I would guess that most, if not all of the loincloths worn by the Tarzan actors were briefs of cloth or leather with leather flaps attached, but I would argue if they should be considered "fake". For me, a loincloth is more about style rather than make. For example, I've seen swim thongs with the flaps attached to look like a loincloth. I, myself would still consider this a loincloth based on it's appearance when worn. Is it a "real" loincloth, no, but it's still a "loincloth" in my opinion. The thing I have a problem with is when an actor clearly is wearing Fruit of the Loom type briefs with a loincloth. It ruins the appearance of the loincloth, kinda like socks with sandals.
I would be interested in hearing from others also on this subject.
I'd consider them fakes. Seems that I'm more puristic, or even fundamentalist, than you :)
But I'm not into violence to spread my belief in the sacred loincloth ;)
Your view is completely understood. For my own attire I prefer an "authentic" loincloth also, but also have worn the "fake" ones on occasion.
For me a real loincloth is a long strip of material passing through the legs and held up by a cord or string tied around the waist. For example Johnny Weissmuller wore a real loincloth, but it look like Gordon Scott wore flaps over briefs or speedo.
Thumbs up to Bob T, but there are the self-holding, tied ones like a bahag or a rokushaku fundoshi, but as Tarzan fashion, they're out of question, of course :)
For me, it's most likely the one strip of material hanging from a belt on both sides. (Two flaps hanging from a belt, hiding nothing, is the "half" style.) Or the loincloth becomes its own belt.
We really need a better taxonomy.
I tried out something at http://members.chello.at/diogenes/small_loincloth_dictionary.pdf
Corrections and suggestions welcome!
From what I remember reading, Weissmuller's loincloth was leather flaps with a chamois type material forming the U shaped under piece. The chamois naturally would provide a more comfortable fit and hold up to the constant water exposure.
For years I thought Weissmuller had worn some type of thong under his loincloth to "corral" him - especially in those scenes carrying Jane 😉 - but there is a scene in Tarzan's Desert Mystery where he was hiding in a cave during a sandstorm with Nancy Kelly where something is clearly peeking out. I'm surprised the censors didn't catch it.
I was watching Pony Soldier and I notice that one native american looks like he is wearing a jock strap under his flaps. Did indians wore jock straps back in the old west.