How do you go about updating an authentic product?
Wehrmacht uniforms were amongst the most mass produced garments of the war. The demand was excessive, the supply was not in abundance, and certain standardization were to be maintained. With many patterns and tailoring firms working for the military, a certain standards was enforced, but enough amount of variance was tolerated when approving garments fit for service, but that doesn't mean that workmanship was to be of any substantial lower quality.
Feedback from customers
Looking at the various reviews and feedback received for our blue-gray products over the past 4 years, there was 1 major area which reenactors wished to see improvements. We have received some very positive feedback about the quality of our line of blue-gray uniforms, which we are proud how. However, some reenactors wished to see improvement to the woolen fabric. It's not that our fabric is of low quality of not thick enough; but rather that the fabric could be more bluish in colour.
Some of the feedback about our blue-gray uniforms
It is not that we were not aware of this. Being a Luftwaffe reenactor and also a collector, I appreciate your feedback. But when I started Luftwaffe Supplies with no external investment, a lot of time was spent to find the perfect balance of good tailoring, good hardware, and quality fabric. A decision was taken to use readily-available fabric, which still made it to our best-selling garments for 4 years. It was still authentic fabric, but it was amongst the grayish we've ever seen.
Luftwaffe Supplies is now in a position to make this change, thanks to your stellar support and custom. After building strong relations with our tailoring firm, we have proceeded to commission new fabric for our top selling uniforms. I wanted to do this to the best of our ability, and there's no better way to do this, than to go back to analysis stage and study a wide range of original fabric to get the specifications.
The different shades of original Luftwaffe fabric that were analysed.
Tens of original garments were analysed, from Wachmantel, to Fliegerblusen and side caps. Apart from the shade, the fabric also differs in thickness and composition - wool to acrylic ratio. (Yes even pre-war uniforms were not made of 100% wool, let alone wartime production). Infact, things got a lot more complex when comparing pre-war to late-war garments. At this point, a decision needed to be taken. It was observed that it would be best to go with an early-mid war fabric, which should give the best basis for uniforms serving on most of the fronts that we reenact.
After a lot of analysis and also a lot of help from fellow collectors, the biggest challenge still remained - the specifications for the mill to produce the fabric. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I decided to send one of my original garments to them, so that they can copy the fabric shade.
Months later, the fabric was finally ready. It was a welcome sight to see this project materialise. Finally, a truer Luftwaffe shade for my Fliegerbluse and Trousers offerings. The fabric was immediately sent off to the tailors, and on with the first batch of the new uniforms.
I am very pleased to have achieved this objective and that I am now able to offer you, fellow reenactors and collectors, with an improved line of clothing at Luftwaffe Supplies.
You can find a small note in the product page that indicates that the current stock is with the new fabric. So far the products with the new fabric are:
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