The Great War had famously been ‘won on Belfast linen wings’, and reliance on linen for aircraft fabric and parachute webbing continued during the Second World War. Before the advent of artificial fibres, linen was used to produce uniforms, boot laces, kit bags, bandages, tents, and linen thread for stitching. Many linen-producing factories – including Ewarts’, Belfast, or Herdman’s of Sion Mills – started churning out munitions, with women undertaking much of this work. Increasing demand for linen saw a fourfold increase in flax acreage under cultivation in Northern Ireland, while the south of Ireland boosted its yield for use in the north. Estimates suggest 200 million yards of cloth were woven, and two million parachutes were produced.