If you’ve ever wondered how your stuff is made, that’s the place where you get to know!
The beginning of sewing starts… outside the workshop.
The very first places where it actually begins are museums, libraries, friends collectors houses and – of course – the Internet. The best situation is if we are able to take measurements from original pieces and have access to technical descriptions. This however happens hardly ever, so all is left to do is to spend dozens of hours on research.
Fortunately, some of our customers make research on their own and give us thereby huge help.
Making patterns using pics only isn’t impossible, but is really hard and time-consuming and demands years of experience, patience and sometimes few mock-ups to be made before we get the final product.
Fabrics and accessories
95% of fabrics we use are made in Poland. Some of them need to be imported from Germany or Italy. We never use fabrics made in Asia.
At the time we make research, the proper fabrics for the stuff is being made. Luckily one of our friends has a great collection of German wools and linings (both from WW1 and WW2) and always lends us fabric samples to send them to our vendor to be copied.
Choosing proper fabric is always a team work and gathers even our local reenactors.
The same strategy is used when it comes to accessories. This time we must admit, that the pebbled buttons we use for German WW2 uniforms come from China, but they are great alternative (of course after being properly painted) for decreasing number of original buttons. The rest of accessories are crafted in Poland.
Cutting and sewing
Finally! The sewing process can be started. To make it faster, we try to make small runs of specific models, as making every single stuff separately will drag the overall lead time.
To cut few pieces at once, we need to put few layers of fabric one on another. Then, we use cardboard pattern to put the shapes onto the top layer. We use special tailor’s chalk, so every drawn mark disappears after some time. For custom-made uniforms paper pattern needs to be made individual for every single custom-order.
Such prepared fabric is then cut using fabric cutter and marked. We sometimes need to use hand scissors to cut single-layered material, when there’s no production run or you’ve ordered custom-made before.
Marked parts are put and sewn together, using Dürkopp industrial sewing machine (dated October 1939) or Singer (dated early 1910s, unfortunately the producer records were destroyed during WW2 and there’s no way to figure the exact date out).
The buttonholes are marked and made using special buttonhole machine. We use Minerva 761-2 in our workshop, that is an exact copy of the machines used during the war. The buttonholes are then bartacked using zig-zag machine. The buttons are attached using special machine or sewn by
Many of the uniform models need some hand-stitching, especially when it comes to attatching the lining, hook and eyes or Richelieu bartacks.
Caps and hats making
Although it seems to be very similar to sewing clothes, cap making is dramatically different. It requires different machines and abilities from the maker and often means much more hand work than making uniforms. For making caps we use Singer mashine dated May 1919.
We try to make as much componentry on our own as we can. That includes making leather and fiber visors, inner linen or cardboard stiffeners or bands, etc. We use for it only made in Poland materials. We are happy to cooperate with Polish long-established tannery, that makes high quality leather using traditional methods.
After the cap is made, its size is checked on special device called ‘hat-stretcher’.
Embroidery and cyphers making
And last, but not least part of our work: hand-embroidered or hand-cut cyphers for shoulder boards.
We use old embroidery techniques to make the best copies we can. We use only best materials for that, including silver boullion, woollen or silk threads and special woollen cloth, made in Germany.
Stamping, packing & shipping
After the work is done and your order is completed, uniforms and caps receive their stamps. We do not copy original stamps, but make our own in same style and line as the originals. As you can see, even our company name doesn’t look always the same way.
When everything is on its place, the orders are collected, packed and shipped and after short or long journey, you can enjoy your brand new historical uniforms, made specially for you, using historical techniques, machines and devices!