Senryu : parachute bridal gown

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World War Two bride’s dress
parachute silk — blushing gal
survivor’s love gift

senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere

Thinking about time.  This dress, because it was made of parachute silk came from a specific time in history.  During WWII, silk was a rare commodity because much of it was used for parachutes.

A GI presenting his fiancee with his parachute was not just giving her silk so that she could create a bridal gown.  The parachute may have saved his life so that he could come back to marry, a precious memento of his surviving when so many did not.

I saw this today at the Pima Air & Space museum.

References:

The Pima Air & Space Museum
6000 E Valencia Rd
Tucson, AZ 85706

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8 thoughts on “Senryu : parachute bridal gown”

  1. Interesting you are writing about these dresses…it was actually quite common and the Smithsonian has quite a collection of parachute wedding dresses.

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    1. Yes, the silk parachute bridal dress were quite common for a short time after WWII because it was one way to get a lot of yards of silk. But during WWII, because silk was difficult to get, they started using nylon for parachutes and switched over. Some of the dresses were made from nylon as well. I don’t think there were any parachute dresses after WWI because parachutes weren’t used that much with fighter planes yet — something about the planes being too small in the cockpit and design issues with parachutes that didn’t get fixed until shortly after WWI. After that is when it started becoming safety wear for pilots. Wiki says the earliest silk parachutes was in the 1790s so maybe there were other parachute gowns pre-WWII. I don’t think they use silk any more: just synthetic fabrics including kevlar of all things. I thought kevlar was heavy but I guess I was wrong.

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        1. that would be a cool psychic ability to have — to touch a fabric and know it’s history. There’s a mystery series where the main character can do that — of course, she owns a vintage clothing store.

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