White aircrew polo neck sweaters

Discussion in 'Related Gear' started by coalman, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    2,244
    Smithy
    Down south in Miami the average temp right about now is 81 degrees F.
    I lived down there for the last 25 + years on and off and finally moved 320 miles north to Jacksonville.
    A relatively short distance, but the temps can dip down to below freezing (32 F) about 4 or 5 times a year for a couple of days.
    The good news is that the Georgia mountains are only about 5 or 6 hours ride by car and then I'm in Irvin and B-3 weather:)
     
    Smithy likes this.
  2. Paulgo253

    Paulgo253 New Member

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    Recently I’ve realty immersed myself (sorry for the pun!) in the different submariner jumper offerings out there. I began by wanting something to wear under an original Irvin jacket because I think they just look great, but also because they are very practical to wear generally during the cold winters we have up in the north east of England! I quickly became a little obsessed with the different options and ‘types’ of submariners available! I've decided that what I actually really like is the original style of Royal Navy sub jumpers – especially those made for the RN by J Pick and Sons, now sadly out of business. An original Pick will be very hard to come by, particularly in a larger size, so I been looking at the various alternate choices – with J Pick as a sort of benchmark and a budget of around £70.

    I thought I’d struck lucky when I found my local Army & Navy surplus store had submariners in stock – and made, I was told. by Outdoor Knitwear. Turns out it’s just a store that sells various forms of outdoor gear and the jumpers they stock are actually made by Richmond Knitwear. Although the quality was generally I didn’t like the construction of the neck funnelling – the join sweeps down very deep on the chest and I’m just not keen on that look, being picky! All the J Pick examples I’ve seen have a higher roll over neck seam. I’ve returned it and decided to order a hopefully more authentic version from Silvermans which is the same price and I’m waiting to arrive - hopefully it should be much better all round. It was a bit of a toss up between that and ONW and of course, I've just heard that there's 20% off at ONW at the moment which is typical!

    Here's a pic of the Richmond Knitwear offering and another showing the deep neck funnelling

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  3. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    2,244
    Nice look.
    The original Irvin looks like it's in great shape. What size is it?
    Try looking at The North Sea Submariner. It's a reach financially speaking. Probably overpriced but it's a good looking piece of kit.
    From what I hear the Outdoor Knitwear jumper is supposed to be the current issue to the Royal Navy. That's how they advertise the jumper. I like them to fit a little on the large side as I think it gives it a more realistic look.
    If you haven't done it already take a second and introduce yourself to the forum in the members section.
    Wellcome to the forum!
     
  4. Paulgo253

    Paulgo253 New Member

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    11
     
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  5. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    2,244
    6 or 7 is a great size if you can find one . Really rare as WW II pilots were overall medium and small built men by today's standards. So you have a great find in a size 6 or 7.
    As for the NSC Submariner I know what you mean. The quality is there but the prices are out of sight. Luckily I received mine as a gift. My personal thought is the Outdoor knitwear is your best choice for the money. Another fellow on the forum told me about them and I have to agree with him that that's the best value and closest in accuracy to some of the WWII jumpers.
    Cheers
     
  6. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    2,495
    Location:
    Norway
    That is a lovely looking Irvin and in damn good nick Paul.

    As you've no doubt learnt from this thread I have a fairly new Outdoor Knitwear submariner and absolutely love it. Construction-wise it appears to be very close to originals. I've never owned an original but comparing mine to photos and descriptions, it is very close with all the correct details and the pattern as far as I can tell is spot on. It's also better than the last repro I had which was fairly lightweight in terms of the wool - sorry can't remember who made it as I bought it yonks ago and it wore through after not a terrible amount of fairly light wear - the OK is streets ahead in terms of heft.

    I'm probably biased but my OK is a great bit of kit. I've just been outside in it shifting a whole lot of stuff into the garage and securing everything down as we're in for a Full Storm over the night, so a proper 10 on the Beaufort Scale, and the OK sub performed admirably.

    All the best with whichever sub jumper you decide to go for.

    Cheers,

    Tim
     
  7. Paulgo253

    Paulgo253 New Member

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    11
    Thanks guys - I bought it very reasonably as a bit of a fixer upper over the summer to feed my Irvin addiction in the 'closed season'. Turned out it needed much less attention that I'd originally thought, mainly grafting a new DOT bucket collector on to the botton of the original main zip. In collectors terms it's far from mint (for that you need to see Roughwear's fantastic collection, some true beauties!) but fortunately I like my jackets to wear their history and years - it's what attracted me to originals rather than repros to start with, and the battle scars really do add to the character in my opinion.

    My new mission tho is to find an original J Pick & sons RN sub and in a size that fits me, as I love everything I've seen about them. But that is going to be some search. I'll see how the Silvermans turns out and may even return it for a discounted ONW yet! I've come this far so going to settle for the best I can manage (which is why the Richomd offering went back!!) Certianly liking everything thing I've heard about ONWand I wished I'd waited a little longer to assess all the options - there's some geat and very informatie posts on here!

    Hopefully the Silverman's will come tomorrow and I'll stick some pics up and let you know what I think!

    thanks

    Paul
     
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  8. Paulgo253

    Paulgo253 New Member

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    11
    Sorry, me again. My Silvermans sub finally arrived today - but it has a Niffi Nautical label inside! Speaking to a rather confusing gentleman at Silvermans I now realise that they are not the manufacturers of the subs on their site - they just sell them on, buying in bulk from a manufacturer in Leicestershire, TW Kemptons who are the parent company for Outdoor Knitwear and a large clothing supplier, including to the MOD. So after all that debating I now know that Silvermans / ON and Niffi Nautical are all the same jumper!

    It does seem to be very well made and the first thing I noticed taking it off the posty was the weight compared to the Richmond Knitwear sub that I returned recently - heft I think being a good indication of quality which does seem to be excellent - soft wool and very warm. Problem is it measures a 40" chest (labelled as a medium) which is not what I ordered so it's very snug as I'm a 42". Unfortunately another return is on the cards!

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  9. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    2,244
    Well.... the bad news is, that another return is in the works.
    However, the good news is that you are rapidly becoming the authority of the forum on which sweaters are the best bang for the buck and the most authentic.:)
     
  10. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,495
    Location:
    Norway
    That's exactly like mine Paul!

    I'm 6'2'' and am 183 lbs and got a Large which I'm thrilled with.

    Onwards and upwards as they say!
     
  11. Paulgo253

    Paulgo253 New Member

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    11
    Haha :) thanks - I just feel like I'm going round in circles! But it's been a useful learning curve! I''ve been pouring over pics of the ON subs and NSC and they do look very, very similar. Nothing leaps out as being different in overall design, even the cotton neck patches are almost identical as are the sleeve and hem welts to my eye. But I think NSC's subs are made in Nottingham, not Leicester where Kempton are based, so probably not the same manufacturer as I think has been speculated. The ON / Niffi Nautical /Kempton /Silvermans jumper Iwas sent is excellent quality tho - I personally don't think the North Sea Clothing sub can offer enough of an increase in quality above ON to warrant an extra £100, much as I love the way the brand is presented, more than double what the ON sub costs. But I could well be proven wrong - I would be interested to see what the differences actually are!

    Yes indeed! I've returned the Silvermans sweater and gone for a large / 44" from Outdoor Knitwear. So another frustrating wait and it was perfect sub weather today! The medium was just too snug, not by much tho - but it was measuring 44" around the chest when I was wearing it, so maybe pushing it a little for the medium size. Just hope the large isnt too loose as I do prefer them snug. Yes sizing of these subs is indeed prooving vexing!!
     
  12. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,199
    Great Picture, however not all Comforts Roll Necks were knitted "Frock" style with extra length with the huge neck
    We've been having sweaters hand knitted from an original Comforts Knitting Pattern for a couple of years http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/products.php?cat=militaryjackets&sub=raf

    rafcomfortsblue-500.jpg rafcomfortsnatural-500.jpg Comforts PatternRAF--500.jpg

    Unfortunately the knitters have never been able to keep up with the demand, we are constanly running out of sizes and we've had to stop taking advance orders for specific sizes as we never seem to receive what we expect. We measure each one when it arrives, sizing appears to be down to each knitters own tension and knitting style rather than what we've been promised!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  13. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,199
    rc2turtle.jpg
    Shocking quality picture but it's the only one we've got of the Canadian Red Cross version.
     
  14. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    2,244
    The temperature is going down to 34 degrees F tomorrow night here in Jacksonville Florida.
    I have high hopes that I'll get to wear my North Sea Submariner sweater.
    ( While the rest of the US is under a cold freeze, I'm in Florida hoping for a cold chill to wear a sweater. How sick is that!)o_O
     
  15. m444uk

    m444uk Active Member

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    601
  16. Paulgo253

    Paulgo253 New Member

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    11
    Can anyone recommend a good way to get the grime from 40 odd years of wear off the roll neck edge of a vintage submariner jumper? It's not coming off with normal washing techniques! Thanks!!
     
  17. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Here are some pictures of mine. It is not a roll neck jumper, but a Comforts Committee RAF frock. Although you see pictures of RAF aircrew wearing roll neck mariner jumpers the frock was longer and did not have a roll neck.

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  18. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    2,244
    Is anyone reproducing Comforts Committee Frocks these days.? Not the roll neck type, but the Frock style models.
     
  19. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Interesting.................We've got around a dozen original wartime pattern books for volounteer knitters, several approved by the RAF but not one has a Frock pattern.
    Your sweater looks to be much neater in the neck area and not quite as long as virtually all the frocks I've seen, is it tagged anywhere?

    I can't imagine it would be commercially viable for anyone (other than hand knitters) to reproduce the Frock, they aren't exactly the smartest garment on Mother Earth
    Andrew's (above) is a far more wearable shape than any I've ever seen and far better for it

    Our machine knitters are currently experimenting with the Comforts Committee Roll Neck pattern. If they can recreate the hand knitted look this will hopefully fill a void in the market. Our hand knitted versions are running around a 2 year wait
     

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