How to fold Litzen
Brad Hubbard and Alois Jelen
(or "collar tabs" as they're often called) are among the most difficult pieces of insignia to get
right and as a result the ones that are usually
incorrectly applied on reproduction uniforms.
It takes a good deal of patience & practice to
get the hang of, especially when you're not doing it
over and over all day long as the workers in German uniform
This article focuses exclusively on folding and
pressing the Litzen to prepare them for sewing.
a more complete and in-depth look at thier placement
and application on tunics, see this
Heer Tunic Insignia
Step 1: Lay Litzen
on a smooth surface and iron flat if it is not
Step 2: Identify the
angle created by the ends of the two outer bars.
Fold & iron the edges of the Litzen back to match
that angle so that both edges are parallel with the
ends of the outer bars and each other. The
angle should ideally intersect with or be very close
to the pointed ends of the center bar.
Step 3: Cut the
strings so there are roughly equal amounts on either
Step 4: Flip it
over. Fold back the edges ironed back in Step 2 so
you have room to work. Using the crease
created from ironing in Step 2 as a guide and
working one at a time, pull each group of strings
inward to form a straight angle extending from the edge of the
fold line to where the loose strings begin.
While holding them down, iron the angle flat one set
of strings at a time. It's tricky - be careful
not to burn yourself!
TIP: If you're having a lot of
trouble with this section (it's the hardest part) it
can be helpful to put a tiny dab of clear Elmer's
glue on your pointer finger and literally press down
on the edge of the angle you're trying to create.
Careful though, if you use too much it will soak
through to the front and stain your insignia.
Step 5: With the
strings ironed down, identify the corner of the
insignia that stuck out when laid face up back in
Step 3. Fold and iron it back at the same angle
created when you pulled the string inward in Step 4.
TIP: It's better to fold over a
little too much of the corner than too little in
Step 6: Inspect to ensure that none of the folded edges or
strings can be seen when the Litzen is flipped over
to the right side. Everything should be
cleanly folded, tucked, and pressed toward the
reverse. It's common to spend extra time on
this step tucking little bits and pieces in and
TIP: Press - don't drag - the
iron over the insignia or you'll end up undoing
Step 7: Repeat with
the other side. Once both are cleanly folded,
you're ready to sew them on. See our
Heer Tunic Insignia
Application Guide for a detailed look at how to
properly apply Litzen to a tunic.
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