Clothing allows you to create both Light Armor, used mainly by characters oriented around magic, as well as Medium Armor, which are a typical to characters resembling a rogue (meaning characters using a bow, as well as those who prefer to fight in melee range, but want to rely on agility, instead of hiding behind a container of heavy armor).
Clothing, because of the fact that it allows you to craft both Light and Medium Armors, uses a two, separate groups of items. To be able to make items from the Light Armor category, you will need plant fibers, collected from a specific type of plants (which is done the same as extracting ore from an ore nod), which are then processed in the same manner as ore is smelted into bars.
Medium Armor, in turn, requires you to collect Scraps of different types of leathers, which can be gained through ransacking various containers (chests, barrels, basically all the places which can hide items). The other source (which probably become your main one for a while), is to simple pick it up from the corpses of slain monsters.
Below you will find a table describing all the abilities available to you in the Clothing branch.
Name and Rank
Description of the ability
Allows you to make and use Jute and Rawhide.
Allows you to make and use Flax and Hide.
Allows you to make and use Cotton and Leather.
Allows you to make and use Spidersilk and Thick Leather.
Allows you to make and use Ebonthread and Fell Hide.
Allows you to make and use Kreshweed and Topgrain Hide.
Allows you to make and use Ironthread and Iron Hide.
Allows you to make and use Silverweave and Superb Hide.
Allows you to make and use Void Cloth and Daedra Hide.
Keen Eye: Cloth I
Fibrous Plants in the world will be easier to spot if you come within 20 meters of them.
Keen Eye: Cloth II
Fibrous Plants in the world will be easier to spot if you come within 30 meters of them.
Keen Eye: Cloth III
Fibrous Plants in the world will be easier to spot if you come within 40 meters of them.
Outfitter Hireling I
An Outfitter Hireling will send you various types of plant fibers, leathers and/or other items connected with Clothing once a day. The items are delivered when you are logged out.
Outfitter Hireling II
An Outfitter Hireling will send you various types of plant fibers, leathers and/or other items connected with Clothing once a day. Possibility of getting more and better items. The items are delivered when you are logged out.
Outfitter Hireling III
An Outfitter Hireling will send you various types of plant fibers, leathers and/or other items connected with Clothing once a day. Higher possibility of getting more and better items. The items are delivered when you are logged out.
Increases the chances of extracting Clothing ingredients while deconstructing an item.
Greatly increases the chances of extracting Clothing ingredients while deconstructing an item.
Maximizes the chances of extracting Clothing ingredients while deconstructing an item.
Reduces research times by 5% and allows the research of two items at once.
Reduces research times by 10% and allows the research of two items at once.
Reduces research times by 20% and allows the research of three items at once.
Tannin Expertise I
Increases the chances of improving an item with Tannins.
Tannin Expertise II
Greatly increases the chances of improving an item with Tannins.
Tannin Expertise III
Doubles the chances of improving an item with Tannins.
As you can see, there's a plethora of abilities to choose from (and it's only a single branch of crafting!), which is why you should be extra careful on which of them you should spend your skill points, in order to spare some on other skill lines.
The absolutely mandatory are three of them:
- Tailoring (obviously all the way to the 9th level, to gain access to all the fibers and hides available in the game)
- Stitching - the research times in game mount up to ridiculous levels (if you want to be able to use all the traits for a single item, you will need to spend real-time DAYS to do so!), and that is precisely why you much spend all 3 points in this ability, to greatly reduce the research time itself, as well as be able to research 3 items at once. Without this one you can simple forget about becoming a successful crafter.
- Tannin Expertise - upgrading the items is, besides the sole process of creating them, an extremely important aspect, as it allows you to drastically enhance a given item - be it the values of the item itself (the armor value of a piece of armor), a trait or even an enhancement put on an item through the Enchanting process. By increasing the chance of a successful improvement, you basically reduce the number of Tannins (will be explained later on) required in the process. That is precisely why this ability is so important. The whole process of upgrading an item will be explained later.
An ability worth noting is the Keen Eye: Cloth, which, after investing a point in it, will make the nearby (the distance is dependent on the level of the ability) fibrous plants more visible (they have a slight glow), allowing you to notice them a lot easier. A single point in this ability is more than enough, if you have at least basic ability of perception and are aware of your surroundings.
If you want to keep yourself busy with Clothing a little bit more seriously, you should invest in the Unraveling as well - the ability increases the chances of getting various Clothing components, as well as Tannins (which are quite hard to find through other means) through the process of deconstructing items, and the more "free" components (and Tannins) you are able to get for your crafting branch, the better.
The last ability, Outfitter Hireling, can be completely omitted - getting a few units of fibers / hides (or a Tanning, though it is quite rare) may be tempting, but, most of the time, it is simply reduced to a situation, when you get a small number of fibers / hides, which you can find on your own in a matter of a few minutes. If you don't have anything better to invest points into, you can think about this ability - otherwise, forget about it.