Medals, Military Orders and Decorations are given to members of the armed forces to recognise and celebrate their personal accomplishments. Medal bars or clasps can be attached to the ribbon to indicate the operation for which the recipient received the award. Multiple bars on the same medal are used to recognise multiple achievements. All military services use a common order of wear which basically dictates the order in which the recognised military decorations must be worn, and is shown below: 1. The Victoria Cross and the George Cross 2. United Kingdom Orders 3. United Kingdom Decorations 4. Order of St John (all classes) 5. United Kingdom Medals for Gallantry and for Distinguished Service 6. United Kingdom Operational Service Medals (including authorised United Nations Medals and Medals of other recognised International Organisations). Worn in order of date of award 7. United Kingdom Polar Medals 8. United Kingdom Police Medals for Valuable Service 9. United Kingdom Jubilee, Coronation and Durbar Medals 10. Long Service and Efficiency Awards 11. Commonwealth Orders, Decorations and Medals instituted by the Sovereign. Worn in order of date of award. 12. Commonwealth Orders, Decorations and Medals instituted since 1949 otherwise than by the Sovereign (including those of the States of Malaysia and the State of Brunei). Worn in order of date of award. 13. Foreign Orders. If approved for wear, worn in order of date of award. 14. Foreign Decorations. If approved for wear, worn in order of date of award. 15. Foreign Medals. If approved for wear, worn in order of date of award. The most prestigious award in the United Kingdom honours system is the Victoria Cross (VC). The VC was introduced on 29th January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded to 1355 recipients who were awarded for gallantry ‘in the face of the enemy’. Only 11 medals have been awarded since the Second World War to members of the British Army. As the Victoria Cross is rare and so highly prized, the medal has sold for over £400,000 at auction. Lord Ashcroft had a collection containing over one-tenth of all Victoria Cross medals and now stands on public display in the Imperial War Museum. “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon” -Napoleon Bonaparte To View our range of medal ribbons click here.
An aiguillette is an ornamental braided cord, usually worn on a uniform to denote an honour. Although similar in some ways to a lanyard, the two should not be confused. Lanyards are made from fibre, whereas aiguillettes are usually made from silver or gold cord. Aiguillettes also have pointed tips. Plates of armour used to be secured together by attaching the breast and back plates with short loops of cord acting as a hinge on one side, while a more ornate loop was tied to support the arm defences on the other. As armour became more ornamental so did these ties. After the civil wars it became fashionable to have bunches of ribbons worn at the shoulder sometimes in the form of bows with tagged ends. This fashion died out in England but continued in the French court dress of Louis the 14th and 15th into the early 18th century. This style was revived by the British Army in the form of a knot with three loops, as a corporal’s badge of rank. In this form it was made of worsted or silk cord of regimental colour, with the pointed tags in the same metal as the buttons and coat lace. They were also worn in this fashion by staff officers in metal cord. This style continued for staff officers up to 1814 when the French style was introduced. This had evolved in the French court and army into the style we now recognise but in lighter cord and made in worsted, silk or metal cord. The modern heavy cord style is an elaborate Victorian invention. In the British Army there are four different types of aiguillette. 1st Class or Royal are worn by admirals of fleet, field marshals and also by members of the royal family. These aiguillettes are made from gold wire cord and worn on the right shoulder. Commissioned Officers of the Household Cavalry also wear this, but only in full dress. Warrant Officers of the Household Cavalry also wear them but on the left-hand shoulder. 2nd Class or Board are gold and dark blue or crimson and light blue. These differ slightly depending on whether they are worn by the RAF, Royal Navy or Army. This aiguillette is worn by officers on the right shoulder, along with military members of the Defence Board. 3rd Class or Staff are gold and dark blue, crimson or light blue. This again depends on whether they are being worn by the RAF, Royal Navy or Army. This aiguillette is worn on the left shoulder by assistants and aides-de-camp. The fourth is a simple aiguillette and is worn by lance corporals in the Household Cavalry and by bandsmen of the Dragoon Guards in full dress.
The Household Cavalry (HCav) is made up of the Life Guards and the Blue and Royals - the most senior regiments of the British Army. These two regiments are the Queen’s official bodyguard and are divided into two with the Armoured Regiment (HCR) being stationed at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor and the Mounted Regiment (HCMR) at Hyde Park Barracks in London. The Household Cavalry is classed as a corps and dates back to the 1660s. With the Life Guards being formed by King Charles II in 1660 and the Blues and Royals both being formed in 1661. The Blues and Royals were amalgamated into one unit in 1969. The two units of the Household Cavalry have very different roles: The first is the Household Cavalry regiment (HCR). This has an active operational role and serves using armoured fighting vehicles meaning the HCR are often at the forefront of the nation’s conflicts. The Household Division have been required to take part in special tasks as the Sovereign’s personal troops. The second unit is the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR). As the name suggests they are a mounted troop and carry out ceremonial duties on Royal occasions. They are most commonly known for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony on the Queen’s birthday. The regiment has been based at Hyde Park Barracks since 1795. Before World War II, recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 10 inches tall but could be no taller than 6 feet 1 inch. Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and warrant officers (WOs) in the Household Cavalry do not wear rank insignia on their full dress uniforms. Rank is indicated by the style of the aiguillettes. The ceremonial uniform for the Household Cavalry is different to that of other soldiers. They wear a shiny silver helmet with a long horsehair plume. When they are on mounted guard duty they also wear metal chest armour called a cuirass. The two regiments can be distinguished between by their jackets and the plumes on their helmets. The Life Guards wear red tunics or jackets with a white plume. The Blues and Royals wear blue tunics and have red plumes to their helmets. The Household Cavalry is regarded as the most prestigious unit in the British Army. Officers and soldiers were often drawn from the British aristocracy as they were in such close proximity to the reigning sovereign. The Household Cavalry still maintains a connection with the Royal Family and in recent years both Prince William and Prince Harry were commissioned into the Blues and Royals.
Ideas about whether facial hair is allowed in the military have differed throughout the years. In the mid-19th Century, facial hair was an unusual sight in the British Army, except for the Infantry Pioneers who were the only ones for whom it was tradition to have a beard. Later facial hair, moustaches and beards became more common in the military and it was even encouraged during the Crimean War, especially during winter months when the soldiers were encouraged to grow full beards. Regulations were later introduced which actually prevented soldiers from shaving above their top lip, ensuring that, those who could grow a moustache, had to have one. It wasn’t until 1916 when the rule was abolished by Lieutenant General Sir Nevil Macready who disliked his own moustache. Since 1916 the British Army, Royal Air Force and the Royal Marines have allowed moustaches and connected side whiskers, and only allowed full beards if they were grown for medical reasons or religious reasons. Facial Hair in the British Army When on parade, the only Army rank allowed to wear a beard is that of Pioneer Sergeant, who also carries a battle axe instead of a bayonet. The tradition was for one Pioneer to march in front of the regiment clearing the path for the soldiers behind. They can also be seen wearing an apron, which, in years gone by, would protect his uniform whilst he was performing his duties. The Pioneer Sergeant also acted as a blacksmith for the unit so was therefore allowed a beard to protect his face from the heat. Even though they are not compulsory for Infantry Pioneers, most do choose to grow a beard. It is also permitted in the Scottish Infantry regiments and sometimes expected, especially by the Drum Major, Pipe Major and Commanding Officer’s piper. In more recent years, the British Army has seen a full range of facial hair. This is often in an effort to blend in, especially when in Afghanistan where facial hair is seen as a sign of authority. When the soldiers are on tour water is harder to come by so often they understandably prioritise the water for drinking, rather than for shaving. There is also a more practical reason for facial hair being banned, if the soldiers ever need to use gas masks facial hair breaks the seal around the mouth meaning the masks do not work properly. Facial Hair in the Royal Navy The Royal Navy has always allowed full beards but never a moustache alone. If after a period without shaving, it becomes clear that the soldier cannot grow both a moustache and beard then his commanding officer may order him to shave it off. Facial Hair in the Royal Air Force The RAF are not allowed to wear beards at all unless for religious reasons and are only allowed moustaches if they are not grown longer than the edge of the mouth. A Royal Navy serviceman, once approved, should keep his beard for six months. [...]
The sword knot began existence as a simple cord attached to the hilt of the sword of a mounted soldier. The knot is in fact, a loop usually made out of leather, or other material. Before engagement with the enemy the soldier wraps the loop around his wrist to prevent the loss of his sword, which can happen either in the heat of the battle or if he needs to relax his group in order to steady his mount. In more recent years the sword knot has gradually evolved to become a more ornamental and decorative piece of uniform regalia. The design of it has also changed such that it now features a double strap which is also attached to the sword guard and wrapped around the hilt when not attached to the wrist. There are two main types of sword knots: full dress and active service. The sword knot used for active service features a plain buff leather strap, while the full dress versions are usually more elaborate creations made from gold and silver cord with decorative tassels for that final added flourish. In recent years there has been a demand for good quality sword knots from museums and collectors, while there are only a few original sword knots for sale. View our range of sword knots on our webstore.
This year, Armed Forces Day, formerly Veterans’ Day, will be celebrated across the UK on Saturday 25th of June. It is a chance for everyone to show their support for the men and women who have been, or still are, a part of the Armed Forces. Organisations across the country have already started to show their support by flying the flag in support of the British Armed Forces. The event first started in 2006 and in the years proceeding has grown into a national day of celebration. In 2009 its name was changed to Armed Forces Day and it’s now accepted as always falling on the last Saturday in June. The aim of the day is to ensure that members of the Armed Forces, past and present, are never forgotten and that their contributions are remembered. There are many activities happening up and down the country to celebrate the event and every year the event takes place in a different city. Previous locations include Birmingham, Blackpool, Kent, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The National Event, is this year being held at Cleethorpes in north East Lincolnshire but there will be other local events taking place. During the day parades and silences, to more local events such as stalls and live music, are being held to raise awareness and give a morale boost to the troops and families. The hashtag #SaluteOurForces is a simple way for anyone wishing to pay their tributes to the British Armed Forces on social media.
Wyedean has manufactured narrow fabrics for over 150 years. Although its product range has grown vastly, narrow fabrics remain one of its core products. Everything that Wyedean holds in stock is available to buy on the webshop which also showcases the live stock figure. For rolls of 50 metres of more, please contact us directly for a quote. If you have any other requirements Wyedean can manufacture in various colours and using a variety of compositions. Braids - A lightweight narrow fabric which is made up of three or more strands to form a plaited structure. Flat Braid A flat braided construction created with the diagonal interweaving of threads. Hercules Braid A flat braided construction created with longitudinal threads as well to eliminate constructional stretch. Llama Braid A flat braided construction using 73 ends of fine-count worsted yarn. Russia Braid A flat braided construction using twin rib tracing braid. String Braid Strings made with a braided and knit braided tubular construction. Tubular Braid A braid made with a hollow core to create a tubular construction. Cords- A medium weight flexible fabric with a round cross section of braided or cable twisted structure. Braided Cord A braided cord with a tubular construction with a filled core. Twisted Cord A ply cord with a twisted or cabled construction of multiple plies. Laces - A lightweight narrow fabric with a patterned design. Bias and Stand Lace (B&S) A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a Bias and Stand design. Chevron Lace A worsted herringbone woven lace with a cotton interwoven chevron design. Composite Lace A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a warp effect with central colour ribs. Diced & Striped Lace A woven multicoloured warp effect with a double plain weave producing a chequered or striped construction. Granby Lace A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a granby design. Handwoven Lace A woven lace made by hand using a dobby loom, this method allows for intricate designs with embellishments. Herringbone Lace A woven and worsted herringbone construction lace with a 2 x 2 twill design. Hopsack Lace A woven lace with a 2 x 2 twill in a hopsack design. Laurel Lace A woven weft effect with a rayon weft, cotton warp and a laurel leaf design. Masonic Lace A woven metallic lace with a weft effect and a masonic design. Metallic Lace A lace woven using metallic threads. Naval Lace A metallic woven lace with a weft effect and a naval or ribbed design. Non - Metallic Lace A woven lace manufactured using a non metallic thread. Oakleaf Lace A woven lace using a weft effect, a rayon weft and a cotton warp with an oakleaf design. Palmleaf Lace A woven lace with a metallic weft effect and a palmleaf design. Ranking Lace A woven lace with a weft rib effect and a warp effect central colour rib. Regimental Lace A worsted herringbone design and a woven construction lace featuring a warp colour and a [...]
Ligne, or line, is a unit of measurement that was used for centuries prior to the adoption of metric system, to define the diameter of buttons, watch movements and in the manufacture of ribbon. Even in the modern world button sizes are still often defined by their ligne size with 1 ligne approximately equal to 1/40th of an inch. Some confusion still remains, however, as some countries calculate ligne measurements in different ways, for example in France, 1 inch is equal to 11 ligne. The accepted way to calculate the ligne of a button is to divide the button diameter in millimetres by 0.635. To keep things simple, we put together this simple chart to convert button sizes from ligne to mm, and vice versa.
Wyedean's mission is ‘To appear in every parade’ a tall order for most in its trade, but this gives Wyedean plenty to work towards, particularly given its new international goals and ambitions through website development and overseas developments. The media is often full of national and international ceremonies and parades and Wyedean takes it in its stride to find video footage from these events so that it can ensure that it is either in these events, or that it can supply our uniforms and accessories for the next parade or ceremony All uniformed British serviceman will at least wear a badge or rank marking which has been produced by Wyedean. Every Policeman serving in the London Metropolitan Police Force will have their service numbers (letters and numerals) on their shoulder epaulettes which are also supplied by Wyedean. This makes Wyedean's products as prominent in the British market as any other around the globe. However, Wyedean continually aspires to make itself more recognisable in global markets by supplying its products internationally. A recent example of Wyedean's products being used world-wide can be seen on the image to the left. Ceremonial regalia worn as far away as the Kingdom of Tonga in the Oceania region. This gold and red sash made by Wyedean is worn by the King and Queen of Tonga. Wyedean is delighted to know that its items are being worn proudly on the other side of the world, thus making our mission look just that little bit more achievable. Wyedean is determined to make its mission a reality and following recent exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, Wyedean is hoping to take its products as far as the Persian Gulf. Wyedean also appears in many British parades including the Changing of the Guards ceremony, from Scottish to Irish, and Coldstream to Grenadier. For many years, Wyedean has also appeared in the Trooping the Colour parade. All of the staff at Wyedean take great pride when they can watch back the footage and spot something that was hand-stitched in Wyedean's Haworth Mill. In more recent news, Wyedean's products played a big part in the Battle of Britain memorial, where many servicemen wore at least one item manufactured by Wyedean. This momentous event, marking the 75th Anniversary of the battle, saw the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Cambridge and other members of the Royal family appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a flyover of four Spitfires, two Hurricanes and four Eurofighter Typhoons as part of an enhanced Changing of the Guard performed by the RAF Queen’s Colour Squadron. Wyedean's high quality military insignia, regalia and accoutrement appear in parades up and down the country on a daily basis. However, the success of the company will ultimately be measured by its international presence, something which Wyedean works towards on a daily basis.