(Login RAFP) Forum Member from IP address 126.96.36.199
Can anyone out there shed any light on the midnight blue serge cloth used in RAAF suits aircrew / battledress. I've never actually handled an original example, but from the few colour photos I've seen it appears to be a different texture from RAF items. Possibly higher quality / softer / with less odd coloured flecks, etc? Is the weight & weave the same?
Is there anyone who has access to an original item who can confirm or negatate my observations?
Any replies (or even comparison photos) much appreciated!
I am guessing you are considering an investment with our friend Steve?
The stuff on Pegasus militaria site is cut identically it seems to Suits aircrew, if they had any sense their stuff would have been better quality wool as the Canadian Army stuff seems to be a superior cut. certainly those NZ BD pants we had a way back were of a wool more akin to the W.A. BD.
This is of course pure speculation on my part but logic would dictate that our colonial brethren, with fewer troops to clothe and less budgetary constraints may well have gone that little further to encompass wearer comfort.
Chris Kanca (Premier Login AOC553) Forum Owner 188.8.131.52
October 25 2006, 1:52 PM
RAAF uniforms can be found in a handful of different types of wool. The key factor seems to be country of manufacture.
Obviously, midnight blue is considerably darker than RAF blue-grey. The colour itself is solid and is not the same as the 3-colour weave that comprises the blue-grey wool used by RAF/Commonwealth forces.
From a texture perspective, RAAF BD is generally made with two types of wool serge -- a style unique to Aussie-made wool and another style largely identical to the wool used in BD made in UK.
RAAF BD was produced in the UK for issue to RAAF members in the ETO and/or as repalcement garments for those with damaged uniforms, etc.
The Australian-made wool has a diagonal weave component similar to that seen on Canadian Army/RCAF wool.
The Brit-made RAAF items are the same weave/texture as standard RAF items -- i.e. a coarse serge wool with no visible weave component.
As to colour, there are some slight variations in the shade with UK-made items being slightly darker than those produced in Australia. By this, I am comparing non-faded/unused fabrics from a sampling of 5 BD blouses.
It is extremely difficult to match the shade of midnight blue used by RAAF during WW2. I ended up having a custom order of fabric milled for my own repro projects.