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Undress / Fatigue dress / Waistcoats
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Was just about to post but Eddie beat me to it.

Yes, I too don't understand this 'tails' business. I can see what looks like a slight sloping away on the Atkinson drill illustration - but a tails??

Naa! Don't buy it.

Also on Ben's Atkinson drill post - the Finart occupation print - are those small pockets in the jacket?
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simon shephard
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By tails, I meant the small tang, diamond, drop bit in the centre back of the illustrations, rather than a full tail coat (ought to be more specific really).  Still learning lots of terms and may use them incorrectly, as I have a massive 1 season under my belt!
Back to lurk mode.
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Paul Durrant
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon,
That's cool. By all means lurk, but don't hesitate to speak out. Sometimes the simplest questions are the best. Sometimes a new eye makes all the difference.

We all started out on our first post!


Last edited by Paul Durrant on Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Iain Dubh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All,
I am always amazed by the stuff you guys manage to turn up; there are lots of paintings in this thread that I have not seen. Nice work!
My 1812 group started moving over to the Kersey body/Serge Sleeves combination for our fatigue coats last year, but continued with the cuff facings. From a construction standpoint, it makes sense that there would have been some more durable material at the cuff as the serge we get now-a-days seems to be more delicate than the good old British wool used in the body. That said, maybe our concerns didn't mean a great deal in the face of all the prints sans cuffs!
It is nice to see more evidence of the round fatigue caps in the occupation prints...
Aye,
Iain
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Eddie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon - I wasn't picking at you - actually I think it was our forum General(all hail and praise etc) who used the term " tails" on this thread -  meaning what Richard described as the "skirts" of the coat I think.

Paul is absolutely right in his encouragement for you to pitch in.
This forum is a great open space visted by novice and"expert"alike and as Iain Dubh says it is amazing what turns up.

I don't hold back from asking basic questions because some of what is assumed to be established fact is actually based on very little evidence but has been repeatedly replicated from secondary sources.

Its also good to prod experts with a stick sometimes!
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But what is a skirt if not a truncated tail, ergo still a tail in shortened form?
q21
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Bryan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben. It's interesting you should say that. I have a book on the history of the art of tailoring men's coats and jackets which seems to say that the use of the terms "tails" and "skirts" are all bound up with the introduction of the reducing horizontal waist seam which mainly happened shortly after our period, I say mainly because there are odd examples with said seam shortly before our period.

Most of the examples without a horizontal waist seam being described as tailed. Anything after the introduction of the seam being described as skirted. The term tailed coming back into use after a long absence in the mid Victorian period to describe formal evening jackets.
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, regimental undress is regulated by the Colonel of the regiment, so one can expect variety from regiment to regiment. The Atkinson image seems to be quite early, will be interested to find out more about the King's Own image from the Chartrand book. As Eddie rightly comments, we don't even know if its period yet, but I'm on it.
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Radford
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie wrote:
White COTTON jackets ?
Strong white COTTON trousers not nankeen?
BLUE  trousers?
Black LACQUERED  gaiters?

What happened to white FLANNEL ?
What about linen trousers?

Tell me it isn't true -  I think I got a headache coming on....


Dear Eddie and List-

An answer to the puzzle about "cotton" may be found in these few quotes from Florence Montgomery's Textiles in America, 1650 - 1870  Florence defines "cotton":

"A term used to designate certain woolen cloths from at least the fifteenth century, so one must be cautious in reading the term...the explanation of the use of the word cotton may lie in the fact that it had also the sense of nap or down, and the process of raising the nap of woollen cloths was called "cottoning" or "frizzing"...At the end of the sixteenth century, Manchester was "eminent for its woollen cloth or Manchester cottons"..."

One source suggested that it took until the mid-19th Century for "cotton" to come to refer exclusively to the fabric made from plant fiber.

Notice the line "2 pr of strong white cotton gun-mouthed trousers- not nankeen ". Nankeen is a durable brownish yellow fabric originally hand loomed in Nanking, China from the plant fiber cotton. Since the mid-18th Century trousers were commonly made from nankeen, so much so that nankeen became a name for trousers. Since the WO27/121 General Order 25th Jan 1814 specifically says "not nankeen", I figure that they were being extra sure that no one misunderstood and got plant fiber cotton trousers instead of wool fiber cotton trousers.

Cotton, having a nap, would be similar to flannel. The other references to "flannel jackets" paint a picture of soldiers in white woolen jackets and trousers - so no headache.
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some great insights here, keep 'em coming. Sometimes it seems as if contemporary clothing terms are not only inconsistent from individual to individual but also withinn a single source, viz some of the tailoring books. Heres a reference to 'white stuff' from the regimental order book of the 13th Foot, 1802.
"Commanding Officers of Companies will immediately compleat such of their Men as may be in want of them with White Jackets and trowsers of the Uniform Pattern. The Regimental taylors cannot be spared for the purpose. A pattern piece of White Stuff will be shown by the Qr Master Serjeant: which if approved of Captains can be procured on very reasonable Terms- It is hoped that the Men will in future wear their Fatigue Trowsers when they go to Winehouses and not carry the disgraceful marks of their drunkeness to Parade with them."
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's basiclly saying the 13th were a bunch of pissheads. LOL.

Dave
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Bryan
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our fatigue trowsers don't carry the disgraceful marks of drunkeness, at least not often. But they certainly carry the marks of many a morning fryup! What a stupid colour to choose for work clothes. Even with the cooks wearing aprons you can't keep them clean.
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps bacon fat grey would be better, with egg yolk facings? Its better than fouling your regimentals I suppose!
The Standing Orders of the 13th, 1808, do have some instructions on saving the white shirts from excessive wear,
"In Gibralter, and other situations where the Men are expected much to be employed on fatigue parties, they will be permitted to have a check shirt or two, to save their white ones: they must, however be as frequently washed as the white.
Whenever a soldier shall be detected as having in his possession what is known as a false frill, or half-shirt, an article meant for the filthy purpose of hiding dirt, it is immediately to be burnt, and the man confined for disobediance of these orders."

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Bryan
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben, very interesting stuff! There is a very good description somewhere ( I'm supposed to be working so no access to my books) of a type of heavy linen smock supplied to cooks to cover their clothes. Like a baggy heavy shirt long at the back and front made of Russia Linen. Some were made so that they could be also worn backwards so you could soil both sides before having to wash it.

In my extreme enthusiasm I made up two of those along with the aprons but for some strange reason they still lie in pristine condition in our kitchen linen bag. Can't understand why??
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much like an agricultural workers smock? I have one for heavy or messy fatigues (wet firewood, that sort of thing), but rarely bring it along because its one more thing to carry- I daresay it might have met the same fate on active service. I believe the Green book specs them for cooks.

"Some were made so that they could be also worn backwards so you could soil both sides before having to wash it. "

I'll let Dave G deal with this comment!


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