90th IDPG Reviews


At The Front M43 Pile Liner

Review Date:  2/5/2008
Author: Sean Foster

Cost: $60.00

I received my repro pile liner today, and decided to take some photos and share my opinions on the garment. I have compared it to an original in my collection which is a size 44R. The repro I purchased is a size L which is supposed to fit the 42-46 size range.


At first glance, the repro compares very favorably to an original in terms of coloration and general appearance. The materials used in the repro are very similar to the original.

The outer shell is made of OD cotton poplin and is as close to the original as I think anyone can reasonably expect. One difference I did notice is the seams are top-stitched, which is different from my original which has the seams pressed open. The seam on the original is smoother on the surface:


The pockets are placed correctly, and have the right appearance although the repro pockets are slightly larger than the original. The repro pockets are also deeper on the inside.

There is no manufacturer's size/contract label in the pocket of the repro as there is in my original.


The cuffs are wool knit, and are similar to the original. They appear longer in length than the original, but when stretched out, the original cuff is almost the same length as the repro:


One aspect which I am not pleased with is the collar. The original has the knit tapering down on the front edges, but the repro has a boxy squared-off shape to it. This is bulkier when being worn with the collar closed, and personally I find it less comfortable than the original:


Buttons and Button Cords/Loops:
The repro buttons are larger versions of the buttons used on the repro M43 field jacket. The cord loops are less dense than the originals, and instead of being sewn with a gap between the beginning and end of the loop, the two ends are next to each other. This can make buttoning and unbuttoning the garment more complicated than on an original. It also makes the center button front of the jacket slightly more off-center than usual.


The pile is quite impressive - I did not expect anyone to make a repro of this garment on account of the pile lining itself. The original pile fibers are more stiff, and more dense than the repro. The repro pile is soft and comfortable, and quite warm!


The repro I purchased is what I would consider to be about a 46L if compared to the original 44R. The repro one does have more length in the body and sleeves to accommodate taller re-enactors. I am 6'3" and I found the repro pile liner to be an ideal length for me. I did try the At The Front repro M43 field jacket over the liner (also size L) and it did fit over the liner. The bottom edge of the liner was in almost the same place as the bottom edge of the field jacket. I am not sure if the originals fit this way, but I suspect the original liners were a little shorter.

In general, I am pleased with the liner; however I am going to get a seamstress to amend a few details on my repro, namely the buttons, button loops, and collar. I may even have a few inches taken out of the garment width for personal comfort and a better, more issued fit.



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