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AWVS (American Women's Voluntary Services)

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Since the Women's Services board has been a bit slow lately I'd like to put forth for your viewing pleasure.


This is one of the AWVS uniforms in my collection. It is the best conditioned one of the lot as it most likely

was a private purchase of higher quality material and superior dyes. Unlike the others I have that have

turned plum from sun fading or dye degradation, it still retains its original blue-gray appearance. This

photo was taken under poor lighting conditions and does not represent the true colour. The belt in the

picture is constructed from the same material as the uniform on one side, and is black leather on the

opposite side. At the time the picture was taken, I didn't know it was worn black side out; therefore it's

backwards. I recently acquired an AWVS sam brown belt to go with a uniform; however, as this one

came with its own belt I'll add it to one of my other uniforms.



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

This example of an A.W.V.S. uniform shows a typical problem of poor dye materials.

The colour has degraded from a gray-blue to a nearly plum purple.


The collar Tabs, as well as the "State Headquarters" and "Chairman" indicate some level

of rank. Unfortunately material on the AWVS is sparse and I do not know whether there

are differing colours for differing ranks, or whether it's a generic officer's tab.



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Photo #1 : 3 ladies in AWVS uniforms.

Photo #2 : Chesterfield cancer-stick ad.

photo #3 : Actress Hattie McDaniels (Gone w' the Wind) in her AWVS tent ...err ... Uniform.

wow, now that is interesting. I did not know that Hattie McDaniels was in the AWVS.

I am working on a collection that has people on stamps that where in the service or contributed to the cause, and the patches they wore, if they did wear any This is a intersting factoid for that collection. Thanks, I missed it when I read thorugh the bios of the people on stamps,


I thought I had some obsurce people listed, but I sure missed this one.



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  • 9 years later...

Hi! I have been drooling over your uniforms and dying to ask you some questions, but just got approved to the forum. I am a patternmaker and want to make a pattern of an AWVS uniform. I could wing it but I have found that having a real garment to look at answers a million questions about construction. I never harm a garment when copying it. I am looking for a uniform I can either buy or "rent". If rented it would be returned to the owner unharmed in any way. If you are interested let me know. If not perhaps you could answer some questions about the dimensions of it. In any case, thanks so so much for putting this information here and keeping the uniform safe. By the way, I can shed some light on the fading of the uniforms. The problem is most likely with the "palm beach material" that was used so much in women's uniforms then. Palm Beach is a blend of wool and rayon, with cotton sometimes added. Palm Beach was not manufactured beyond the 1950s. The blend of the wool to rayon was actually varied at the time depending on the area's weather where it was sold. Rayon has many advantages but also many disadvantages. Rayon is not particularly colorfast, the dyes being affected by light, perspiration, atmospheric gases, and water. So rayon will take a dye very well but, over time, will exhibit almost extreme instability, even throughout the same garment. I have a WWII summer American Red Cross uniform I am copying right now and the color variations within the tunic and skirt are characteristic of this. It is also displaying yellowing along with color variation. Anyway, if you could help me in my search I would be most appreciative. Thanks, JoAnn

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