PDA

View Full Version : Cheap Vendors in India/Pakistan



Cal Kinzer
10-04-2006, 03:34 PM
Our unit is anticipating a large influx of new recruits and needs a source of cheap loaner gear that can be used on a very temporary basis while the "fresh fish" are getting their own.

A couple of months ago, I got an email from an outfit in either India or Pakistan that makes ridiculously cheap reproductions. Unfortunately, I deleted it and have not been able to locate the company on Google.

Does anyone know the email or URL address of such a company or companies? Please reply to ckinzer@juno.com.

Thanks,
Cal Kinzer

Lone_Guard
10-04-2006, 04:37 PM
There is a reason you don't see a lot of that stuff around...

Infernal Mechanic
10-04-2006, 06:23 PM
After you pay the customs on it, you will have paid as much as on sutlers row and be completely disapointed. I know several who have used both paki and indi makers. Saw one overshirt in size medium with sleeves that went to my knees and I am 6'1'' tall.

vicka
10-04-2006, 06:23 PM
Mr. Kinzer,
I have forwarded some information to you that you may wish to consider before going after the goodies you mentioned.
Steve Sullivan
46th Illinois
Co. Mil. Hist.
CWPT

cblodg
10-04-2006, 07:27 PM
Personally, if your going to spend unit money on gear, all beit loaner, I would still go from more of the more reputable sutler.

I would go through Regimental QM my self. But that's just my .02

Chris

WestTN_reb
10-05-2006, 12:05 AM
Another option would be to purchase material and patterns. If you have some folks in your group who can sew, I'll bet you can turn out better quality than India/ Paki. One of my favorite places to get material is Hamilton Dry Goods in Sparta, Tennessee. Check out their fabric selection at www.periodfabric.com (http://www.periodfabric.com).

John Spain

Army30th
10-05-2006, 08:16 AM
Also check vendors for used gear. However, there are some big named sutlers that do sell the paki/india goods as well.

AZReenactor
10-05-2006, 08:59 AM
Also check vendors for used gear. However, there are some big named sutlers that do sell the paki/india goods as well.

Yep, There are indeed a lot of vendors selling crap as well as a lot of reenactors wearing poor quality costumes. Saddly, a lot of people just don't care...

AZReenactor
10-05-2006, 09:04 AM
One of my favorite places to get material is Hamilton Dry Goods in Sparta, Tennessee. Check out their fabric selection at www.periodfabric.com (http://www.periodfabric.com).
John,
Thanks for the suggestion of Hamilton Dry Goods. Some very interesting fabrics there that would make for some interesting projects.

DanSwitzer
10-05-2006, 01:57 PM
"an outfit in either India or Pakistan that makes ridiculously cheap reproductions."

Just what the hobby needs: more junk reproductions. How many times does this horse have to be beat? Until it's pate`? :sad:

When you buy cheap India or Pakistani made products, the terrorists win.

Oh, the humanity!!

Big Dan

Footslogger
10-05-2006, 03:51 PM
I'd check with some of your reputable vendors on where some of their gear comes from.quite a lot of those knife fork spoon combi's are paki or indian along with other similar items.admittedly the uniforms are absolute crap.

jademonkey
10-05-2006, 04:00 PM
"When you buy cheap India or Pakistani made products, the terrorists win."

I like that - all too true. Check out R. Serio at MO Boot and Shoe. For the money, he makes excellent quality, US made leather gear. Again, that is my personal opinon based upon positive dealings with him. I'm sure other folks have other suggestions. Good Luck, Garrett

Western Blue Belly
10-05-2006, 04:03 PM
I'd check with some of your reputable vendors on where some of their gear comes from.quite a lot of those knife fork spoon combi's are paki or indian along with other similar items.admittedly the uniforms are absolute crap.

Lets not forget our bayonets if not using an original

31stWisconsin
10-05-2006, 11:19 PM
When you buy cheap India or Pakistani made products, the terrorists win.


Big Dan

I hope this is a joke.

If not, thanks for the racism. I hadn't had my montly minimum yet.

skamikaze
10-06-2006, 07:48 AM
i'd say just go to RQ or the gettysburg sutler and hit thier used rack. thats what we did and we now have loaner uniforms to outfit seven or eight guys if need be.

DanSwitzer
10-06-2006, 10:43 AM
If not, thanks for the racism. I hadn't had my montly minimum yet.
__________________

You're welcome. Always willing to help out if I can. I kinda stumbled into this one, I guess. I never knew "India" or "Pakistan" were races. My bad and probably the fault of my public school education. I only know those names as designating places; but let's not let the discussion of cheap crap reenacting products be a distraction from the real business of internet forums: namecalling and defamation.

Back to your regular program, [deletion - THP]. :twisted:

Big Dan

Graves Mercantile
10-06-2006, 10:59 PM
I believe he was responding to the remark that "Indian or Pakistani vendors are terrorists or support terrorists." We have enough enemies in this world without creating more by classifying tens of millions of people by the evil actions of a few.

jademonkey
10-07-2006, 12:20 AM
I believe he was responding to the remark that "Indian or Pakistani vendors are terrorists or support terrorists." We have enough enemies in this world without creating more by classifying tens of millions of people by the evil actions of a few.

Alright, I'll be the one to say it - relax. I took what Dan said as a joke, which is how I believe he meant it. The whole "or else the terrorists have won" has become a bit of phrase in popular culture and perhaps at times it is in bad taste, but all the same I think it's funny in this case. Come on, the idea that there is a conspiracy amongst terrorists to flood America with cheaply-made, incorrect Civil War-era goods as some sort of Al Qaeda plot is funny. It's a humorous juxtiposition. Alright, I said it. -Garrett

J. Schnakenberg
10-07-2006, 07:04 AM
"Alright, I'll be the one to say it - relax. I took what Dan said as a joke, which is how I believe he meant it. The whole "or else the terrorists have won" has become a bit of phrase in popular culture and perhaps at times it is in bad taste, but all the same I think it's funny in this case. Come on, the idea that there is a conspiracy amongst terrorists to flood America with cheaply-made, incorrect Civil War-era goods as some sort of Al Qaeda plot is funny. It's a humorous juxtiposition. Alright, I said it. -Garrett"

All joking aside, there is a grain of truth to the matter. A significant source of revenue for global terrorism (pick your cause and offender) is the exploding market in the west for counterfeit jewelry, sports apparrel, fashion accessories (do you really think that sidewalk vendor in Rome is selling a Prada purse for $50?), pirated movies and software, etc. Through the internet and direct sales (the aforementioned sidewalk vendors), the bad guys can fund their efforts in a virtually non-traceable manner. It's part of the seedy underbelly of the global economy.

Have they branched out to exploit mainstream reenactors? I don't know, but the same sweatshops that make sports jerseys one day could probably make sack coats the next. Lest there be any confusion, I'm not calling all Pakistanis or Indians terrorists. However, how well do you think the Sutler from whom you purchased that $20 blanket knows everyone in the supply chain going back to Islamabad?

I personally prefer to support the research and efforts of American craftsmen (such as Ben Tart, Nick Sekela, Tom Mattimore, etc) who are doing so much to preserve Civil War era material culture and methods, even if it means paying more.

But that is just my two Pakistani Dinari worth...

TimKindred
10-07-2006, 09:22 AM
Comrades,

In a sort of defense for the "foreign" makers of reenactment goods., I would offer this bit: They are only making and selling the items that certain sutlers have asked them to produce.

Some of the finest uniforms and tailoring I saw while in the military came from shops in India. They have tailors who are every bit as skilled as our finest, and are able to produce the most accurate reproductions of original CW garments that anyone might ask for. And that's the answer right there: no one has asked them to.

Certain sutlers have invested heavily in these items in order to increase profits. They don't care much about total accuracy, only in the cash flow, and they are catering to a crowd that also judges by the wallet. "GHood enough" for loaner gear/starter gear/whatever. These foreign made items are geared towards that crowd.

If folks were willing to spend the money, then the folks in India and Pakistan are certainly able to cater to the high-end market, but there simply isn't that market demand yet. The percentage of reenactors that truely wants well-made and accurate copies of original CW period items is quite small, maybe 20%, if that, of the total reenactors in this country.

Unfortunately, in this country, we have become enamoured of the "disposable" lifestyle, of judging quality by price rather than the actual worth and craftsmanship of the finished article. Folks will plunk down $15.99 for a toaster that will last 2 years tops, rather than $69.99 for one that will last a lifetime. They will drop $10.00 each at McDonalds, yet scream at a $20.00 event registration. They will think nothing of paying $100.00 for a pair of workboots, and yet wonder why a pair of hand-made brogans runs as much or more.

People simply don't want to take the time to research what it is they are getting involved in, or to ask the questions they SHOULD be asking about uniforms and equipment. Instead, the first thing they will do is turn over the price tag to see how much it costs. Thus, the Foreigners are doing quite well in the sutler business, and will continue to for some time to come.

Like I said, Those folks in India and Pakistan can make items as well as our top end makers. They just don't have a reason to at thr present time.

Respects,

NJ Sekela
10-07-2006, 09:34 AM
Gents:

Believe it or not, Pakistan and India are regarded with the same disdain the fashion business as it is in reenacting, and for EXACTLY the same reason. The are notorious for substituting materials. You might have sent them samples and patterns for broken twill denims but they will send whatever they have. They work cheap, but the consistency isn't there.

In relation to the hobby, truly beggars can't be choosers, in that most factories want a minimum of 5,000 units to even put you in the line. One factory in China produces 1 MILLION pair of denim jeans per week. There are smaller places that will do lots of 400 units, which means that you are buying enough material, lining, and buttons for 400 hundred sack coats. (Mexico is notorious for stealing materials, so add another 25% to that cost) You also need to have your patterns digitized, graded and marked for bulk cutting. It is not as easy as finding a factory to produce this stuff, as it requires expensive detailing.

I was trying to develop some leather motorcycle and bomber jackets to sell with my denim line, and I got an E-mail from a vendor in Pakistan showing a very polished website. The company seemed to make what I was interested in, so there was some back and forth correspondence and he agreed to send me swatches of his available skins. What arrived was football leather in dayglo red and green. I sent him an E-mail explaining what I wanted, and sent him skins for fashion leathers that I wanted to use. He wrote back saying that the leather for that was much more expensive and would cost $400 each to make!! I asked him how he arrived at that price, and he said that he checked out leather jackets on the web, and that was the going price in the USA.

I let the matter drop, but the next time I got an E-mail from a Civil War maker in Pakistan, I asked him about the "leather company", since he was in the same town. It turns out that the "leather company" was nothing more than a 23 year old web designer who lives close to a factory that produces motorcycle jackets.

This experience opened my eyes to what is going on there and I started to realize that the "makers" in Pakistan DON'T behave like foreign factories and agents (Agents, by the way, translate from english into the native language)that I have dealt with in the apparel industry in China, and Pakistan. The big red flag is when you ask these Pakistani, they don't know what are standards items in the apparel industry, such as technical package or Gerber digital patternmaking.

There is no better application of the point that I have brought up about being "objective" when looking at reproductions. Although in that particular context, I was referring to not relying on brand naming. If you look at the reproduction Pakistani items objectively, you will see something.

"Multi-sourcing" is very common in the apparel industry to find the best pricing and delivery. Companies that I have worked for have sent the patterns and materials to two different factories for samples. The two garments will come out looking subltely different. By comparison, when you look at the Pakistani stuff, it all looks identical, like it came from the SAME factory. Applying the lesson from the "leather factory", I honestly believe that the people advertising and selling to the hobby aren't making a single thing. They are buying stuff that larger factory is making. It explains why they can't improve anything.

There was a line produced by Claiborne with what they called "rolled seam" construction, which was the same fabrication as the unlined federal blouse.
ANYTHING can be made, but the numbers required will fill an actual early war regiment.

I am, &c

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

TimKindred
10-07-2006, 10:03 AM
Comrade,

Well said. I agree with your assement of things. My own comments preceeding yours is based upon personal examination whilst overseas. You could find exquisite tailoring and embroidery work, but you had to GO there to visit the shops to have it made. The factories are a completely different animal, and yes, they demand HUGE numbers per contract to consider maiing something.

Part of the problem is ignorance of industry standards. Other parts are a lack of any serious government oversight or enforcement of standards, and the sheer distance from here to there and back. Couple that with a large profit incentive, and you have a pretty close example of what it was like for the government here to contract with uniform makers 140+ years ago. It's not that different, and that includes the potential for graft and corruption as well.

Like I said, those folks can, individually make some darned good things. It's getting them to do it thats a problem, and that includes having a large enough market to MAKE it worth everyone's while.

Respects,

tompritchett
10-07-2006, 10:55 AM
Part of the problem is ignorance of industry standards. Other parts are a lack of any serious government oversight or enforcement of standards, and the sheer distance from here to there and back. Couple that with a large profit incentive, and you have a pretty close example of what it was like for the government here to contract with uniform makers 140+ years ago. It's not that different, and that includes the potential for graft and corruption as well.

Very interesting observation. Very interesting.

NJ Sekela
10-07-2006, 11:38 AM
Mr. Kindred:

I don't think that it is an ignorance of standards. I don't think that they are IN the industry. These are neighbors of factories who have come up with the idea of selling these items. I seriously doubt that the profits are huge, if they WERE, believe me, Levis would switch production this afternoon. "BIG" money in the apparel business is in high volume production of a single item. People in the hobby do a very good job of convincing themselves that the demand for this stuff is astronomical, but that fervor will fade quickly if they have to sign a guarantee of payment on a production lot of 5,000 factory produced sack coats.

I seriously doubt that the government of Pakistan is going to force factories to make authentic Civil War items. I haven't checked, but I don't think any sovereign nation is willing to underwrite authenticity in the hobby. Notwithstanding, it DOES NOT take government intervention to get a quality garment produced. It takes MONEY, and lots of it. It would be like going to McDonalds and demand to be served a T-bone with the idea that the government is going to kick in the doors and force them.

The ONLY similiarity that I see is from the early war period when they had people grabbing up contracts and then finding a company to produce them. If you read the Committe Reports, there were stone masons who got contracts for knapsacks and then sourced around New York City to produce them.

NJS

TimKindred
10-07-2006, 01:05 PM
Comrade,

I apologise for not being clear enough in my former remarks. I was speaking of standards in regard to business standards and contract enforcement, etc, not authenticity standards, etc.

The folks you were referring to are, of course, not the main producers of the items in question, but just front corporations looking to gain contracts and then attempting to fill them in some manner. I had a similar experience in working on the North and South miniseries back in the 80's.

I had contracted to supply 150 M1841 rifles, along with sets of accoutrements for them, and various other items. I had contacted the makers and been given samples that were of excellent quality and at an attractive price. Imagine my surprise when the balance arrived all thrown into various containers, and of completely outrageous materials and dimensions. Some cartridge box straps were even peiced together, the joint covered over by the eagle breast plate. Some flaps and straps were of soft, almost suede material. Other boxes were sewn shut. the comments when I complained basically were, so what? These are props, right? It took ages for me to get any sort of refund on the matter, and I had to go through both our embassy and theirs to get any sort of recompense.

The bayonets were of a similar nature. No two had internal dimensions of the barrel ring of the same diameter. I had to take all 150 to a local machine shop and have them reamed to a standard size. The locking rings which clamped onto the barrel weren't even shipped to me. They said they were unable to provide this item in quantity, even though they had sent a sample and I had paid for them. I had to have them custom made and matched to the bayonets. All this was some considerable expense and nearly bankrupted me. I went to a well known sutler to provide the proper accoutrements, and he delivered an excellent item in time, but at a larger price than I had hoped for, but that's the breaks.

I learned well about NOT doing business with our friends across the pond in a hard, but meaningful manner. You can rest assured I will not be making that mistake again.

Respects,

tompritchett
10-07-2006, 10:39 PM
The ONLY similiarity that I see is from the early war period when they had people grabbing up contracts and then finding a company to produce them. If you read the Committe Reports, there were stone masons who got contracts for knapsacks and then sourced around New York City to produce them.

My very interesting comment was only about the historical portion of Tim's response and the parallels about the comparative difficulties in inspections and contractor oversight between then and now because of the advances in modes of travel and communications. Even though the government was using primarily U.S. contractors back then in some ways it would be similar to Pakistani and Indian contractors today.

nc69th
10-08-2006, 04:38 AM
hhhmm I agree I don't by my stuff from Paki or India, I had a run in with that a long time ago with a jacket. I don't want to go through that again.

Chadd M. Vail

White Horse
10-09-2006, 08:50 PM
Our unit is anticipating a large influx of new recruits and needs a source of cheap loaner gear that can be used on a very temporary basis while the "fresh fish" are getting their own.

A couple of months ago, I got an email from an outfit in either India or Pakistan that makes ridiculously cheap reproductions. Unfortunately, I deleted it and have not been able to locate the company on Google.

Does anyone know the email or URL address of such a company or companies? Please reply to ckinzer@juno.com.

Thanks,
Cal Kinzer

nothing like gear that looks like a Paki THINKS American Civil War gear looked like...