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.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carrier, with HMS Prince of Wales following closely behind in 2017. A new type of supercarrier, they are to be the future flagships of the nation. The ship is to be the largest warship built for the Royal Navy and can carry up to forty aircraft. She is due to be commissioned in May of 2017 with the former captain of HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious, Commodore Jerry Kyd, to be her first Commanding Officer. Both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing air and disaster relief. She is the second vessel to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and is to be based in Portsmouth. Design- The estimated budget for the two new ships was £6,200 million with the construction starting in 2009. HMS Queen Elizabeth is being built in six different UK ship yards and will be 280 metres long. Future Work- The crew will move aboard during December 2016 ready for her sea trials in March. In 2020 an ‘operational military capability’ will be declared, meaning The HMS Queen Elizabeth is ready to be deployed. Aircraft – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are expected to be able to carry a maximum of thirty-six F-35s and four helicopters. The deck of the ship can be marked out for up to ten medium helicopters landing at once, which would allow up to 250 troops to lift off at once. HMS Prince of Wales- The Prince of Wales is the second of the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers. Also measuring 280 metres in length and weighing 70,600 tons, the vessel will be ready for duties around the globe by the year 2023. HMS Queen Elizabeth is part of the Surface Fleet which forms the core of the Royal Navy; powerfully handled warships, helping to protect our Nation. The two ships will be used by all three sectors of the Armed Forces providing eight acres of sovereign territory around the world. Wyedean holds the contract for Royal Navy Ship Badge, also known as Ship Crests or Ship Plaques. The Ship Badges are often presented as military gifts or memorabilia. Our newest plaques to be added to the webstore are HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. View the crests here. We also stock the captallies for HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
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 [...]
Military Tunic The May 2016 edition of popular fashion magazine Vogue contains a feature exploring some of the Rolling Stones’ most unforgettable costumes, modelled by Kate Moss (Photographed by Craig McDean). One piece of clothing in particular caught our attention, which is the red drummers’ military tunic, traditionally worn by drummers in the bands of the Infantry regiment. “What the Stones did was to adopt the clothes of the establishment and make them irreverent and threatening. Suddenly these gentlemanly suits become a raucously sexual kind of veneer over their wildness.” (Bella Freud, Vogue 2016). Mick Jagger had many military jackets, but the one pictured here is the only remaining example in the Rolling Stones archive. He actually bought it for approximately £4 from Robert Orbach at John Stephen on Carnaby Street and wore it for a performance on Ready Steady Go! on October 1966 and recollects that: “The next morning there was a line of about a hundred people wanting to buy it… We sold everything in the shop by lunchtime” says Orbach. Mick is shown in one of his military tunics here, in March 1967. Wyedean has manufactured the fleur-de-lis lace used on the military jacket for over 100 years on a specialist jacquard loom. The jacket features both the 19mm and 13mm versions of the lace which are both available to purchase from our store here. We have been specialists in this field for many years, and are one of the manufacturers of these jackets. If you have requirements for these tailored tunics or complete band uniforms please contact us. Fleur De Lis Lace The literal translation of “fleur-de-lis” is “flower-of-the-lily”. Traditionally the design has been used to represent French royalty, and signify perfection, light and life. Legend has it that an angel presented Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks, with a golden lily as a symbol of his purification upon his conversion to Christianity. Others claim that Clovis adopted the symbol when waterlilies showed him how to safely cross a river and thus succeed in battle. In the twelfth century, either King Louis VI or King Louis VII (sources disagree) became the first French monarch to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield. Later, English kings used the symbol on their coats of arms to accentuate their claims to the throne of France. In the 14th century, the fleur-de-lis design was often incorporated into the family insignia that was sewn on the knight's surcoat, which was then worn over their coat of mail, hence the term “coat of arms” originated. What was once used as a purpose of identification, then transformed into a system of social status designations after 1483 when King Edmund IV established the Heralds' College to supervise the granting of armour insignia. Others say when Joan of Arc led the French troops to victory, she carried a banner which depicted God blessing the French emblem, fleur-de-lis. The Roman Catholic Church indorsed the lily as the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Due to its three [...]
This year Remembrance Sunday takes place on November 8th. Remembrance Day honours heroic efforts and sacrifices that were made in past wars. This day is also referred to as Poppy Day or Armistice Day. It usually occurs on the second Sunday in November, but many people also observe a moment of silence at 11am on November 11th, which is the time and date when hostilities formally ended after more than four years of battle during World War I. Why the poppy? Poppies are worn as a symbol of respect and tribute on Remembrance Sunday. Scarlet corn poppies naturally grow in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century brought destruction and transformed the bare land into fields of blood-red poppies, growing amongst the bodies of fallen soldiers. In 1914, World War One stormed through Europe and ripped open the fields of Northern France and Flanders. The poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the battlefields once the fight was over. The poppy acts as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen, which was realised by John McCrae in his poem “In Flanders Fields”. From this the poppy has come to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in WWI and later conflicts. In Flanders Fields, John McCrae (1872-1918) In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. 100 Year Anniversary To mark 100 years from the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, a major art installation took place at the Tower of London, named Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies gradually filled the Tower’s famous moat between 17th July and 11th November 2014. Each individual poppy was sold, raising millions of pounds which was then shared amongst six service charities. The poppies not only created a strong visual impact, but also offered a place for personal reflection. The Cenotaph The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London has been host to remembrance Sunday for many decades. Originally made from wood and plaster, it was intended only for the first anniversary of the Armistice in 1919. At its first unveiling the base of the monument was spontaneously covered in wreaths to remember the dead and the missing from The Great War. The enthusiasm shown by the public led to the Cenotaph becoming a permanent lasting memorial. Since then [...]
The Military Medal (MM), created by King George V in March 1916, was a way to acknowledge the acts of bravery in war which were not considered worthy enough to receive a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men on the recommendation of a Commander in Chief in the field were awarded this medal. During WWI, 108 members of the Royal Newfound Regiment received the Military Medal. A silver bar was also given out to eight of these recipients which signified subsequent acts of bravery. The Military Medal is shown below feturing a picture of the sovereign. In the First World War this medal depicted a bare-headed King George V in a Field Marshall’s uniform. The reverse of the medal reads “For Bravery in the Field”, circled by a laurel wreath with the Royal Cypher and Imperial Crown on top. The medal is displayed on a dark blue ribbon with red and white stripes. It is this medal ribbon which was made by Wyedean, formally known as Dalton Barton. Notes for this order are shown in the bottom right image. Quotations and sample production took place in 1916. The top middle image with the ribbon design features King George V initials – G.R.I which stands for “George Rex Imperator”. Ribbon delivery to the War Office, now known as the Ministry of Defence (MoD), would commence 10 to 14 days after 2nd March 1916. The Dalton Barton factory was bombed during the WWII Coventry blitz on the 15th November 1940. The factory was destroyed along with all its archives, hence we have no records whatsoever dating prior to the air raid – except these. It is noted in the letters from Buckingham Palace that the medals, produced by The Royal Mint, would take much longer to make. The King instructs that recipients of the award should receive the ribbon ahead of the medal – most likely because he knew that many were badly wounded and were unlikely to survive long enough to receive the medal itself. “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon” – Napoleon Bonaparte, July 1815.
After floating out onto the water for the first time on the 17th July 2014, the HMS Queen Elizabeth is being built on the Rosyth Docks as we speak. At 72,000 tons and 932 feet long, this Royal Navy aircraft carrier is taller than Nelson’s Column and much wider than the M25 at its widest point. HMS Queen Elizabeth will have 679 permanent crew with a capacity for 1,600 crew members when fully operational. It is a massive piece of engineering, with 2,000 miles of cable and 1,200 miles of fibre optic cables running through the ship. It also has a water treatment plant on board which will produce more than 500 tons of fresh water daily from seawater. Registered to set sail by 2020, the HMS Queen Elizabeth has two bronze propellors, each 22ft in diameter and weighing 33 tons, pushing her to a top speed of 30mph. A special phone app has even been developed to stop workers getting lost which prevents a loss of £1.25 million through wasted man hours! The HMS Queen Elizabeth will be utilised by all three sectors of the UK Armed Forces and will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts, to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Keep up-to-date on news of the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s launch through our blog. Our official ship crest and cap tally for the HMS Queen Elizabeth is available from Wyedean Stores now
In 2001 the Duke of Kent came to visit Wyedean. It was a great honour for the company to receive a Royal Visit, which was also attended by many local dignitaries. The Duke of Kent was given a tour around the factory by Managing Director, Robin Wright and was able to see many items in production such as waist sashes, which he himself has worn for events such as the Queen's Birthday Parade. This special occasion was the first Royal Visits to Wyedean, and has recently followed by a visit from HRH Princess Anne in 2015.[