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A Tunic Collar Liner
By Eric Tobey

The following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter & was done so with permission of the publisher.  We would like to thank him for his generosity as well as thank all those who have contributed to this article.  It is with their efforts, we are able to share this valuable research with the rest of you.

An item commonly issued to German soldiers was the Kragenbinde, or collar liner.  The purpose of this device was to protect the wool collar on the tunic (which was difficult to clean) from unsightly soiling, and to protect the wearer's neck from being chafed by the collar.  The collar liner wasn't needed when the Wehrmacht began using the M42 collared shirts because the shirt collar was supposed to do the same things as the collar liner.  Nevertheless, some soldiers were issued the collarless shirts as late as 1944, and along with these shirts they were issued Kragenbinde.  New recruits were commonly issued obsolete or pre-worn uniform parts, and trainees were recorded in their Soldbuchs as having received collarless shirts and collar liners until almost the end of the war. Normally, this "training suit" was exchanged for the up-to-date field uniform (including M42 shirts) shortly before the new soldier was transferred to the front.

We examined two different versions of the collar liner for this study.  Besides being slightly different in size, the smaller, more worn version has white cloth on one side and black polished cotton on the other, with linen lining inside.  The other specimen is also lined with a linen-like fabric, but has both inside and outside made of black polished cotton.  The drawing and dimensions given here are for the all-black example.

Overall dimensions of the piece are 23 3/4" long and 1 3/4" wide.  There are two sides to it: the outside, or the side that goes against the tunic collar (this is the side shown in the illustration), and the inside,  or the side that goes against the wearer's neck.  Both the inside and outside are made of black polished cotton with a bluish linen-like lining (see cross section drawing).  The buttonholes are sewn only through the two outside pieces (lining and outside cotton piece).  The only feature on the inside of the collar liner is a small strip of lining material with a buttonhole in it, sewn onto the surface of the liner with two lines of stitching (labeled "H") which go all the way through the piece.  The outside has the buttonholes going through it to attach to the tunic collar buttons and one wooden button.

The apparent method of construction was simple: After the two cotton and two lining parts were cut out, each lining part was sewn on its mate along the bottom edge, with both parts inside out.  They were now turned right-side out and top-stitched, again, only along the bottom edge.  There would now be two holes (labeled "A", "E", and "F", with the middle hole centered on the piece, and all of them 5/8" of an inch from the bottom) and bottom (labeled "B") were put in the "inside" part of the collar liner.  The two halves would then be put together inside out, or with the cotton pieces facing one another, and sewn along the top and sides.  Now the thing would be turned right-side out, pressed, and top-stitched along the top and sides as shown in the illustration.  The small strip of lining (labeled "E": 1" wide by 1 3/4" long) with buttonhole in it was now sewn on with the stitching going all the way through both halves ("H").  This was to fasten to button "B" when worn to close the liner around the neck.  Four lines of stitching were sewn all the way through the finished collar liner to keep the halves from separating (labeled "G").  These lines of stitching did not extend all the way across the collar liner, they start at the bottom and go halfway to the top.

The collar liner was then complete, ready to be shipped to the supply depot.




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