During the Second World War the clever people at MI9 (the escape and evasion wing of British Military Intelligence) developed the idea of printing maps on silk because they were much better for escape and evasion purposes than conventional paper or linen-backed maps. Silk maps were and still are extremely durable, do not disintegrate in water, are not damaged by repeated folding and unfolding or by being scrunched up and are silent to unfold and use, which was crucial if you were trying to silently find how to escape or where to go. Silk scarves were also simple to conceal. They were often sewn into the lining of a jacket or the hem of an undergarment. A silk map was unlikely to be found during a prisoner search. So not only were these special scarves able to help you find your way back home but they also provided a certain warmth to airmen shot down over Europe in cold weather. While those in hot areas such found them invaluable as head and face-wraps to keep the blazing sun off their faces.
Several hundred thousand silk maps were produced during the Second World War. It is also estimated that of the 35 thousand British and Allied troops who managed to escape from behind enemy lines over more than half used a silk map to aid them. Apparently there is a number of these maps still around today and are now highly collectable and sought after. Well I wish I could have one of these historical pieces of beauty to add to my vintage scarf collection, unfortunately for now I can only dream of owning one.
So I would think of this as the modern equivalent of the silk scarf map. does anyone else think that paper maps are sometimes useless especially when it’s bucketing it down and they go all soggy. So imagine a dress with a map on it. The effect is strangely beautiful. This map silk printed dress is colorful and very pretty in it’s bright hues. This dress is from Nordstrom and is a map of the subways. But I think I would really love one with a map of the British isles on, or possibly something more useful to me. Maybe if you get lost a lot, this might just come in handy. The dress looks extremely chic and trendy with its fitted bodice and full, pleated skirt.
So would any of my American readers wears this dress? And to my English bloggers would you like it if one of our stores started selling map clothing? I know I would.