We are proud to offer our latest historic WW2 recreation, Aero's perfect replica of the hand knitted Roll Neck Sweaters knitted by volunteers right through the hostilities on behalf of The Royal Air Force Comfort Committee to provide much need clothing for service personnel and prisoners of war. Our hand knitted sweaters are made in Scotland using the original RAF pattern, (See Pic) and, unusually, the front and back are knitted as one panel with no shoulder seam but with a hole in the middle were the roll neck is grafted in. The roll neck itself is knitted in one in a circular tube so the neck itself has no side seams. The overall construction method used gives extra strength and is more robust than more common knitting methods. Of course they are knitted in the same stiff, heavy wool chosen to perfectly match the original volunteer's sweaters, in fact our sweater is utterly indistinguishable from an original even bearing a copy of the original RAF label
Although we have lots of these currently being knitted, while we build our stock up there might be a few weeks waiting time for certain sizes that are currently sold out, to reserve a size that is currently showing as "NoStock" please use the Special Instructions to request "For delivery when the next batch arrives.
Back in the 1940s, finished sweaters were sent to the RAF Comforts Committee for distribution, our sweaters will be supplied wrapped in a typical period style brown paper parcel, tied in string, bearing a genuine 1940s postage stamp on a label addressed to the RAF distribution warehouse in Berkeley Square.........exactly as an original would have been taken to the local post office back in the day.
HISTORY OF THE ORIGINAL SWEATER
Knitted garments and ‘Comforts' were an important wartime contribution towards kitting out members of the Defence Forces whether they were in the Royal Navy, RAF, Army or Auxiliary forces and for distribution by The Red Cross to Prisoners Of War. Regulation clothing issue was basic and not always very comfortable and often failed to offer sufficient protection against harsh weather conditions. Collectors of British service men and women's uniform are well aware that knitted comforts items are generally more typical of what was worn on the front line than issue items. Volunteer hand knitted clothing included gloves, socks, scarves, balaclavas and sweaters that generally were not issued with the uniform and were invaluable to the many prisoners of war.
Initially, when the Comforts knitting scheme was set up at the beginning of WW2, it was very much a fragmented effort within which individual women and households knitted garments to supplement clothing issued to local men in the forces. These ad-hoc volunteers were quickly integrated into the general Home Front organisation and their potential harnessed by the various wartime authorities to ensure more efficient supply, quality and upkeep of morale. The official line was generally that the ‘individual's reward was the satisfaction in knowing the men's appreciation'. Anyone who could knit was encouraged to join a knitting group, officially known as parties, a word used to engender a greater feeling of solidarity. By April 1943, there were between 6,000 and 7,000 knitting parties across Britain All knitters were volunteers doing their bit for the war effort and given official recognition by way of certificates and badges (See pic) They used knitting patterns approved by both The RAF and The Admiralty, while the wool, generally blue or cream, was supplied by weight free of charge to the individual households or knitting groups. This was often carried out by the ladies of the Women's Voluntary Services
M = 20" pit to pit
L = 22" pit to pit
XL = 24" pit to pit