Home Front Vintage remakes genuine damaged silk ‘escape and evasion’ maps into covetable gifts and accessories for people who value British heritage and provenance with a contemporary twist.
I am often asked how I print the maps onto the fabric: I don’t! All my escape and evade products are made from genuine issue maps from WW2 to the 1950s Cold War period. These maps were issued to pilots and Special Forces in case they were shot down or trapped behind enemy lines and needed to escape.
Escape maps were the creation of Clayton Hutton, an eccentric MI9 British Army Officer during WW2. He came up with the idea after he collected true WW1 escape books and asked pupils at Rugby School to read the stories. The one item that consistently stood out was an escape map.
Hutton had maps printed onto silk as it doesn’t degrade in water and can be folded up very small to be concealed inside the lining of a uniform or the hollowed out heel of a flying boot. The maps were issued to the RAF and Special Forces throughout WW2 and beyond; helping our troops find their way home.
The more I learnt about this fascinating tale the more I wanted to share it. Research revealed that some army regiments still had stocks of these maps that were either damaged or simply unwanted. I started to collect as many as I could, and so in 2013 Home Front Vintage was born. I now remake the damaged maps into high quality gifts and accessories for people who value British heritage and provenance; preserving the integrity and history of the maps but making them relevant to today so that their story will survive.
LA2 7AT North Yorkshire