De-Farbing Reproductions

One of the biggest struggles of a WAC impression is sourcing uniforms–originals are limited (plus they can be more delicate than is feasible for wear at some events) and the best reproductions can be cost prohibitive. Soldier of Fortune offers a reproduction of the enlisted winter service jacket at a nicer price point, but some aspects of it are a bit…off. The biggest issues are the ridiculously large shoulder pads (seriously, they’re farcically oversized) and the presence of epaulets on the enlisted jacket. One of the “Wac-Moms” recently de-farbed 2 of the jackets for our members and was kind enough to document the process for us to share.

We are going to do this as minimally invasive as possible, so we do not damage the jacket.

You will need a seam ripper or a small pair of sharp pointed scissors

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Pull the seam apart so to expose the stitching.

Carefully snip the stitches. This jacket has two lining seams that need to be opened.  When you see the shoulder seam and shoulder pad stop.  Your opening should be about 3-4 inches long


Reach into the opening, the shoulder pad is attached at the sleeve seam. Using sharp scissors cut the shoulder pad loose.  Be very careful to not snip the fabric!


Pull the shoulder pad out through the open seam. Cut along the seam leaving ¼ inch or so along the seam line. Out comes the shoulder pad !


The epaulet can be removed next. Unbutton the epaulet, pull the seam open to expose the stitches and using your seam ripper/scissors, carefully remove the two rows of stitches holding the epaulet in the shoulder seam.


Once loose, remove the epaulet

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The button can be snipped off and the remaining threads snipped off.

You can keep the pad, button and epaulet for future use. Stitch the opening closed, and you are good to go!

All photos: Pat Nickols.

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