Why was silk in short supply in world war 2?

Dave Pollich asked a question: Why was silk in short supply in world war 2?
Asked By: Dave Pollich
Date created: Tue, May 4, 2021 6:44 PM



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11 other answers

It was imported from the Orient which was at war

To protect this precious resource, the Office of Production Management (OPM) seized the nation’s supply of raw silk on August 2, 1941. This set off such a shopping frenzy for silk stockings that most retailers set a purchase limit of two or three pairs. The price of nylon stockings subsequently rose to $10 a pair or more.

Parachute silk and was in short supply during WW2 after Japan attacked British colonies and the US Navy (Hawaii, December 1941). German paratroopers converted to rayon for parachute manufacture. Canada was the first country to convert her parachute factories (Irvin in Fort Erie and Pioneer in Smith’s Falls) to nylon.

It was made using a silk map given to her by a boyfriend in the RAF. Textile and fashion company Jacqmar created scarves featuring popular wartime motifs and patriotic messages.

During the Second World War, silk supplies from Japan were cut off, so western countries were forced to find substitutes. Synthetic fibers such as nylon were used in products such as parachutes and stockings, replacing silk. Even after the war, silk was not able to regain many of the markets lost, though it remained an expensive luxury product.

The title is derived from an incident related in the book, when Marks was asked why agents in occupied Europe should have their cryptographic material printed on silk (which was in very short supply).

Supplies such as gasoline, butter, sugar and canned milk were rationed because they needed to be diverted to the war effort. War also disrupted trade, limiting the availability of some goods.

Most affected were the growers, processors and labourers involved in Japan's silk industry as demand for silk stockings, seen as a luxury good in a time of hardship, almost completely collapsed. This decline in demand coincided with a rise in competition from rayon and other substitute textiles.

Extra coupons were given to children. Children's clothes had lower coupon values in recognition of the fact that they would need new clothes more often as they grew. From 1942, all children were allocated an extra ten coupons, with additional coupons being issued for older children or those classed as 'outsize'.

An attempt to de-ration them in 1949 lasted just four months, as demand far outstripped supply. Luxuries were in short supply . Despite the stresses of wartime, the health of the poor improved.

It caused a shortage of not only food but rubber, metal, clothing and more. Why did the war cause shortages? Many of the processed or canned foods were sent to the military and transportation of fresh foods were limited because gasoline and tires were in limited supply. There were also limitations on importing.

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