Over the next month we are going to delve further into the nylon 1958 pattern webbing the British Army experimented with in the 1970s. The original design had been to coat existing cotton 1958 pattern webbing with a thin nylon fabric which worked when new, but quickly wore with the nylon ripping and peeling from the cotton part of the pouch. The solution was to make the whole pouch from nylon. All the existing elements of the 1958 pattern set were replicated in nylon although building up a full set is a challenge. Today we are looking at the kidney pouches in this new material:
A variety of different sorts of nylon fabric and webbing were used in the construction of the pouches, some is about 2″ wide and closely resembles the nylon strapping used to make seat belts at the time:
Other straps such as those used to secure the top flaps are much narrower but made of a stiffer grade of fabric- the stiffness probably would probably have made them easier to use than their cotton equivalents, at least when new:
The nylon design copies exactly the existing pattern, so the rear of the pouches have the same tabs and loops as soldiers were familiar with:
The one item that has remained in cotton is the name tag, presumably because it would be easier to mark cotton than nylon without it rubbing off:
Although this pouch has clearly been used for trials, it cannot have seen much hard wear as the fittings are still in virtually mint condition:
The nylon set is very challenging to collect, being even harder to find than first pattern 1958 webbing, so going forward it might be difficult to collect up a full set but hopefully with patience the last pieces will come to light in due course.