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Ask Your Tailor for Anzac Tweed

The factory weaving Anzac Tweed was on the brink of closure when it was taken over by the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League. It then employed only returned servicemen and their families.

Year:c1921

Location:Melbourne, Australia

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Ask Your Tailor for Anzac Tweed

The factory weaving Anzac Tweed was on the brink of closure when it was taken over by the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League. It then employed only returned servicemen and their families.


Year: c1921

Length: 3:04

Production Company: Australasian Films

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 75829


People: Mr J.G C. Dyett

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Tags: repatriation, tweed manufacturing

Subject: repatriation, tweed manufacturing


Australian returned veterans were trained to use hand-powered wooden looms to make hard-wearing, woolen tweed cloth for suits. In 1919 the Repatriation Authorities handed the running of the Anzac tweed industry to a trust appointed by the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League. Ex-servicemen often found it difficult to return to a normal life, and initiatives like this gave them employment as well as a purpose.

This early 1920s newsreel opens with the smiling faces of the staff and shareholders of an Anzac tweed mill. Ex-servicemen are shown operating looms and spinning wheels. The Anzac Tweed Trust chairman Sir Gilbert Dyett is seen moving about the shop floor testing the fabric. Dyett, the founder and president of the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League, was also responsible for introducing the concept of the red poppy to Australia as a memorial to the war dead in 1921, and the minute's silence in 1930.

The term ‘Anzac’ had a strong emotional appeal among Australians as it was closely associated with sacrifice and courage. By the time this film was made the government had prohibited its use without permission. As a government initiative, the name ‘Anzac Tweed’ was permitted and as this clip shows, consumers were encouraged to help veterans by purchasing the company’s textiles.

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Ask Your Tailor for Anzac Tweed

  • 0:00

    Intertitle: Anzac Tweed. Shareholders and Employees of the Anzac Tweed Factory, Queen Street, Melbourne

  • 0:08

    Workers outside of the factory. In front of a banner: ANZAC TWEED

  • 0:28

    Intertitle: The Returned Sailors and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia undertook the responsibility of continuing the industry in preference to its being closed down

  • 0:38

    Intertitle: In the first twelve months the staff was increased by sixteen, the average salaries earned £8 per week, bonuses were alsopaid to the emplyess at Xmas time

  • 0:47

    Intertitle: Spinning and Weaving

  • 0:51

    A man spinning

  • 1:17

    Machinery

  • 1:35

    A man weaving

  • 1:48

    Intertitle: The Chairman of the Anzac Tweed Trust, Mr. J. G. C. Dyett, is seen examining and testing yarn

  • 1:56

    Mr Dyett inspecting the yarn

  • 2:24

    Intertitle: Ask your Tailor for Anzac Tweed, hand woven by Returned Soldiers

  • 2:29

    Looms in operation

  • 2:57

    Intertitle: Help Australia and Returned Soldiers by giving your patronage to the Anzac Tweed Industry