The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The Queen will celebrate her 70th year as Monarch next year. To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee a number of events will take place from Thursday 2nd June 2022 until the 5th June. In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen, will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. The Queen took the throne on 6th February 1952 when her Majesty was 25 years old. An extended bank holiday, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June, will take place across the country allowing communities throughout the United Kingdom to celebrate the historic milestone. There will be public events and national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service. The Trooping the Colour will take place on Thursday 2nd June, instead of the second Saturday in June. The traditional parade will see more than 1400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians together. The Parade will begin at Buckingham Palace and move down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade. Members of the Royal Family will join on horseback and in carriages. An RAF fly past will close the Parade and will be watched by The Queen from the Buckingham Palace balcony. The Jubilee Medal will be awarded to public service workers, Armed Forces representatives and prison services, a tradition of which does back to the reign of Queen Victoria’s 50th anniversary on the throne. They will also receive a gift, which will be decided by MP’s and peers. Gifts for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were a stain-glass window fitted in the Palace of Westminster and a sundial installed on the Parliamentary grounds. Further details on all aspects, including events and how to get involved will be released in the coming months. 2022 is set to be a significant year for Britain.

2021-06-15T12:49:06+01:0015 June 2021|

Mess Dress Uniform

Mess dress uniform is not to be confused with full dress uniform. Mess dress is the semi-formal uniform worn by the military, police and other public uniformed services. The uniform is worn for certain ceremonies and celebrations on private occasions.  Design may vary but they mainly consist of a mess jacket, trousers, white dress shirt and are worn with medals or other insignia. Mess dress is seen as an alternative to black tie for evening wear and is sometimes known as half dress. Mess dress is worn predominantly by commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers. It can however be worn by some senior enlisted personnel.  The Royal Navy has two forms of evening dress. Mess dress (No. 2A) consists of a mess jacket, plain navy blue mess trousers, white waistcoat and black bow tie. The mess undress (No. 2B) consists of a mess jacket, plain navy blue mess trousers, blue waistcoat or black cummerbund and a black bow tie.  Officers in the Royal Navy with the rank of Captain and above wear gold laced trousers and may wear the undress tailcoat with either mess dress of mess undress.  The Royal Marines mess differs from the Royal Navy in that the jacket is scarlet. The Royal Marines also wear a scarlet cummerbund. The British Army mess uniform appeared in 1845, initially utilizing the short ‘shell jacket’. The original purpose was to provide a comfortable and inexpensive alternative to the full dress uniforms. After World War I, full dress uniforms mostly disappeared and mess dress became the most colourful and traditional uniform to be worn by most officers in the British Army.  The most commonly worn mess dress in the British Army is the No. 10 Mess Dress. It can differ slightly depending on the regiment or corps but mostly this includes the short mess jacket. The colours of the mess jackets and trousers reflect the traditional full dress uniforms of the regiments. Usually the jackets are scarlet, dark blue or rifle green and are worn with embroidered waistcoats. The jackets are worn with high waisted, very tight, trousers called overalls.  Ornamental spurs are often worn by cavalry regiments and traditionally mounted corps. Female officers and soldiers  wear mess jackets over a dark coloured ankle length evening dress.  The Royal Air Force mess dress is similar to the Royal Navy, except the jacket and trousers are mid blue. The No. 5 Mess Dress is also worn with a slate grey cummerbund. For women the same uniform is worn except they wear their high waisted jacket with an ankle length blue grey skirt. Unlike the men’s jacket, which has a pointed lapel, the ladies jacket features a shawl collar.  Wyedean work along side military tailors by manufacturing and applying the braiding to the Mess Dress uniforms. Contact us today with your requirements.

2021-03-30T14:50:35+01:0027 November 2019|

Military Sword Belt Ensembles

Sword belts in the military are worn around the waist, their purpose being to hold a ceremonial sword. There are various styles of belts available, some which ore worn over the tunic, such as the Sam Browne, the RAF Officers and the Naval Officers.  Sword belts can have several components; as well as the waist belt, there are also sword slings, or a sword frog for retaining the scabbard. Often there is a shoulder belt worn with the ensemble to prevent the weight of the sword pulling down the belt. This can also, be achieved by the belts being held in place by hooks on the tunic. Swords can be worn in two positions, raised or hooked up, where the scabbard or frog is attached to a hook to raise the sword to stop it trailing. Alternatively, they can be worn down hanging from the slings or the frog. Sword belt ensembles can be made from a number of materials, but are primarily made from leather, webbing, PVC, or a combination.  Sword belt styles differ by the individual services and also often by rank or regiment. 

2021-03-30T14:53:56+01:009 July 2019|

Wyedean’s bespoke commissions

Wyedean is known mostly for manufacturing accessories and accoutrements for the Armed Forces around the world.  We are, occasionally asked to produce some specialist items too. The business once received an order from The Royal Jordanian Army which had a camel mounted ceremonial regiment. The order was for fringing to hang over the camels eyes, similar to false eyelashes. The purpose was to stop flies or sand irritating the camel’s eyes. Over the years the fringe has become more ornate for ceremonial purposes. We supply a wide range of headwear for use in many different applications; from the standard ceremonial peaked caps to cadet helmets and covers which we were commissioned to design, develop and test. We have also more recently manufactured the bespoke costume tea cup headwear for the famous Yorkshire Tea marching band. One of our newer products is the Kevlar webbing. This is a key component in protective, flame resistant clothing. The webbing is used by blue light services and is useful where protection is needed against physical, electrical, heat or chemical particulates. More recently our Kevlar webbing has been used  in circus’s around the world on juggling sticks which are set alight. As Wyedean is known for the manufacture of braids and tapes, we were asked to produce thousands of meters of binding tape/ bandages for the film The Mummy. The bandages were soaked in tea to achieve the desired effect. As well as tape used in films, Wyedean has also made a jute webbing used to lower coffins into graves and also a saltpeter-dipped touch cord for firing antique cannon used in salutes.  Wyedean’s skills are not just limited to military uniforms. A recent commission saw the company manufacture bespoke flying suits for a helicopter transport company.  The business was also commissioned by one of Michael Jackson’s costumiers to manufacture a military type of cord/ frogging to be stitched on to one of his jackets. The costumier told us that the costume would also have cooling installed by way of thin tubes of chilled liquid circulating within to help keep him cool during his performance.  Wyedean regularly take on bespoke commissions. Contact our sales team today to discuss your requirements.

2021-03-30T14:54:26+01:0020 June 2019|

Lord Lieutenant

A Lord-Lieutenant is a personal representative for the British monarch in each county of the United Kingdom. Today Lord Lieutenancy is mostly a ceremonial position, but historically they were responsible for organising the county’s militia. The Lord Lieutenant is the highest rank of the lieutenants, followed by a Vice Lord Lieutenant and then Deputy Lieutenants. The Vice Lord Lieutenant takes over duties if the Lord Lieutenant is ill or unable to attend. There are usually between 30 to 40 Deputy Lieutenants appointed by the Lord Lieutenant depending on the county’s size. The main duties performed by a Lord Lieutenant are arranging visits for members of the royal family, as well as escorting royal visitors, presenting medals on behalf of the sovereign and participating in civic and social activities within the lieutenancy. The uniform worn by Lord Lieutenants is military in style and has many similarities with army uniforms. Currently Lord Lieutenants wear a dark blue uniform in the style of a General Officer’s Army No 1 dress, while the detailing, such as buttons, shoulder boards etc. are silver rather than gold. The cap badge, which is worn on the peak cap, varies depending on the Lieutenant’s country. A rose is worn in England, a shamrock in Northern Ireland, a thistle in Scotland and Prince-of-Wales feathers in Wales. To view our range of Lord Lieutenant uniform accessories click here.

2021-03-30T16:15:31+01:0019 April 2017|

What is a Hackle/Plume?

The plume/hackle is generally made from clipped chicken feathers and is worn on a military headdress purely for decorative or ornamental purposes. The colour of the plume differs between regiments but they are mostly worn by infantry regiments, especially those designated as fusilier regiments. The large plume was originally named a heckle by the Scots, and was attached to the feather bonnet worn by the Highland regiments, drummers, pipers and bandsmen. The smaller version was adopted by the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment and to be worn as a sun helmet. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers wears a very distinctive red and white hackle. The regiment was awarded the hackle to recognise its defeat of the French at the Battle of St Lucia in 1778. The white hackles were removed from dead French soldiers and then in 1829 the regiment was ordered by King William IV to make their white plumes more distinguished with a red tip.

2021-03-30T16:25:46+01:0018 January 2017|

United Kingdom Special Air Service (SAS)

The Special Air Service (SAS) is the British Army’s most renowned United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) unit. Its motto is ‘Who Dares Wins’ and has become well known all over the world. The SAS was created by David Stirling in 1941 as a desert raiding regiment mainly for carrying out sabotage missions. During 1950 the unit was changed from a regiment to a corps. The SAS’ roles include counter terrorism, hostage rescue and covert reconnaissance. Currently the corps is made up of the 22 Special Air Service Regiment, the 21 Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve) and the 23 Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve). In order to become part of the Regiment, soldiers have to pass a number of exercises and tests during a five-week-long selection process. Although there are around 200 applicants each time, only 30 usually make it through. The first SAS mission was in 1941 and involved a parachute drop in support of the Operation Crusader offensive. This mission, due to German resistance and the weather conditions, made the mission a disaster. 22 men were killed or captured. Their most well-known operation, however, was Operation Nimrod which was carried out during the Iranian Embassy Siege in London in 1980. In 17 minutes the soldiers of the SAS Regiments rescued 24 out of 25 hostages and killed 5 out of 6 terrorists. Currently the SAS has around 400 to 600 members and each regiment consists of four operation squadrons with approximately 65 men in each.

2021-03-30T16:26:09+01:009 January 2017|

When is a Waist Sash Worn?

Prince Louis Wearing Waist Shoulder Sash A sash is usually a large and colourful ribbon or band of material that is worn around the body. Sashes either drape from one shoulder to the opposing hip, or run around the waist. The shoulder sash is worn in daily attire by the Duty Sergeant while the Waist Sash is worn on ceremonial occasions. Historically, a waist sash was made using a technique called spranging. The process of spragning produces a wide fabric, that like a netting, can widen and contract. Many metres of woollen cord are placed on a special spranging machine and often these machines were two storeys high running through a hole in the floor to the lower level. The machines are worked by hand to create the sprung fabric. It is believed that only two machines are left in the UK, one of which is in a museum in London and the second here at Wyedean. The idea behind using this type of net construction was that if an officer was wounded on the battlefield, his sash could be used as a stretcher. This dual-purpose benefit became less relevant, however, when the sash was modified from being a shoulder sash to one worn around the waist in 1768. The length was gradually reduced for more convenient wearing. Prince Will Wearing Waist Sash Since a sergeant’s sash was to be worn around the waist, its length was greatly reduced from the outset. It is obvious from the various lengths of surviving sashes that they were intended to go around the waist once. However, they were also spranged like the officer’s sashes. There were a number of variations: some had fixed knots while others were finished with fringes, frayed or knotted off. The modern British Army retains a scarlet sash for wear in certain orders of dress by those of sergeant rank and above serving in infantry regiments, over the right shoulder to the left hip. A similar crimson silk net sash is worn around the waist by officers of the Foot Guards in scarlet full dress and officers of line infantry in dark blue "Number 1" dress. The sash is also worn by Regiments and Corps performing ceremonial duties.

2021-03-30T16:52:53+01:0010 August 2016|

What is the Purpose of a Sword Knot?

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.

2021-03-30T16:53:19+01:0020 July 2016|

Armed Forces Day 2016

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.

2021-03-30T16:54:22+01:0022 June 2016|
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