your M43 Cap...
past event, I was able to give some suggestions to a
friend on how he could improve his M43 Feldmutze at
minimal cost. After realizing this wasn't the
first time I offered such suggestions, I decided to go
ahead an put up an article on the subject. The
following is geared toward the average 'living
historian" & should not be viewed as a
definitive study on M43 caps. Maybe such an
article will eventually be in the works. As you
will hopefully see from the information below, there
is a lot of room for variation when it comes to
personalizing your M43 cap.
is the main aspect of the cap that is
usually in need of attention. It is
also the easiest way to improve the
appearance of the cap. First thing you
will want to assess the current insignia on
your cap (if one is present). Current
reproduction caps usually come one of three
ways: 1) with correct Bevo style
insignia, 2) incorrect embroidered insignia,
or 3) without insignia.
Above is an
example of a common repro embroidered
insignia. Note how the eagle differs
from the original shown in illus. E.
Also, the originals are embroidered on a thin
cotton backing with bound edges unlike the
current reproductions. If you have one
like the above, it is recommended that you
replace it with one of the following: an
original Bevo style (illus. A, B, C, D),
original embroidered (illus. E), or a
quality reproduction Bevo style insignia
which is patterned off one of the originals
shown (illus. A, B, C, D).
was usually attached during cap assembly
when the cap was laid flat on the sewing
table. They then sewed the back seam
and assembled the cap. So the stitching
around the insignia did not come through the
lining. Of course, unless your
experienced with sewing, this option of
attachment maybe too difficult to attempt.
One can hand sew the the insignia to the cap
if done very carefully. Examples of
this do exist amongst originals.
Now for the
variations on attaching the insignia.
If you get the insignia shown in illus. A
& B, then you have two choices.
The first, you can trim around the main part
of the insignia and fold (tuck under) the
edges, then sew it to the cap (see illus.
A). Option two is folding (tuck) the
insignia so as to resemble the cap trapezoid
shown in illus. B.
C & D are simple cap trapezoids.
One will need to trim the edges to allow
them to be tucked under. Do not
cut right to the main part of the insignia.
You can see this in the pictures below.
if you want to get crazy, you can either sew
the top on the inside fold, and pull the
patch over and sew the sides down (see
illus. C) Note how on this example,
the top stitching is not visible.
Insignia "E" has embroidered edges
and just needs to be stitched on the cap.
next step in de-farbing a m43 cap.
This section will be short and sweet.
Take the cap and vigorously work the bill
with your hands. Your trying to get
the well worn look out of a bill that looks
new. You can even roll the bill up
from the end toward the cap & back out.
Be creative, you can even try dampening it
with water & then do the wear process
above. You want to have the look of a
used, not new cap.
the above, you will want to put a crease
right down the middle of the bill (folding
it in half). This will allow the cap
to become flat for storage in the pocket,
bread bag, or tucked behind the belt (see
picture at right).
show that is was popular to pinch the top of
the cap. To do this and have it last,
wet the top of the cap. Pinch just
above the front top seam with your thumb
& finger on each side of of the
insignia. Continue to occasionally do this
until the cap dries. Usually it will
hold its shape, but you may need to do this
more than once.
get your cap dirty. By wearing pomade
in your hair, the lining will naturally gain
the period worn look. Do not be afraid
to get mud and grease on the outside of the
cap. Remember, having some sort of
deformity is always a good thing. One
does not need a perfectly shaped cap.