Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clothes rationing in Britain during WWII

Clothes rationing began on June 1, 1941, two years after food rationing started. Clothes rationing ended on March 15, 1949. Initially each person had 60 coupons for clothing per year, but it was later reduced to 48. Children received an additional 10 coupons to take into account growth during the year.

People were highly encouraged to make do, mend and remake clothing as well as to use curtains, old sheets/pillowcases, etc. to make clothing. I saw one guide to encourage using men's wool suits to make new clothes since so many men were in uniform and the suits were mothballed. There was also a lot of knitting reusing yarn from unraveled sweaters and socks. You can watch a Ministry of Supply move about Make Do and Mend on You Tube. You can also buy the original or a reproduction pamphlet via Amazon but get a taste of what was recommended here

There are archived free materials too such as MakeMendForVictory

My personal favorite in the make do and mend category so far are the materials by "Mrs. Sew and Sew" as shown on this Pinterest board

Their is a also a blog written by a woman who tried to follow food, gas, clothing, etc. guidelines for the US during WWII for a year. Lots of resources on the web and other blogger's challenges if you are interested in more.

I can relate to rationing as a driver for limited consumption and extra creativity than I can to stories of suffering during the Great Depression. I think it is because everyone was in the same predicament with rationing (not true for food of course if you were a farmer) and that led to resources and community efforts.

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