Greg Renault
Forum Rifleman
Greg Renault
Forum Rifleman
Joined: 2:37 AM - Jun 23, 2010

4:41 PM - Nov 11, 2015 #41

Here is my template for the blanket markings for the 1812 period, based on the measurements of originals, cited earlier.

I believe the black lines at the end were woven into the blanket; this is what Robert Stone does. A friend with an interest in period blankets once suggested that I use a darning needle to manually weave a twist of black yarn into mine to reproduce this. Possible, but for me, not likely. And, as the lines are each 1/8" wide and 1/4" apart, both lines only occupy 1/2" of blanket; I did not trust myself to use marker or paint. So, to date no lines on my blanket.

Note that the tip of the broad arrow is to touch the black line furthest from the blanket end. The placement diagram above allows for the 1/2" space that the two lines would occupy.
Greg Renault
A soldier should be as attached to, and careful of, his musket, as his mistress. (G.O. 31st December 1788, Bombay Army)
Quote
Like
Share

smeggers
Forum Recruit
smeggers
Forum Recruit
Joined: 11:50 AM - Oct 23, 2015

5:13 PM - Nov 11, 2015 #42

Hi Greg, much appreciated picture! Whilst I can sew, I can't imagine darning the lines  :D  They'd be about as straight as the roads in the Highlands!

J-P
Quote
Like
Share

Der Warenfuhrer
Forum Recruit
Der Warenfuhrer
Forum Recruit
Joined: 12:18 AM - Aug 17, 2010

11:15 PM - Nov 11, 2015 #43

Dyeing stripes won't really work; the surface of the blanket is too fibrous to be able to do it neatly.

As to the colour, I have seen Blue ones and Brown, never black.

I believe the colours have a meaning rather than being random, but I have yet to consolidate my research.

I've counted the number of ends in several of the extant blankets (it was riveting, let me assure you) and compared them with manufacturer's 'makes' (i.e their working specifications). Measuring the sizes of the surviving blankets isn't very useful due to shrinkage / stretching, but when the number of threads in the warp tally with specifications you know you've got a match.
Quote
Like
Share

Greg Renault
Forum Rifleman
Greg Renault
Forum Rifleman
Joined: 2:37 AM - Jun 23, 2010

4:51 PM - Nov 12, 2015 #44

Der Warenfuhrer observes:
Dyeing stripes won't really work; the surface of the blanket is too fibrous to be able to do it neatly.
I agree.
As to the colour, I have seen Blue ones and Brown, never black.
I believe that the indigo blue stripes tended to be on blankets from the AWI, while those from 1812 (at least those from the HMS Boxer) had brown stripes. In his study Stone thought it likely the stripes were originally black. I know that period textile dyes in the black/grey range would change colour to green or brown, depending on the coloring agent; I suspect this happened to the blanket stripes in question. Same thing with period ink--black when originally written, but now appears brown.
Greg Renault
A soldier should be as attached to, and careful of, his musket, as his mistress. (G.O. 31st December 1788, Bombay Army)
Quote
Like
Share

Paul Durrant
Site Admin
Joined: 8:42 PM - Jun 04, 2007

9:09 PM - Nov 22, 2017 #45

Memoirs of the 39th Foot, 1808-14, Private John Morris Jones (as published in JSAHR, Autumn 2017, Vol 95, No382

Crossing the Pyrenees 1813
“After the battle of the Pyrenees…our Division occupied the heights and pass of Roncesvalles, until the beginning of November. On the evening of the 7th of that month, I was, together with a corporal and 12 men, placed on the outlying picket…It rained, thundered, and hailed, nearly the whole night - indeed it was one of the worst nights I ever passed exposed to the weather. Not having great-coats, we made use of our blankets as substitutes; but when morning dawned, they were so saturated and swollen with the rain, that we could not fold them into the knapsack again…”
Quote
Like
Share

Eddie
Forum Captain
Eddie
Forum Captain
Joined: 11:49 AM - Sep 04, 2010

7:31 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #46

Journal Society of Army Historical Research  Summer 1989 Number 270. Article by G A Steppler 'The Coldstream Guards at Waterloo' page 68  : 

……to mark the necessaries he ( The QM) " had a regular stamp with the same kind of Star and Letters as in the Breast plate' and also' Coldsm Guards' in a steel stamp for the shoes &c and the same in large letters to burn the blankets with '"  .
I think this is the second time I have seen a reference to the blankets being marked by being burnt / singed with an iron. 

The first image in this topic - page one shows the GR mark - feint and washed out - but could it have been done with a branding iron??? It certainly is a quick and clean way of marking a white blanket - but would need to be done very carefully ! 
"Far the calling bugles hollo,
High the screaming Fife replies,
Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise"
Quote
Like
Share