Star Trek TOS Pilot Uniform Fabrics and Such

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
I wanted to ask people here especially the experts on The Original Series about the uniforms seen in the two Pilot episodes and sometimes in the series itself. To start with I have two questions:

Are the colours of Velour (specifically Gold and Blue) the same shades that went on to be used in the series?, it’s hard to tell because both Pilots seemed to use different film to the main series.
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Does anyone know the proper type of Rib Knit to use on the collar? it looks to be a rather large type.
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As for a source for Velour I was thinking of CR Crafts Craft Velour which is reputed to be the closest to the original Velour fabric although the accuracy to the colour shades is disputed to this day, in addition to Kirk Gold, Trek Teal they also do regular Beige so thats all the Pilot Colours sorted I hope.

 

Commodore Kirk

New Member
I would love to know as well! I've always been keen on making a Pilot-Era tunic.

You might be interested to know that these pilot uniforms were repurposed in "Charlie X" as the uniforms for the Antares and for Charlie's sweater. Search up the HD screencaps for "Charlie X" and you may be able to see the Pilot Uniforms and the TOS uniforms side-by-side and with the same film-grain/color grading.

However it seems like the uniforms used for "Charlie X" are actually that third beige color, and not the gold used in either the pilots or in the rest of TOS. So, really, I don't know how useful that is. But I could be wrong. I'm no expert.

You could also try reaching out to James Cawley on Facebook. The man really knows what he's talking about. He's seen tons of the uniforms firsthand and worked diligently to recreate a lot of them. It couldn't hurt to try.

Cheers
 

Commodore Kirk

New Member
So I actually just went ahead and reached out to James myself and he got back to me super quickly. I hope this helps!
"The command was identical, however the blue was a bit brighter and less on the grey side than that used in the regular episodes"
"Both command and sciences uniforms for the pilot were modified by changing the collars to black and used in the earliest first season episodes on extras and guest stars. You can see one prominently on the character of Greene in Man Trap"
 
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AnthonyD2199

Active Member
So I actually just went ahead and reached out to James myself and he got back to me super quickly. I hope this helps!

Thank You, I'm too shy to go to people in the know directly. I had a look at the colours a few days ago and this may add to James's answer

The Episode ‘The Corbomite Manoeuver’ contains the only instance where the Series Science Uniform and the Pilot Science Uniform are seen side by side and comparing the two they are very similar shades of blue but the Pilot Tunic has a bit more of a purple hint to it but that could be because as Tunics such as this got washed they’d gradually become more Purpley Blue which could be the case here next to a more recently made Series Tunic.

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Commodore Kirk

New Member
It was no problem - I've always wanted a Cage uniform myself!

It's definitely a little scary reaching out at first, but usually it's the best way. Especially in a niche little community like this. Just gotta be gracious, honest, and forward and most people will be more than happy to help you out :)

Really good catch with "The Corbomite Manouever". I'm not even sure how you caught that, because that's some real eagle-eyed viewing. Seems to back up what Cawley said too!

Any other questions about the Pilot uniforms? I've found a few good forums/threads over the years that might help you out.
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
It was no problem - I've always wanted a Cage uniform myself!

It's definitely a little scary reaching out at first, but usually it's the best way. Especially in a niche little community like this. Just gotta be gracious, honest, and forward and most people will be more than happy to help you out :)

Really good catch with "The Corbomite Manouever". I'm not even sure how you caught that, because that's some real eagle-eyed viewing. Seems to back up what Cawley said too!

Any other questions about the Pilot uniforms? I've found a few good forums/threads over the years that might help you out.
Thank you for the offer, I appreciate it:D

Memory Alpha pointed out the Pilot Uniform in The Corbomite Manouver.

Mainly three questions: What type of Rib Knit should I get for the collar?

What fabric is used for the pants?, Is it the same as the pants used in the same series?, it's a lighter colour than the Series pants and has less sparkles.

Has anyone produced a pattern for this uniform?, I know the uniform shirt was briefly for sale but I never had the chance to get one.
 

Commodore Kirk

New Member
Unfortunately those questions I don't quite have answers for! I think ShadowDaleCreations sells his own "The Cage" uniform, but beyond that I don't know anyone else making them.

I asked Cawley if he'd ever consider making patterns, but he said he wasn't very interested. The pants are pretty similar to the TOS pants, so I'm sure you could get by on those. And the shirts, from what I can tell, are a different pattern from the TOS shirts. It's pretty simple though. It's a pretty generic shirt.

I did ask Cawley why the collars in "The Cage" sort of "bubbled out" since they don't do it in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and he said it was just because the costume designers "let out" the collars so the actors would be more comfortable.

Also, the field jackets are apparently made out of some sort of upholstery fabric (headliner foam) with the foam-side out. I found this out from this thread and Cawley confirmed it for me over Facebook. Of course, the foam was easily scarred, snagged, and gouged by surfaces, so I'd probably recommend finding a similar but different fabric.

Also, if you're curious about the rank insignia, Captain Chase of Starfleet.ca wrote a really interesting article on it! The meaning of the rank braids actually differ between "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
Unfortunately those questions I don't quite have answers for! I think ShadowDaleCreations sells his own "The Cage" uniform, but beyond that I don't know anyone else making them.

I asked Cawley if he'd ever consider making patterns, but he said he wasn't very interested. The pants are pretty similar to the TOS pants, so I'm sure you could get by on those. And the shirts, from what I can tell, are a different pattern from the TOS shirts. It's pretty simple though. It's a pretty generic shirt.

I did ask Cawley why the collars in "The Cage" sort of "bubbled out" since they don't do it in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and he said it was just because the costume designers "let out" the collars so the actors would be more comfortable.

Also, the field jackets are apparently made out of some sort of upholstery fabric (headliner foam) with the foam-side out. I found this out from this thread and Cawley confirmed it for me over Facebook. Of course, the foam was easily scarred, snagged, and gouged by surfaces, so I'd probably recommend finding a similar but different fabric.

Also, if you're curious about the rank insignia, Captain Chase of Starfleet.ca wrote a really interesting article on it! The meaning of the rank braids actually differ between "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
Thanks for the info, I'm aware of Starfleet.ca, I'm gonna get rank braid from the website he specified, I've seen ShadowDaleCreations before, unfortunately its pretty much a scam, I've only heard of one or two people getting their purchase and many more being left with nothing.
 

Commodore Kirk

New Member
Oh, I'm sorry to hear about ShadowDale! And I apologize for recommending them - I've only ever seen one person order from them and it turned out very nice. I wasn't aware of that reputation. I'm glad you let me know, because I was thinking about saving up for some of his stuff!

Also, something I found out on my own - the equipment belt used in "The Cage" looks very similar to a WWII M1936 pistol belt. I'm 99% positive. I've found reproductions of that belt on Amazon, and intend to purchase one! I read one thread awhile ago where people speculated it was an olive green belt painted silver/white, but when I spoke to Cawley he recommended I find a white belt and paint it silver. I'm not sure which color is actually the most accurate, but if you're painting over it anyway I'm sure any color is probably fine.

This is the belt I plan to pick up - olive green, and the proportions for all the eyelets seem correct. Here's a white reproduction I just found, though I think the buckle seems a bit off. Honestly though? I'm sure either would work!
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
It's okay, I almost got something from them many years ago until I found out, about the person who ordered from them, was it recently or years ago?

The Pistol Belts I know well from researching Battlestar Galactica belts, the belt you've picked looks good!
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
Unfortunately those questions I don't quite have answers for! I think ShadowDaleCreations sells his own "The Cage" uniform, but beyond that I don't know anyone else making them.

I asked Cawley if he'd ever consider making patterns, but he said he wasn't very interested. The pants are pretty similar to the TOS pants, so I'm sure you could get by on those. And the shirts, from what I can tell, are a different pattern from the TOS shirts. It's pretty simple though. It's a pretty generic shirt.

I did ask Cawley why the collars in "The Cage" sort of "bubbled out" since they don't do it in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and he said it was just because the costume designers "let out" the collars so the actors would be more comfortable.

Also, the field jackets are apparently made out of some sort of upholstery fabric (headliner foam) with the foam-side out. I found this out from this thread and Cawley confirmed it for me over Facebook. Of course, the foam was easily scarred, snagged, and gouged by surfaces, so I'd probably recommend finding a similar but different fabric.

Also, if you're curious about the rank insignia, Captain Chase of Starfleet.ca wrote a really interesting article on it! The meaning of the rank braids actually differ between "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
It's a shame he's not interested in doing patterns because there's some Uniforms from New Voyages/Phase II I'd love to do one day.
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
I loved when he introduced some of the unused Phase 2 costumes into the series like the Division Colour dungarees, he also put together a perfect replica of the Season 1-2 TOS women’s uniform also I’m not certain if I did this to the costumes on his series but the Uniform Tunics made for Phase 2 had a bit of a sharper collar made of rib knit rather than springweave.
 

Commodore Kirk

New Member
Woah! The colors really faded on that one, huh? It just looks like straight purple. I'd almost call it berry. That's a very cool find, even if the colors have faded into almost unrecognizability. I think it does support the idea that the blue velour in the pilots were much closer to an indigo than the teal-y blue used in post-pilot TOS uniforms.
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
Woah! The colors really faded on that one, huh? It just looks like straight purple. I'd almost call it berry. That's a very cool find, even if the colors have faded into almost unrecognizability. I think it does support the idea that the blue velour in the pilots were much closer to an indigo than the teal-y blue used in post-pilot TOS uniforms.
I've noticed that surviving Pilot Tunics are more of a Purple while surviving Series Tunics have turned almost a Sky Blue which also fuels the dispute as to the true colour of the Tunics during the Series which is a rabbit hole in itself!

Noticeably the Pilot Tunics have a more plush look to them than the Series ones and in surviving examples the Pilot Tunics look more fleece than the Series Tunics, did they use the same type of Velour on both?
 

Commodore Kirk

New Member
I'm not sure. I suppose if the colors are different than there could be more than one kind of velour in use.

I also recently spoke to Scott Nakada of the old XScapesProps website. He mentioned that some fans believe both velour and brushed tricot were used as the shirt fabric for TOS uniforms, and that he himself believes the same. I don't know how true that is, but he's a very reliable source. If you have examples of these more "plush" velour shirts I can ask him what he thinks.

Remember though, "The Cage" had different film conditions than "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The difference you're seeing could just be that. James Cawley had also said the gold used in the pilots was the same as used across the rest of TOS. Maybe take a look at "Charlie X" again to compare the beige Antares uniforms (repurposed pilot uniforms) to the texture of the TOS uniforms?
 

AnthonyD2199

Active Member
I'm not sure. I suppose if the colors are different than there could be more than one kind of velour in use.

I also recently spoke to Scott Nakada of the old XScapesProps website. He mentioned that some fans believe both velour and brushed tricot were used as the shirt fabric for TOS uniforms, and that he himself believes the same. I don't know how true that is, but he's a very reliable source. If you have examples of these more "plush" velour shirts I can ask him what he thinks.

Remember though, "The Cage" had different film conditions than "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The difference you're seeing could just be that. James Cawley had also said the gold used in the pilots was the same as used across the rest of TOS. Maybe take a look at "Charlie X" again to compare the beige Antares uniforms (repurposed pilot uniforms) to the texture of the TOS uniforms?
Thanks for the info, I’ll look into the tricot.

I had a look at the early episodes of TOS in which some of the Women’s Gold Pilot Uniforms were altered with a Black Collar to fit among the new Uniforms, when put alongside the new Series Tunics the colour looks almost identical.
 

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AnthonyD2199

Active Member
Looking at Brushed Tricot, it’s possible that those were used for the original Pilot Uniforms which would account for the more fleecey look of the fabric in modern pictures while the look of the surviving Series Uniforms is rather different.

Here are Two of Spock’s Tunics, one from the Pilot and one from Season 2, the look of the fabric is similar but not identical.

(Pictures from Star Trek Prop Authority)
 

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AnthonyD2199

Active Member
Expanding on this, the Tricot revelation has made me think about the TOS Uniform Recreations created for ‘Trials and Tribble-ations’ and ‘In a Mirror, Darkly’, I now believe that with the exact type of velour used in TOS being so difficult to find they may have used Brushed Tricot as a substitute, this accounts for the Recreations having the lack of sparkle and fleecy look of the Pilot Uniforms rather than the Series ones.
 

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