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War Mother's shawls

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  • War Mother's shawls

    Hello to all.....I'm back with another question. :)

    I've got some friends who are planning an appreciation give away & would like to make some war mother's shawls for some of the recipients. On the way back from drum practice, we had a discussion about the correct size of the shawl. It was brought up that these shawls should only be fringed on three sides since they were meant to be worn rather than carried on your arm. <<<<I am thinking that if they were meant to be worn, then there would have to be enough room at the top in order to fold them over a little bit so they could be held.>>>>

    1) Would a war mother's shawl be made the same way as a regualr shawl, so it would be folded in half and be worn?

    2) What would be the could size for a war mother's shawl?

    Thanks for all your help. :24:

  • #2
    The connotation of the war mother shawls has changed greatly over the years since WWII when they began to be worn. It used to be that only members of a War Mothers Society or Gold Star war mothers wore them, now you will see women wearing these shawls who are not members of a society but have members of their family in the armed services. Sometimes the names displayed on the shawls are not even blood family members, but those who have become relatives.

    Normally, the shawls are fringed on all sides (just like a regular dance shawl) and are the same size as the shawl you would normally wear/carry. Of course, personal preference always changes the "norm," as I have seen some that are regular shawl size but don't have fringe on them at all. Colors and decorations vary, depending on tribal affiliation and personal taste.

    Honor blankets have also been decorated and worn as war mothers shawls. I have seen those that have just the service man's/woman's name, rank and branch of service, those that have multiple listings, and those that not only have service ribbons attacher but also the miniatures of medals earned.

    You are doing well to ask questions. I hope that some of my answers have helped, but before you decide to make and wear a war mothers shawl, I'd continue to do some more research and perhaps ask those who wear them and check out photos of them as well.


    • #3
      Are you sure they are selling war mothers shawls? Usually the name(s) of the family member(s) who were in the service or died in combat is embroidered on the shawl. 1. I don't think it would have a resale value that would interest a pawn shop or seller on e-Bay; and 2. I personally can't imagine selling a shawl that has a love-one's name on it -- but then there are all sorts of different circumstances and people.



      • #4
        Beaded Pony,

        Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions. It is my friends who are planning a give away and are making these shawls. (basically, it's a drum thing to show appreciation) The people of the particular drum we sing with will be given special recognition for the way they treated and still do treat the people hosting the give away. The ladies of the drum don't belong to a war mother's society, but they do have relatives who have served in the armed forces. My friends will be making the shawls. Since I happened to be involved in this conversation last night, I offered to start a thread about this kind of shawl (not to be made by myself). I just decided to start this thread to get specifics.

        Thanks again for you help.:)


        • #5
          I would just like to offer a small caution about using these kinds of "special" shawls in a giveaway. Not everyone wants to pay tribute in this way. I personally would be reluctant to make a war mothers shawl or blanket for someone without their knowledge or permission. The other side to this is that not everyone knows what they are about, when they are to be worn, or know the war mothers songs.



          • #6
            I'll add another question to the thread. Do you make them while your relative is currently serving, or when they have been released from the armed service?


            • #7
              Yes, it made me really sad to see 'war mother" shawls on ebay, got I cannot ever imagine getting rid of something like that that is so sacred, and a high honor to wear! Geez, if you have to pawn something, why not your TV? But regalia, good god


              • #8
                Originally posted by catsmeow
                I'll add another question to the thread. Do you make them while your relative is currently serving, or when they have been released from the armed service?
                In the beginning the tradition may have been different, but now the shawls/blankets are made and worn while the service member is in service, after they have been discharged, and of course, if they are deceased. A gold star is put on a war mother's shawl if she has lost a son or daughter in conflict. BTW, you will also see women wearing these shawls/blankets to honor family members, not just sons and daughters (i.e. husbands, uncles, fathers, mothers, etc.)


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