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"Good to Know" - Blog

MIL-L-15040 -- What does it really specify?

Judy Gaitens-Arneson

One thing I do that drives my husband batty is using a tool for something other than its intended purpose— like using the chisel as an all-purpose pry bar/putty knife/hammer/screwdriver combination.

Oddly, this kind of "one size fits all" thinking may be why MIL-L-15040 ("Labels, Garment (Woven, Rayon)") is often specified in aerial equipment drawings.

I imagine the product designers thought "It's a label spec. Why not?"

But MIL-L-15040 labels "are intended for use in dress clothing items where they will be permanently visible and the use of another type label would adversely affect the appearance of the item." (Section 6.1).

It's not that you CAN'T use woven dress labels for other purposes, but why would you want to? Woven labels are rather expensive in quantities less than 1000, they are difficult to stamp lot numbers and dates of manufacturing on, and they are more difficult to sew onto webbing.

There is, instead, a better standard to employ-- MIL-DTL-32075 "Label: For Clothing, Equipage, and  Tentage, (General Use)". In it, the Type VI label is the one we'd recommend -- Type VI is a durable, easy to stamp, easy to sew fabric. Perfect for permanently labeling aerial equipment!

Next time you get a drawing that calls for labeling per MIL-L-15040, check with the procuring officer to see if it can be amended to allow labeling IAW MIL-DTL-32075, Type VI.  Not that employing a screwdriver as a staple remover is necessarily a bad idea, but if you have the right tool to begin with, why not use it instead?