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Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

Article about: Moving on, I'd like to talk about the fabric of the cap cover. I have no doubt about it's authenticity, it's the really horrible quality wool made with wood pulp and god knows what else in t

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Moving on, I'd like to talk about the fabric of the cap cover. I have no doubt about it's authenticity, it's the really horrible quality wool made with wood pulp and god knows what else in the mix. This is very typical of a lot of the enlisted uniforms of the Waffen SS. I was shown an original SS EM tunic recently and the wool is the same awful quality. I've also been lucky to find at least 6 WSS sidecaps in recent years from out of the woodwork and they all were of terrible quality wool.

    I could start a whole new depate about how WSS uniforms for the rank and file were maybe purposely made with terrible materials as a sort of test of their personal and united strengh and durability. That's for another day though!
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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    This also quite interesting. I was just asked a question whether this cap had a buckram pasteboard or not which is typical of Heer style "crushers".

    No, it does not. It has a card pasteboard treated with a coating which is what you'd expect to see within a regular Service cap or Schirmmuetze.

    Contary to popular belief, a leather peaked cap of the period does not automaticaly have to have a buckram pasteboard to make it authentic. A lot of collectors have a problem with undertsanding this.

    Here's my eReL and Paul Kaps leather peaked caps that both have card pasteboards. They are also both padded around the crown and were never meant to be "crushed" which is one of those ridiculous collectors terms assigned to any cap with a leather peak.

    Himmler owned many such hats that were leather peaked but also had the stylish padded crown and saddle shape of the typical service cap. The colour photo below is a great example because if your compare the peaks of his cap and the Polizei Officer on the left, you can see the difference between the peaks or schirms.
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  4. #23
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    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Which brings us to the leather peaks themselves. I've never seen any 2 that were the same. The thickness of leather varies as does the coating applied to the leather. BTW, what exactly is the coating? From reading about pickelhaubes, it could be made from beatle extract (honestly!) or asphalt like they use to repair roads etc.
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  5. #24
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    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Interesting to note that the inclusion of wood pulp into the wool fibre mixes COULD actually be a preserving factor, there are certain types of wood that repel moth larvae and other insects, I dont know what comparisons you could make regarding condition of poor wool mixes versus synthetic material when it comes to degree of damage caused by insects but it would be very interesting if there were figures available if only by collections in private hands and personal observations

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Not sure they were worried about insect repulsion at the time Dave!

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Perhaps not intentionally Ben, needless to say it all depends on the type of wood pulp used which could account if some caps have a higher damage rate than others, it was a mere speculation, now i'm going to have my Horlicks and watch some Laurel and Hardy

  8. #27

    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Quote by BenVK View Post
    Not sure they were worried about insect repulsion at the time Dave!
    They did, indeed, and the moth proof black woolens were abandoned well before the outbreak of war.
    Wool declined in quality steadily from the onset of the Four Year Plan in 1936, and recalled the experience of the '14-'18 war, but in greater extremity.
    damit, basta.

  9. #28

    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Quote by BenVK View Post
    I understand where you're coming from 100%. It doesn't "feel" right to me either.

    Thank you gentlemen for your input in regards to the piping. BTW, the KZ visor I used own and pictured above had wool piping, not rayon. Just goes to show that it's quite difficult to identify different materials from looking at photos.
    Thought you would recognize that cap! Quite true - it did have woolen piping. If you look closely, you will recognize an additional photo I included of a shoulderboard for an Obersturmfuhrer in the Infantry - sharing the same type of fabric in it's application of piping. There are also depictions of wool piping of differing quality, as well as some of the aforementioned types of piping in synthetic material - seemingly to become universally referred to as "rayon" here. With good quality photographs, most of the time the differences can be easily recognized . . . and reputedly by some [with a greater degree of experience?], even determined as being a rayon of pre or post WW2 manufacture.

    One of troubling features for me about the cap in question - the two differing types of piping. Specifically, the type at the band, and the type at the top. How prominent was such treatment by capmakers of the time? Are there any other examples out there, of which have a combination of materials used for piping? Honestly, I do not know. Recognizing the differing types of material, my first thoughts were that someone [at what time?] paired two different caps together . . . but for lack of exeprience, I cannot say that such activity did not occur, and was not unordinary for the times. And yes, Derek's cap does share the same type of piping at the top . . . but does Derek's cap share the same type of piping at the band? Maybe this type of construction was not so uncommon with capmakers? The cap is certainly well constructed . . . but the combination of piping leaves me questionable. Maybe it was just another one of those "things" associated with the shortage of material at the time of it's construction?

    Apart from the discussion about piping, I am eager to see more about the wool from which it is constructed - a lot of good details are coming forth . . .

  10. #29

    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Amazingly enough, the wool discussion is quite fascinating. Is the wood pulp the tiny 'chunks' of material that can be seen interspersed amongst the wool fibers?

  11. #30

    Default Re: Help me decide about this Feldmuetze Alter Art (crusher)

    Dear N.C. Wyeth,
    I'll get the hat out today and answer your question about the three pipings.
    The use of 'wood' can be a bit confusing with regard to uniform materials. Rayon itself is made from wood, (cellulose), and was added in various amounts to wool for many different types of uniforms. These Rayon fibres are often the 'wood' that is referred to.
    The U.S. Army issued the Richardson report in 1945 that analyzed the materials in camouflage uniforms. Michael Beaver used much of the material in his book on camouflage. I believe Borsorello in France reprinted the report. It showed up to 30 to 40% rayon in the wool in certain garments if I remember correctly.

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