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Blanco (compound)

 Blanco was a compound used by British soldiers (and Commonwealth troops of various nations). The compound was used on cotton webbing infantry equipment, notably the Web Equipment '37 Pattern during the Second World War, though Blanco was used both before and after that conflict.


Blanco came in either powder or cake form, much like soap, and was used as a cleaning and colouring compound. Blanco was applied with a brush and water, and rubbed into the woven cotton material of load bearing equipment, to provide a consistent colour to equipment worn by soldiers in the same unit, and as a method of cleaning the gear.

Blanco came in many different colours, the most common being shades of "khaki" (in practice, a tan colour) or olive green, though white and black were also used. There were several shades of the olive green, which are not easy to distinguish in black and white period photos, with shade 97 (light green), and shade 3 (dark green) being most common. Additionally there was "RAF Blue" for RAF battledress uniforms.

The word also became used as a verb, as in "to blanco a piece of equipment". The past tense of blanco is usually seen in print as "blancoed".

It appears in the phrase "Bull, Blanco and Brasso" to refer to the methods used to bring uniform to immaculate condition.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blanco_(compound)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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