Best B-10 repro?

Discussion in 'Cloth' started by sparidon, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    This does not settle the matter at all. Memories can play tricks and the guy has a vested interested to corroborate BR's claim! Photographic/documentary evidence is essential to prove the factory installation of berry knits on B-10s.
     
  2. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    I agree. I'm not trying to prove my assertion. I simply want to offer a reasonable explanation as to how red knits could have left the factory on B-10s. An explanation that I believe but may not be articulating correctly in order to convince you gentlemen.

    Documentary proof is definitely called for in this matter. But pushing aside the good evidence and information I presented is not called for IMO. In the meantime however the interesting reactive dye hypothesis satisfies me until proof is eventually shown.

    One other thing, Charles actually corrected Buzz Rickson's idea that the B-10 was made with red knits intentionally. So he contradicted BR in a sense. Something I admire in him. Telling the truth despite sales pressures, etc.
     
  3. Dr H

    Dr H Active Member

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  4. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    Very interesting and something that has crossed my mind, Aero's use of berry knits in their A-2s in large numbers. Perhaps they were dyed incorrectly but were needed so badly they passed inspection anyway. I don't think reactive dye and sunlight can account for so many berry knits. Good point! This addresses the other part of this thread, incorrectly dyed wool. Did the wool manufacturer intend to create berry knits? IMO they did not as the A-2 calls for brown knits in it's original specs, and to my knowledge no amendment has been found that includes the use of berry knits. So unless I'm missing something this sounds like dying problems caused a large amount of berry knits to be used on Aero A-2s because they were needed for the war.
     
  5. Dr H

    Dr H Active Member

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    I think there's a misunderstanding here. I'm offering a possible explanation for e.g. the blue knits on nylon jackets becoming more green/yellow/red (or brown or purple knits fading to a redder hue on storage). I'm not proposing this for the wider use of berry knits.
    I'm also more inclined to think Aero berry knits were initially a dyer's error.
     
  6. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    This sums up my opinion and understanding as well.
     
  7. Peter Graham

    Peter Graham Well-Known Member

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    I'm not proud at all. I'm just mildly interested. I don't mind at all if I'm proven wrong and I've been around this game long enough to know that anything is possible. I'm sure that along the line sometime a B-10 or two had reddish knits for one reason or another but I believe that these would be pure anomalies, nothing more. Does this justify BR to make a production run of them ? It's not for me to say. I'm not a businessman.
     
  8. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    You're alright Peter. Thanks for joining in on the thread. You had some very valid points about your M-422a knits. I'm not about positioning myself as a teacher or a ruler over others on here :twisted: I've enjoyed the discussion on here and hope to learn more. BTW, someday I hope to have an M-422a like yours.
     
  9. foster

    foster New Member

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    The use of fiber reactive dyes is not something that was commonplace in WWII, if it happened at all during the war. In my textile chemistry classes (it has been several years, but I think I can remember with reasonable accuracy) we learned that fiber reactive dyes are engineered primarily for cotton and other cellulosic fibers. Wool is a protein fiber, and acid dyes have been the traditional manner of dyeing wool since the 19th century. But when using the acid dyes it is important to have good temperature control on the dye bath, as variance of a few degrees can yield color variations. Such is possibly the cause for the purplish knits, and the reason we see some variety in the color spectrum of original A2 knits.

    But back to fiber reactive dyes. The problem with reactive dyes is the dye molecules also react with themselves which causes the dye to have residual color which does not bond to the surface of the fiber. This requires intensive washing to remove the hydrolized dye, and even when thoroughly washed some unbonded dye particles (particles which bonded with other dye molecules and not to the fiber surface) remain in the finished fabric. This causes coloration to rub off when the fabric is abraded / worn against other cloth, and also when the fabric gets wet. Would such fabrics be approved by the AAF inspectors? I can only make a guess at the answer to that question.

    Concerning sunlight, the sunlight can change the color but I suggest that in this instance the sunlight has not only degraded the chemical makeup of the dyes, but also of the fibers as well. The sun- faded wool I have examined tends to almost always be more fragile than wool which was not sun bleached.

    Also, aren't the vertical length of the B-10 knits longer than the A-2? This would be more of a factor with the cuffs, perhaps.

    Forgive me for being an old fashioned empirical historian, but I prefer to approach historical queries of this nature by examining the known facts and artifacts. It is more mentally fatiguing when I try to speculate on what may have happened. It is less complicated and more intellectually honest to begin with known evidence. The lack of original evidence in the form of extant jackets with the red knits, or photos in which one can clearly tell there are red knits on an OD jacket, is illustration of the rarity of such a jacket. The speculated possibilities of how such a garment could have come to exist are numerous, and are as difficult to validate as it is to find one of the jackets in question.
     
  10. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    Foster, Thanks for the information on the dye types and bath temperatures, etc. I hope this clears up the question of wool being improperly dyed during WWII. For example the purple M-422A knits and the Aero and Dubow red knits. Bath temperatures may or may not be the cause, but mixing the dye recipe incorrectly even a modicum amount could result in different tints or even different colors. I don't think we will ever know.

    The faded clothing you handled was perhaps very old, which is maybe a better explanation for their fragility and degradation. Also humidity, sweat, and exposure to other elements surely had a hand in this. No doubt UV rays also will weaken textiles over time. But I'm talking about reactions happening over weeks or months here. Not enough time to weaken the wool enough to make it unsuitable for use. also consider that different dye types were used on wool during WWII.

    If a bunch of large bins full of sheets of wool utilizing silver dye or other primitive dyes of the time were left in direct sunlight because of the large windows of the old style factory buildings of the time period the reactive dyes could have changed the color of some of the wool while still remaining in good enough shape to be used on jackets. More sun less time. Only relatively small numbers of jackets would have been produced using these reddish brown knits vs. large amounts of misdyed wool used on Aeros, Dubows, and M-422As. This is why not very many examples of B-10s with red knits are out there. Charles in all his experience has only seen one and it had original knits.

    Buzz Rickson's no doubt used an original B-10 with dark red knits to model their Superior Togs after. They do not make up designs for contract jackets. The Japanese are masters at duplication and they would have noticed if the red knits were replacements or were a field repair. They are very good at what they do. And they state in their catalog that the red knits were original.

    This sun bleaching effect isn't well understood by many today because manufacturing is different today and it happened long ago, particularly during WWII when textiles were manufactured on a massive scale. This old trade knowledge is being lost. People in the business of textiles AND flight jackets, like Charles at HPA who selected the red rayon for Eastman's M-422A lining back in the 1990s still has this knowledge. I'm passing on this information second hand and I don't have the insight and experience to battle cynics on this forum. I only know enough to pass on the basic information. I don't have proof yet. I just have Charles's deductive reasoning and extensive experience to lean on, which I choose over an atmosphere of cynics and naysayers. With respect I know several on this thread are very knowledgeable about jackets, perhaps just not knowledgeable about this topic.

    Again I am only presenting a hypothesis about red B-10 knits, I don't claim to know without a doubt why Buzz made them berry colored.
     
  11. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    I agree, I wish there was access to proof on this subject. Until that happens we need to rely on the experience and educated opinions of experts in the business. Individuals like Charles at HPA.
     
  12. foster

    foster New Member

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    Perhaps Charles knows where that jacket is now? It has to be in someone's collection. I would enjoy even seeing photographs of it. It would make me more eager to get one myself!
     
  13. SuinBruin

    SuinBruin Active Member

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    You're doing this backwards. First you need evidence that B-10s were factory produced with red knits, then you need an explanation for how it happened. You're trying to use speculation about the latter to demonstrate the former, which doesn't work.

    And no, hearsay from HPA doesn't count as any kind of evidence of factory-made B-10s with red knits.

    P.S. A bin full of knits in the sun has to be one of the least plausible explanations imaginable. How long would knits have to be left in the sun to fade? A really, really long time given that extant B-10s have literally seen years of collective sun exposure without having their knits fade to red. Plus, unless the knits were carefully turned over every so often, they would fade on only the side facing the sun and would thus only be unevenly red or mottled.
     
  14. Peter Graham

    Peter Graham Well-Known Member

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    Exactly the point I was trying to make, although you make it a lot less clumsily than I did.
     
  15. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    I am not doing this backwards. First I noticed Buzz Rickson makes a contract B-10 with berry knits. Buzz states in their catalog that they left the factory red. Since Buzz Rickson seems to be THE authority on nylon/cotton reproductions I take this as evidence, although not direct evidence that berry knits were used. Second I look for an explanation for the berry knits. Since no explanation exists that I can yet find I speculate on the possibilities. So sorry, I don't agree that I'm approaching this wrong.

    I want to hear from anyone who has any positive or informative input on this matter as I myself continue to seek information. If all you can do is be a naysayer without anything to offer why post on this thread? I'm looking for answers not arguments.
     
  16. mezz07

    mezz07 New Member

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    Peter,
    I don't know how the wool was exactly stored in these bins which were apparently left in the sunlight, so it's hard to answer your question as to how the fading would happen. Maybe these were spools of wool yarn that faded before it was sewn into knits and waistbands. I don't know at this point. Maybe it was sheets of wools. I'll try to find the answer.

    As for the fading on extant jackets; I owned a 1957 MA-1 that's shell had faded from OD green to yellow, The zipper tape from OD green to tan, The oxygen tab from green or brown to pink. So it's obvious that the more sunlight the jacket sees the more fading occurs. As for this fading happening relatively quickly, it sounds like it involves more than wool and sunlight. It must be highly reactive dyes on certain colors, like burgundy brown that react so quickly to the elements. Like I've said in previous posts, I don't have all the answers. But I have faith in this explanation and I will continue to search for the answers.

    SuinBruin, Charles's explanation is not hearsay. It's second hand information. Charles is the source of the information. So your attack is rebuffed.
     
  17. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    A little bit of acid rain, little bit of sunlight (direct or reflected), salt air, loose dye particles, methane gas, sweat, water contaminants, and aliens.
     
  18. foster

    foster New Member

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    Coming to the History Channel next week! :lol:
     
  19. foster

    foster New Member

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    I am the third generation in a family which has been working in the textile industry since the Great Depression. I have a college degree in textiles. My father began working in textiles in the early 1960's and is still involved. His father worked in varied textile mills (weaving, knitting) beginning in the 1930's and into the 1970's (he was exempted from wartime service because his supervisor at the knitting mill wrote the war department expressing that he was indispensable to their production and more useful to the war effort in the factory). I not only know how things are produced and made now, I also know how much was done during the wartime textile industry. Is it a totally comprehensive understanding of the processes and procedures of all of the mills at that time? No, but it covers most of the bases from the time fibers begin processing until either yarn or finished cloth leaves the factory. (After this point, I can gain insight from my wife who has a degree in apparel design and knows the workings of the cut and sew industry).

    I am not making guesses on what may or may not have happened in the textile factories during the war; I've got a pretty solid grasp on the subject. It is from this perspective I am making my comments on this subject. If my credentials are lacking the necessary approval/credibility, I am sure I know others more qualified who can speak authoritatively on this matter. In the meantime, I hope my observations are of value to the discussion.

    Wool is not going to fade due to sunlight with any degree of uniformity. If it is a yarn package (spool), only the outside will fade, and after you remove a few yards of yarn the dyed color remains inside where it was shielded from the sun beneath the faded layer. If it is a roll of cloth, only the outside will fade. If it is a knit cuff, only the side which sunlight shines upon will fade. If it is a stack of knit cuffs and waistbands, only the parts and surfaces in direct sunlight will fade. The other parts are shielded and the resulting fading is not uniform and consistent.

    How likely is it that OD dyed wool will just happen to fade to another color used in knits of other jackets? Not likely. It would be like suggesting that UV exposure on modern digital camo ACU's will cause it to fade to the older woodland BDU pattern. Could a strange reactivity of dye make the OD change color to the red? Maybe, but again it is more likely to be changed to some other color, not one used in other military garments. Green is more likely to turn yellow or orange or blue or brown. Green and red are quite distant (opposite) from one another in the color spectrum - it would be like having your blue jeans fade to orange. It can happen, but is not likely. Not likely at all.

    Nylon is a different fiber from wool. The chemistry/dyes with which nylon is dyed, and the resulting way it fades is not the same as in wool. So the fading of a nylon flight jacket from the 1950's to 1960's is going to be different from wool. Fading happens, but it is not constant for all fibers and all dyes. Colorfastness is the term used to describe how well a dyed fabric retains its dyed color. Some dyes and some fibers each have different colorfastness. There are plenty of variables: fiber, density of the twisted yarns within the woven or knit cloth, dye type, dye concentration, solution bath chemistry, water hardness, water temperature, batch dyed vs continuous dyed, degree of rinsing - and all of this before the product leaves the factory (either as spooled yarn or as finished cloth) and also before other factors such as UV exposure, or laundering come into play.

    If there is some reason an OD woolen knit might change color to red, I speculate it happened in the dye process, long before sunlight exposure is a factor whatsoever. But again, I think this is a long shot and not realistically plausible.

    More likely, in the case of these B-10 jackets, The best possibility was the use of red knits already in existence. The sun- fading and reactive dye hypotheses are inconsistent with observed realities of the materials and manufacturing processes involved.
    We know this was a rare occurrence. I am curious if the original red knit B-10 had shorter cuffs, as the B-10 knit cuff is longer than the A-2. The length of the cuff would be a strong indication of if the surplus A-2 cuffs were used, if it is the shorter length.
     
  20. SuinBruin

    SuinBruin Active Member

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    With all due respect, mezz, you haven't "rebuffed" anything. Look, unlike you, I don't have an agenda -- I don't own a BR Superior Togs B-10 and I don't care one way or another if it's accurate or not. But I do care when people make positive assertions of historical fact with no grounds to do so. Unless and until Buzz Rickson and/or HPA publishes actual proof -- as in photographs with closeups to show intact original stitching -- there is no, nada, zilch, zippo evidence of factory-made B-10s with red knits. BR is not an "expert" on anything but making and selling clothing, and if you think that making a repro provides solid evidence of how originals were made then you are simply delusional. Let me put it this way: I own a BR CPO shirt along with several original WWII CPOs, and I can tell you from direct, firsthand observation that the BR is not close to 100% accurate in cut, cloth, color, or details. (You would think, for instance, that BR could tell the difference between a fouled anchor and an unfouled anchor, but apparently they couldn't.) I still like the shirt -- it's well-made and the cut is more modern and thus easier to wear -- but I don't pretend it's something it's not.

    As for HPA, if they want to weigh in here, then let them speak for themselves and back it up with actual facts. Until then, yes, whatever they say is the classic definition of hearsay (i.e., secondhand information).

    I'm glad you like your BR B-10 -- it looks great and BR makes excellent stuff. Wear it and enjoy it. If you can find actual evidence of factory red knits on B-10s, then I will be the first to congratulate you. But until then the rank agenda-driven speculation is a bit much. And I'm sorry if you don't like people skeptically weighing in on the subject, but "answers" versus "arguments" is a false dichotomy. You can't arrive at the truth without testing people's assertions which, yes, involves argumentation. (You should check out the thread about knit colors on original nylon jackets -- there's some great back and forth on the subject and I find it highly educational and enlightening to read.)

    P.S. Thank you foster for providing a thorough explanation of what should be a commonsense proposition -- ordinary B-10 knits are simply not going to fade into anything resembling the red Buzz Rickson B-10 knits.
     

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