Home Front - the civilian war effort

Make-do and Mend   

Clothes were rationed during the war just like food.

Clothing rationing began on 1 June 1941. Everyone was allowed 66 coupons a year, which more or less added up to one complete outfit a year. In 1942 the ration was reduced to 60 coupons and to 48 in 1943.

Clothes bought from shops were designed to use as little material as possible. Women were encouraged to repair and remake their family’s old clothes.   Old curtains were cut up to make skirts and dresses. Unwanted jumpers were unravelled and knitted into something else.

The WVS clothing exchange proved a godsend for mothers with growing children - there they could exchange clothing and shoes that were too small for larger ones.

Document icon Learning article provided by: World of James Herriot | 
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