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