Blue-grey is the colour and air force can thank Tsar or­der that fell through

The Herald - - NEWS -

THE Royal Air Force has one par­tic­u­lar Bri­tish tex­tiles man­u­fac­turer

– and the Rus­sian Tsar

– to thank for the dis­tinc­tive blue colour of their uni­forms.

It was in 1918 that the new ser­vice ap­proached cloth maker, Hainsworth, a fam­ily-run Leeds firm that has been es­tab­lished for more than 235 years

Mar­ket­ing man­ager Julie Gree­nough said the RAF wanted dis­tinc­tive uni­forms. The 38-year-old added: “We were lucky at the time. We had a ware­house full of blue-grey ma­te­rial wo­ven for the

Tsar of Rus­sia for his Cos­sack trousers.

“But we were un­able to de­liver it be­cause war broke out in Rus­sia and we had a ware­house full of this blue-grey ma­te­rial we couldn’t use. Then the RAF came at ex­actly the same time and the sales­man thought ‘RAF and blue’ – they have taken that fab­ric since and still take it for their cer­e­mo­nial uni­forms.” Made from 100 per cent pure wool, the weight of and the process of achiev­ing the blue colour of the ma­te­rial is a closely guarded se­cret.

„ TV’S Carol Vor­der­man in the dis­tinc­tive RAF uni­form.

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