WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown
WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown

WW2 Parachute Silk Nightgown

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1940s World War Two vintage parachute silk garment with US Navy seal. Modern size equivalent: XL/16/X-Large. See the actual measurements below. 

This fine wartime piece is embroidered with green Asian dragons at each breast, a ruffled sweetheart neckline, and a self-tie sash. See the US NAVY stamp on the fabric. In 1924, the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics mandated that parachutes be worn by all service personnel on all flights and they have been a staple of survival equipment ever since. 

This was made from a genuine parachute used in WW2, so you will see some damage to the material in the shared images. Offered in as-found condition. Parachutes were made from a thin nylon that was called "parachute silk". The dragons were likely embroidered at a shop found by a soldier while he was on leave, before shipping it home as a gift to his sweetheart. 

Trousseau lingerie and wedding dresses from parachute silk got started well before World War II ended. Newspaper articles spoke of the women back home who were not letting anything go to waste, including the parachutes their men used to jump from planes. The use of the fabric became a symbol of patriotic resourcefulness and an act to honor the military service of their men. The parachutes were deemed unfit for further military use after being used to land in seawater, or otherwise damaged. Any damage found on this is not considered a flaw in the garment, but rather a sign of the patriotic heroism of the soldier who used the chute. The newspaper article shown is for information purposes only and is not included. 

Today, some surviving parachute silk garments are exhibited at museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Don F. Pratt Museum in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and the Imperial War Museum in London. A few remain as cherished pieces of family collections. They don’t often come up for sale, making them a rarity on the vintage clothing market. 

Actual measurements: 
Bust 41 inches 
Waist 39 inches, untied 
Hips 48 inches 
Sweep 82 inches 
Full length 57 inches 

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