What Is A CC41 Dress .. The Fascinating Facts ..

What  does CC41 mean ??

Firstly, lets start at the beginning .. some of you will know this but for many of us CC41 is just a label but what does it mean?.. so to give a bit of background info CC41 stands for Civilian Clothing. The 1940s featured clothes heavily influenced by WWI and WWII. This is also where the 41 number comes into play. 

Clothes, including dresses, blouses, skirts, trousers, cardigans, jackets and outerwear, rationing was announced on 1 June 1941. The British government needed to reduce production and consumption of civilian clothes to safeguard raw materials and release workers and factory space for war production. 


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By 1941, with the need to produce clothing and other war essentials for the expanding armed services during the second world war many items were rationed. Certain raw materials could no longer be imported, and those that could were directed towards the war effort. Food rationing had already been reintroduced in January 1940. Non-rationed items saw their price surge, and clothing saw large mark-ups in price, well above the cost of living. 


 CC41 designated that the item met the government's austerity regulations.


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The government introduced Limitation of Supply Orders that forced manufacturers to produce only a fraction of their pre-war amounts. By April 1940, the limits on cloth were having a major impact with a 25% cut in wool and rayon, and a 75% cut in linen. As a consequence, manufacturers ended the production of any loss-making lines which led to calls for clothing rationing to be introduced. The prime minister, Winston Churchill believed that the general public would not accept this change.

In 1941 Oliver Lyttleton, the President of the Board of Trade, managed to introduce clothes rationing. Churchill, although thankful the public accepted the move, replaced Lyttleton with Hugh Dalton (a Labour member of the coalition government since 1940) a month later. Churchill was fully aware that rationing and conscription were now necessary as Britain became involved in a 'total war' spanning the globe.


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The austerity provisions governed exactly what could or could not be used in the manufacture of clothes and shoes (for example, number of buttons, pleats or pockets, height of heels, amount of lace or embroidery, no turn-ups on trousers and no double-breasted suits). This was to make sure that wastage and excess was kept to an absolute minimum. 

With the introduction of purchase tax in October 1941 items were taxed at different rates and necessities were designated as tax-free. This stimulated production, reduced waste and through higher taxation curtailed the production of expensive clothing. , managed to introduce clothes rationing. 

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     Clothes rationing ended on 15 March 1949. In World War II Britain.. 

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