-functional keyboards when playing UO on their own time!

With the release of Stygian Abyss, the new versions of the crafting tool gump in both clients allow you to specify a set number of items to make (barring a crafting failure), or to make as many as you can, until you fail, run out of space, or run out of supplies (the make number & max max options are found inside each item’s specific gump, in 2D/Classic client). It even has the provision to mark the items made as quest items automatically, for those items used in quests.

A must-have for every Tailor and Smith is the Salvage Bag, sold by Provisioner NPCs. Instead of requiring each item you want to recycle to be cut with scissors (tailor) or targeted with the recycle option of the tool gump (smith), one can use the bag to recycle all items inside it at once. UO Assist has a similar ability to designate any container for this (that inspired the developers of UO to create the Salvage Bag), but it takes about a second per item, when the Salvage Bag does it all in 1-2 seconds. The Salvage Bag also returns more ingots to Smiths than normal or UO Assist methods. This is another great time saver, when you consider those minutes lost recycling with other methods quickly add up, making skill training take much longer than it needs to be.

The author of this version of the Tailoring essay wishes to acknowledge the contribution of the following persons:

  • The Bear (who composed the original Tailoring Essay)
  • Pfredd Mudd, GM Tailor and advisor on the Ostwind-era Essay.
  • Elowan of Wind, Stitch, and Ostwind, for providing the framework. While I have radically altered much of the essay, parts of it are still recognizable as derived from their work (if not actually sections of his transported into the new version)
  • Hermlock, who many years ago did an essay for the Smith Forum (now part of Craftsman Forum) on BODs, that I later updated and altered into part of the Tailor FAQ on Craftsman, and part of which was excerpted and edited into the BOD section of this essay.

Cartoons by Ron Leishman

by Basara

Last modified: February 11, 2013

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