Over the coming weeks we are going to be taking a look at a few pieces of jungle green Indian made 37 pattern webbing. Standard 37 pattern webbing had been produced in India for some time in undyed cotton, which gave it a tan colour. This would then be blancoed, as with other webbing across the empire. The problem found in jungles was that this blanco was quickly eroded by the extremes of humidity and the webbing reverted to its natural, light colour. This then stood out like a sore thumb against the dark background of the jungle, making the wearer an easy target for the Japanese. To counter this it was first decided to dye the webbing green, later the thread used in its manufacture was pre-dyed before the webbing was even wove and this has led to two distinct types of jungle green webbing out there for the collector. The webbing that was dyed as a batch of assembled pieces has green stitching, as this cotton was dyed at the same time as the rest of the item. Pieces made from pre-dyed thread often have distinctive lighter coloured assembly stitching as they were sewn together later and have tan thread on a green background.
The first piece we are looking at tonight is a 37 pattern belt in jungle green:As is often the case, the green colour has faded of this belt so it is far less intense a colour than it would have been when new, nevertheless when compared to standard Indian made 37 pattern webbing the contrast is clear.
The fittings on this belt are made of blackened brass, with the buckle, sliders and chapes all black in colour: As are the rear buckles:A C/|\?? inspector’s acceptance code is faintly visible on the rear of the belt:As is the maker’s mark and a date of 1946:The jungle green 37 pattern webbing was only introduced in 1944 so was only used in the last 12-18 months of the war. Nonetheless it was a simple but welcome change to the soldier’s equipment and far more suited to jungle fighting than the tan version.