Early TNG jumpsuit analysis, part 3b - Piping

Early TNG-era Starfleet Uniform Jumpsuit Analysis


Part 3b - Piping

Both the neckline and yoke of the TNG uniform jumpsuit were embellished with division-colored piping. 

The "piping" was, in fact, merely a strip of fabric folded in half; there was no cording (rounded or otherwise) sewn into the piping to give it the round body typically associated with sew-in piping. 

Considering that the piping often looked "shinier" than the jumpsuit body, I'd previously assumed that the piping was simply the same jumbo spandex folded in half shiny-sides-out.

Observe how the piping fabric occasionally responded differently to the lighting than the jumpsuit body.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x20 "Heart of Glory"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x20 "Heart of Glory"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x22 "Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x22 "Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x23 "Skin of Evil"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x25 "Conspiracy"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x11 "Contagion"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x20 "Emissary"


In remastered HD, one can easily see that the piping fabric was clearly "smoother" than the dull, textured side of the jumbo spandex used on the remainder of the jumpsuit body.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x20 "Emissary"


In the auction photos below, one can clearly observe that the neckline/yoke piping was both smoother and shinier than the jumpsuit body.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
Worf (stunt) TNG jumpsuit auction photo
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG jumpsuit (male - probably Worf) auction photo


However, when examining an original, screen-used TNG skant, I was surprised to learn that the piping wasn't just the shiny side of the jumbo spandex, but a different fabric entirely! It stands to reason that the TNG jumpsuits were similarly constructed.


The neckline piping was simply folded in half, sewn onto the jumpsuit's neckline, and turned under; there wasn't a "yoke facing" or anything comparable on the underside of the yoke.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x17 "When the Bough Breaks"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x22 "Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x3 "Elementary, Dear Data"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x6 "The Schizoid Man"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
The Next Generation publicity photo (season 1)


In The Next Generation seventh season featurette entitled, "Dressing the Future" (included on both the DVD and remastered Blu-Ray releases), costume designer Robert Blackman briefly displayed an early TNG-era uniform jumpsuit, and we got a good look at the interior of the yoke/neckline!

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, season 7 special feature "Dressing the Future"


One auction photo of an early TNG-era uniform jumpsuit was especially useful, because one could clearly see that the interior ("seam allowance") edge of the neckline piping was catch-stitched to the jumpsuit yoke.

Catch-stitching on the jumpsuit neckline interior
TNG jumpsuit (female) auction photo


The precise width of the neckline piping seemed to vary; sometimes it was quite subtle and narrow - just a little ⅛" sliver or so.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x3 "The Naked Now"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x8 "Justice"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x15 "11001001"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x19 "Coming of Age"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x20 "Heart of Glory"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x20 "Heart of Glory"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x22 "Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x24 "We'll Always Have Paris"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x26 "The Neutral Zone"


Sometimes, though, the neckline piping was quite a bit wider and more pronounced - perhaps ¼".

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x3 "The Naked Now"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x3 "The Naked Now"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x3
"The Naked Now"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x10
"Hide and Q"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x10
"Hide and Q"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x18
"Home Soil"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x19
"Coming of Age"
Patrick Stewart watching the first season of TNG
TNG, 1x22
"Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x22
"Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x22
"Symbiosis"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x24
"We'll Always Have Paris"


The yoke piping was sewn into the yoke; both the front and back yokes were actually in two pieces (upper front yoke, lower front yoke, upper back yoke, and lower back yoke), with the seam establishing the contour of the piping.

The upper yoke/lower yoke/piping seam allowances were pressed upward.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
Data TNG jumpsuit
auction photo
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG jumpsuit (female)
auction photo
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG jumpsuit (female)
auction photo


While usually unnoticeable on-camera, the yoke piping didn't always lie flat; sometimes if "fanned" outward and/or upward, especially along the back.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1
"Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x1
"The Child"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x2
"Where Silence Has Lease"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x11 "Contagion"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x14 "The Icarus Factor"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 7x25 "All Good Things ..."


Sometimes the yoke piping was sort of "warbly" ... that is, part of it wanted to lie flat, while part of it wanted to twist or poke upward.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x21 "The Arsenal of Freedom"


The contour of the yoke piping was not horizontal, or even a straight diagonal line; it was more of a S-shape that flared away from center and toward the shoulders.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x14 "Angel One"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x23 "Skin of Evil"


The curvature of the yoke piping was most easily observable when viewed from the side or profile.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x9 "The Last Outpost"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x6 "Where No One Has Gone Before"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x7 "Lonely Among Us"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x13 "Datalore"


The yoke piping on the ladies' jumpsuits was similarly-styled.

TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
TNG, 1x25 "Conspiracy"


The back yoke piping appeared to follow a similar curvature as the front, albeit perhaps less pronounced.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x13 "Datalore"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 1x23 "Skin of Evil"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping curvature
TNG, 2x6 "The Schizoid Man"


The front and back yoke piping properly aligned at the jumpsuit's shoulder seams.

Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 1x8 "Justice"
Early TNG jumpsuit piping
TNG, 2x1 "The Child"


TNG jumpsuit analysis - neckline and yoke
TNG jumpsuit home
TNG jumpsuit analysis - piping and yoke depth

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