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Pakistan made civil war uniforms

Discussion in 'Campfire Chat - General Discussions' started by Barrycdog, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Barrycdog

    Barrycdog Captain

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    http://www.cw-uniforms.com/products.php?cat=177

    This link was posted on a linked in site. I am not endorsing this site in any way but was wondering what you think of companies producing uniforms over seas.

    M.Zee Enterprises was established in the year 2002 based in Sialkot (City) Pakistan. The Company has been thriving since its inception, in pursuit of its well-defined solo goal to provide excellent professional quality products and services to its...

    I am doubting any of these uniforms could ever reach a level of authenticity a reenactor would be looking for.

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  3. Rough Rider

    Rough Rider Retired User

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    Don't Americans make anything any more?
  4. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    Not clothing. It all seems to come from Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.
  5. kfranklin

    kfranklin Corporal

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    Wow, not terrible, but not great...I wonder what the actual product looks like though...
  6. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Some do. Not many, but some.

    We have (had?) a member near Orlando who custom-made uniforms to order. I gather that they were period perfect in every way -- fabric, style, stitching -- but, of course, considerably more costly than an Asian-made garment.

    This kind of authenticity is not available to the young enthusiast who wants to get into reenacting, but has budgetary restrictions.

    The new reenactor is between a rock and a hard place. The price of a kit is prohibitive.

    When I was 25 and interested, there was no way to come up with the price of a kit. When I was 65 and could finally afford a kit, I was no longer interested in sleeping on the ground, marching for miles, and eating salt pork and beans.
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  7. kfranklin

    kfranklin Corporal

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    That is a problem in the hobby. Fortunately some units keep a lot of extra gear to get young guys outfit until they can slowly assemble their own gear. Going cheap isn't the right way, i.e. that Indian Lorenz that exploded.
  8. James B White

    James B White 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Used gear from American makers gets down around the price of the Pakistan gear, so that's a solution for those wanting more accurate items at a cheaper price, if they have the time and inclination to keep an eye out for what they need.

    And some reenactors/events really aren't interested in any particular level of authenticity. I have a better eye for civilian clothes than uniforms, but there are events where one sees thrift-store items, fashions 40 years out of date, etc., and the authenticity of the Pakistani uniforms would fit right in there I'm sure.
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  9. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    In that, Mr. White is the salvation of the hobby. The really good reenacting units will loan gear to new enthusiasts.

    Were it not for that particular generosity, the hobby would necessarily be hampered.

    All the threads I've ever read on the hobby show that the "good" groups recruit and fall all over themselves to make it easy for a noob to join. It's a good omen for the hobby.

    We have a good many youngers here, who want to get into the hobby. And it is encouraging that so many others are anxious to have them join the ranks.

    So long as that desire remains, there will be recruits.

    Insistance on authenticity might be the bugbear here. Is close good enough?
  10. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Wonder if they'd hire me as a translator. And I'm suspicious of any foreign site where I have to click to get a "quotation." Otherwise I would consider it for One Act Play costumes. :smile: (One minute onstage....cheap is good)
  11. Diplogeek

    Diplogeek Sergeant

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    I don't think I'd rush to give my credit card information to some randos in Pakistan (or China, or wherever, for that matter) without some kind of assurance that they were legit.

    As far as the cost of gear, I'm brand new to the hobby, and a good chunk of my kit was purchased used. My unit does both Union and Confederate impressions, so I was looking at twice as much clothing, essentially, but I got a really nice jacket and kepi on the AC Buy/Sell board, my musket was purchased by a pard of Kfranklin's who was looking to sell his (it's a great musket, BTW- all the guys in my unit were admiring it when I brought it back to camp), my Union trousers were a Wambaugh pair purchased used at Regimental Quartermaster, and I probably could have bought almost everything used, if I hadn't been faced with a bit of a time crunch because of the Gettysburg 150th. If someone knows, say, in the fall or winter that they want to get into reenacting, they can assemble a completely respectable kit of quality, US-made gear probably by the time the next reenacting season rolls around. It's really just a question of checking forums regularly, putting the word out amongst your pards that you're looking for X, Y or Z piece of gear and having a prioritized checklist of what you need.

    I would also submit that longer term, authentic gear isn't necessarily more expensive than the Pakistani stuff. Sure, the initial cost of a Pakistani uniform is cheaper, but when it falls apart or turns purple or something, then you're faced with buying another. Or you decide you want to move toward a more progressive impression, which means upgrading everything. I think it's almost always better to save your money, buy the more authentic stuff made by reputable vendors (even if it means buying your gear more slowly) and get stuff that will last for years (and have a much higher resale value) than go for the lowest price. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

    The real problem for me has been that now I've got my basic kit mostly assembled, I'm finding myself going, "Hmm, but that RDII jacket over at Beauregard's Tailor is pretty great, and I need something for a later war impression...." I think the solution to this is learning to sew, so at least I can buy kits and save some money that way (which is another big point- if you can sew, know someone who does or are willing to learn to sew, that can cut costs considerably).

    Loaner gear does make a big difference, though, because it takes some of the pressure off new people to assemble their kit immediately, giving them the latitude to buy used stuff, wait on a good price for something or try sewing their own. I think a lot of the people who end up with crappy gear either buy it without knowing any better or checking with their pards or they buy it because they're in a situation where they've got a big event coming up, there isn't enough loaner gear to outfit them, and they don't want to be that farb in black sneakers and gray workpants, or whatever.
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  12. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Gives a whole new meaning to "Purple Rain," doesn't it?

    This sounds like good advice...just because I've seen it so many times here on the forum from guys who have done this right for years. Same thing with all clothing, frankly....you get what you pay for. Go walk through a big department store. Touch the fabrics. Look at the stitching and tailoring. Smell the leather on REAL leather shoes. Same deal. You can pay more and wear it for years, or buy it at Wally World and fade before the summer's over.
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  13. Diplogeek

    Diplogeek Sergeant

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    Personally, I also like getting used gear (prefer it, in some cases) because then you're not taking to the field in entirely brand new, shiny, squeaky clean stuff. I mean, I might be an FNG and all, but that doesn't mean I have to look like it if I can possibly help it.

    I was a little skeptical at first, but you really can tell the difference between, say, an N.J. Sekela sack coat and one of the Pakistan specials. There are orders of magnitude in between, of course, but there really is a clear difference in workmanship and quality when you see them next to one another. Also, the kind of stuff these guys are doing in producing these clothes and other gear is a craft that they're keeping alive. I don't have a problem paying a little extra in support of that, personally.
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  14. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    As a new reenactor I can tell you that to buy an authentic Kepi from Dirty Billy's vs the mass produced Kepi I settled for was the difference of about $140. As the father of 3 boys with a car payment & mortgage to pay I can't possible justify the expense. Very self conscience of appearing FARB but just don't have the $. Hoping to get the real deal for X-Mass, Fathers Day or my B-Day next year. Dropping hints to my wife, lol. But in the mean time wearing a Kepi made in Pakistan is not going to keep me from enjoying a hobby I'm very found of & have learned to love.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
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  15. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Like I said, more authentic gear is on my wish list. But look at this photo. Can you tell if my Kepi was made in Pakistan? My Brogans are US made, high quality & as soon as I put them on my only thought was to step into the nearest mud hole to make they look authentic..."Yup," said a veteran reenactor of our unit,"you've got the bug!" Lol

    image.jpg
  16. Diplogeek

    Diplogeek Sergeant

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    To be clear, I'm not saying that someone who can't get all top of the line gear shouldn't participate or anything like that (not being a stitch Nazi, for one, and not thinking that's a productive attitude at all, for another) so much as that there are ways to get great gear without paying, say, $140 for a hat. The kepi in my picture cost me $55, I believe, and it's one by Greg Starbuck, who's very well regarded. I've seen several slouches by Tim Bender going for anywhere from $60 to $100+, depending on how new they are and such. The trade off, though, is that you sometimes have to wait and keep an eye out to find used stuff for affordable prices.

    I also think that once you get involved, it's easier to get leads on good used gear that's going up for sale, since then you hear about guys who are dropping out or changing their impression and getting rid of stuff. I have noticed that for whatever reason, Confederate stuff seems to be easier to come by used than Union. Maybe because you have more sartorial latitude as a Confederate, so people switch up their impressions more frequently?

    I hope you swing that Dirty Billy kepi for Christmas- he makes nice stuff. I ended up with a slouch from Clearwater, but I really like his Mosby hat.
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  17. Diplogeek

    Diplogeek Sergeant

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    Also, I'm really big on prioritizing. I'm a total hat fiend, so I wanted a cap that was more high-end. I've marched long enough and far enough in ill-fitting boots to know that I wanted a good pair of brogans. Trousers I wouldn't have worried about as much if I hadn't run across the used pair I bought for my Union impression. I was prepared to buy a Confederate shell jacket from somewhere more mainstream, but then I ran across the one I own now for sale on AC, and it was about the same price as the ones I'd been looking at on Fall Creek and Blockade Runner, so I bought it. It was good timing as much as anything else.

    But yeah, I don't mean to sound as if I'm saying that no one should be allowed to participate if they don't have handsewn drawers that cost $150 or something, because that's not my feeling at all. More that there are ways to get better gear for prices lower than what you see on, say, Nick Sekela's website (and that when you see some of that gear up close, you can see why it costs more). And it doesn't have to be a question of something totally farby or a $500 RDII- I've heard that Blockade Runner's jackets, for instance, are pretty decent, and they're a mainstream sutler. Ditto for Fall Creek's brogans.

    Anyway, now I sound like a total gear snob, which wasn't my intention. I'm all for people doing this with whatever gear they have (well, within reason). It should go without saying that paying the mortgage is more important than buying a new haversack. That said, I also think that sometimes the claim that authenticity is just too expensive are somewhat overblown.

    I also wish I had listened to my mother and learned how to sew, because it would be saving me some serious money now. Once again, mom was right!
  18. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Lol, my comments weren't based on anything you said. I was just speaking on my own experience. I was reading your comments as more of a helpful led :smile:
  19. Diplogeek

    Diplogeek Sergeant

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    Heh, glad to hear it. I was lucky in that I decided to do this when I was living overseas (and knew I'd be coming back to the States, but not for a number of months), so I was all fired up but couldn't actually buy anything, which left me with nothing to do but lurk on reenacting forums like here, AC and so on. It probably saved me from making some stupid purchases.

    Sadly, this hobby taps into every OCD inclination that I have, which is necessarily great for my wallet. It's a little easier being single with no kids, though, since I have more discretionary income, at least.
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  20. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    The unit I joined told me not to purchase anything until I tried the hobby first. They outfitted me with everything I needed. Very cool group. It's a Artillery Unit & I was hooked as soon as I put on the uniform. Then they allowed me to pull the lanyard during artillery fire and when the piece went BOOM the deal was sealed! Great experience & awesome people on and off the field :smile:
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  21. distantinlaw

    distantinlaw Private

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    why would you buy anything manufactured by slaves ? wouldnt a person making 60 dollars a month be considered slave labor ?

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