Tonight we are looking at the standard British Army ‘Wooly Pully’ Jumper. This long serving piece of clothing has always been popular with servicemen and is available in a variety of colours for the different services- I wear a dark blue example in the winter with my Royal Navy No4 working dress. The jumper itself was a development from the wartime v necked jumper. Over the years it changed from tan to green, the wool became heavier and ribbed and drill material was added to reinforce the elbows and forearms and the shoulders:
By the 1960s the design of jumper had settled to more or less what it is today. My example is in the British Army green:
As can be seen the jumper is made of a tight knitted wool, with a round neck and reinforcements on the forearms:
Reinforcement on the shoulders and shoulder straps to allow insignia and rank to be if needed:
The cut of the jumper is long and narrow, fitting tightly to the body and going down to just below the waist. The length of the arms is adjusted simply by rolling up the cuffs.
Inside the collar of the jumper is the manufacturer’s label, showing that this particular jumper was made in 1987 by Remploy:
Remploy is a government owned company that provides employment for disabled people. At the time the jumper was made. Remploy had their own factories directly employing disabled people, with many of these working on government and military contracts. Since 2007 the factories have been progressively closed, with the emphasis changing to finding disabled people work in mainstream companies.
Inside the neck of the jumper is a cord:
These were commonly fitted by soldiers to allow the fit of the neck to be adjusted. As the jumpers shrank, the necks also became baggy, leaving the hapless squaddie at the mercy of the RSM on parade. Cords in the neck allowed the neck to be tightened…hiding the shirt so he only had to iron the collar!
On the arm of this jumper are the stripes of a sergeant below a wreathed ‘AT’:
The ‘AT’ shows the original owner of this jumper was trained as an Anti Tank gunner, although it is more likely he used a missile than a traditional anti-tank gun.
The ‘wooly pully’ has been one of the most popular garments issued to troops in the second half of the Twentieth Century and has been widely copied by foreign armies, the police and private security firms.