The Parachute Wedding Dress

During World War Two, many American military personnel were trained to jump from an airplane wearing a parachute. There are many photos and videos showing soldiers coming from the sky with their parachutes open – that was especially true with the landing of Americans during D-Day, June 6, 1944 in France.

Parachutes were fire-resistant, strong, lightweight and easy to pack, silk was among the best fabrics for making parachutes.

The support in 1943 was strong for American soldiers, especially the girlfriends and wives of those men jumping from planes. The silk fabric parachute was felt by the ladies should not be wasted after they were used. The ladies were coming up with ideas of how to use the parachute material and this became a symbol of resourcefulness and industriousness, but also an act to honor the service of these men.

A big and popular idea was to use the parachute fabric of their future husband to make a wedding dress. With many soldiers bringing back their parachutes and the military didn’t need them, this is just what many ladies did, make a gown. Many were pure silk in a delicate white or cream shade. With the parachutes being very large, the dresses were much longer, fuller, and more voluminous.

The idea caught on and not only in America but many ladies in Europe and in Australia, the making of clothing from parachutes was done. More amazing are dresses made from parachutes taken by American or Western European soldiers from fallen German or Japanese soldiers. Even if a soldier did not have a parachute, he did trade something else with fellow soldiers who did have their parachute.

Parachute manufacturers in the United States began using nylon fabric by the end of the war because they had run out of available silk that originally came from Japan. After the war, many brides made their white wedding dresses from re-purposed nylon parachutes.

Using parachute fabric continued even after the war ended in 1945 because there still was a shortage of materials.

Those couples who had the re-purposed parachutes dresses cherished them for decades. Some may have been passed down to a daughter for their wedding day. Check with your relatives, see if any World War Two parachute fabric was used in a family.

Photo: 1940s parachute wedding dress – many placed in museums.

Related Blogs:

Fashion Helps Date Photos

Pink for Girls

Tree of Weddings

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.