Indian Made Aertex Bush Jacket

Despite having been in use since the late nineteenth century for civilian clothing, it was only in WW2 that the British Empire started making garments out of Aertex fabric. Aertex was the invention of a Lewis Haslam in the late nineteenth who realised that by creating an open weave fabric air could be trapped within the cloth allowing the material to keep the wearer cool in hot weather and warm in cooler breezes:imageThis fabric is from an Indian made bush jacket:imageThis bush jacket turned up in a charity shop in Huddersfield of all places. Sadly only one of the original coconut buttons survives:image

I have replaced the rest of the missing buttons with similar natural fibre examples to give it a more acceptable appearance. The jacket itself has two pleated breast pockets:imageAnd a second pair of plain pockets on the skirts of the jacket:imageAnd a single inside pocket:imageEach shoulder has a strap for rank or securing webbing:imageThe interior of the bush jacket has the standard circular Indian acceptance mark:imageThis shows the jacket dates from 1943. These thin bush jackets were light enough to be worn as a shirt as well, by tucking the skirts into the owner’s shorts of trousers and examples of them being worn in both styles can be seen in period photographs. I frequently use this jacket for re-enacting as it is light and cool and very comfortable to wear on the odd day of English sunshine!image

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