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Shako Tufts

The quest for Equipment Completion continues...

To this end, does anyone have a source about the construction of Shako tufts.

Everywhere I've looked so far don't even agree on what the spine is made of, let alone how the thing is made.

Also, any ideas on how often they were supposed to be replaced (not counting loss or damage) ?
I'm sure the Shako was every two years

Thanks for reading

It's a woven fringe , made  up  separately of wool  yarn  pieces  on a pair  of  linen  cords, that's then wrapped  spirally around a wire, or  whalebone  stem.
Usually there would be a layer  of tow wrapped around the wire and the  fringe attached to  that.

Later ball type tufts are similar,  though  usually there's a linen cloth wrapping around a wooden  core.

They differ from feather  plumes,  although the style  of manufacture is similar, in that a feather one has the feathers held  in place and a wrapping thread  used to  hold them down to  the stem rather than being made up  separately.  Most modern plumes tend to  be done from strung feathers now.

There's not many (any?)  surviving  originals apart from feather  ones,  but a number  of continental examples which show the same style  of construction, plus  a lot  of victorian ones.

There are no official records  of how they were made as  it was simply a  trade matter,  but  one  of the companies from the 1820's was still making them into  the 1980's when they sold  off their plume side  of the business to  an  employee.

Some manufacturing would have been conducted within the unit..certainly in peace time or home service.

Ballingal who served as an Ass Surgeon with the 33rd Foot 1815-1818 relates that a soldier injured in a pub brawl was able to keep his injury secret for several days till his condition became critical,

"to this facility was unfortunately given, for the young man having been been employed in manufacturing tufts for the mens' caps, and having been in consequence been excused from parades."

Alas, the man's comrades aided him by keeping him well supplied with alcohol which meant that by the time he received serious medical attention it was too late to save his life.

Thanks folks
I've made wool fringing for a totally different project that was knitting wool knotted around a cord and then teased out. Time to experiment

While I can find the overall size of a tuft, could anyone tell me the proportion of red to white for a line company.... Or was that also at the CO's discretion ?

Usually appears 1/3 red  over white, but some  images vary.

The one thing they are not  is  pompoms stuck onto  a wire.

Neibelungen wrote:
Usually appears 1/3 red  over white, but some  images vary.

The one thing they are not  is  pompoms stuck onto  a wire

Seen one of those q20

Thirds I can do. Thanks mate

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