Textile in Defense

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Textiles in defense
Dr. Muhammad Mushtaq Mangat www.mushtaqmangat.org

Textiles in defence



Defence forces on land, sea, or air throughout the world are heavily reliant on technical textiles of all types – whether woven, knitted, nonwoven, coated, laminated, or other composite forms Technical textiles offer invaluable properties for military land forces in particular, who are required to move, live, survive and fight in hostile environments. They have to carry or wear all the necessities for comfort and survival and thus need the most lightweight, compact, durable, and high performance personal clothing and equipment [1].





Pre-Twentieth century






Forces were using: bright, shiny and colorful dresses large epaulettes to increase the apparent width of the shoulders. Tall headwear made from animal furs (bearskin caps), feathers (ostrich), to increase the apparent height of troops. The materials used were all of natural origin, based upon wool and goat hairs, cotton, silk, flax [1] Such uniforms do not provide comfort during wearing.




The twentieth century defense clothing




Khaki colored uniforms from cotton twill or drill entered service for tropical use in 1902 It was found to give insufficient protection from the elements in temperate climates, so that wool worsted serge (twill fabric) uniforms were issued in the khaki or brown colors. For non-clothing textile items such as tents, shelters, covers, nets, load-carriage items and sleeping systems were made from natural fibers based upon wool, cotton, flax, jute, hemp, sisal, and kapok. Those used for screens, covers and tents were heavy, cumbersome, and prone to degradation by insects, moisture and biological organisms [1]





Forces dress in WWII





Start of use of the new fiber ‘Nylon’ for light strong parachute canopies Development of Ventile® cotton fabric for aircrew survival clothing for those who had to ditch into the cold North Sea. Ventile was the first waterproof/water vapor-permeable fabric – invented by scientists at the Shirley Institute (now the British Textile Technology Group). It was based upon low twist Sea Island cotton yarns in a very tightly woven construction. Water-repellent finish (Velan® by ICI) improved the waterproofness of this technical fabric, which is still widely used today by many air forces.[1]





  The well-known worsted serge ‘battledress’

uniform was introduced in 1939.

  Prototypes of this were made at the

Garment Development Section, Royal Dockyard, Woolwich, London. E/1037 of 28th October 1938, issued by the Chief Inspector of Stores and Clothing (CISC) [1]

  The first formal specification was designated

Denison smock

  A lightweight windproof cotton gaberdine

fabric, and bearing rudimentary camouflage patterning, was introduced for airborne paratroopers in 1941. camouflage unit commanded by Oliver Messel, an eminent theatrical stage designer.

  Captain Denison served with a special

Layered combat clothing



Woolen serge as a material for field uniforms became obsolete when the combat clothing concept in 1943. The introducing their own layered system

  United States army introduced the ‘layered’
  British and other Allies followed this lead,
  as a winter uniform in the Korean War of the

1950s to avoid weather-related casualties.6

Four-color disruptively patterned material (DPM)

  In 1970, the olive green (OG) 100% cotton

satin drill fabric appeared.

  Followed in 1972 by the first four-color

disruptively patterned material (DPM) for temperate woodland camouflage. introduce such a printed material for combat forces.[1]

  The UK was one of the first forces to

Criteria for modern military textile materials

  Physical,
  Environmental,
  Camouflage,
  Specific battlefield
  threats,
  Flames,
 ...
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