The standard cloth for tropical uniforms was cotton. Home service uniforms (typically red over blue) in heavier woolen cloth were worn in the winter months, but from what you say it is not home service uniform in which you are interested. It is worth noting before passing on that HS dress included a tunic and a red shell jacket. Buttons in both summer and winter uniforms were brass and generally of a regimental pattern: you would not procure these easily. Military buttons is an art form unto itself in which I have no expertise: there are publications which address the matter.
Items worn were:
The cotton shell jacket, a waist length garment, issued in white cotton drill with plain white trousers to match. In the Mutiny these were dyed as described above and as discussed at length on this VWF forum. Enter 'khaki' into the search engine and you will find a wealth of material: in particular look for contributions from jf 42 who is a subject matter expert. The Atkinson lithograph of the Bengal Fusiliers picket (central pointing figure) reveals that the soldiery often folded back the round collar of the shell jacket for greater comfort. Officers often wore privately tailored summer shell jackets in a different cut to the men - (see the Atkinsons above), often with lapels, which they would generally wear with a collar and neck tie.
The question of variants on trousers (and much else besides) is addressed at the IDM website to which I have provided a link. Except for oxford mix (home service) woolen trousers, all other variants were in types of cotton.
The canvas trooping smock or Indian made (in cotton) copies thereof, an item which went on over the head as the name suggests and generally had a small number of buttons at the throat, but not all the way down. Also white-ish. There are illustrations of it on the inspiration page of the IDM website.
Shirtsleeves. White, cotton, Indian made and 'blousy' - not the 'greyback' of a later period.
Flannel shirts. Like a smock in cut, and similarly put on over the head, only a shirt. Typically worn with the long shirttail (square or straight cut at the bottom) outside the trousers.
China Boat coats. Brown Holland smocks or tunics (the jury is out) with red facings: use the search engine with 'China boat coats' or simply go to the IM topic list where you will find it has a topic all of its own.
There was great irregularity of dress. Your last question, vis a vis regiments, suggests that you believe there to be a 'standard' tunic. There wasn't. The only standard issued item was the cotton shell jacket, which was dyed by such unscientific means that you might find half a dozen different shades in the same battalion. Towards the end of the Mutiny single breasted cotton tunics started to come in, but the fighting was pretty much over by then, except for the pursuit of what were effectively guerilla bands hard against (and across) the Nepalese frontier.
Head-dress is a short book unto its own. But your safest start point is the conventional Kilmarnock.
Equipment is covered at the Historical notes section the Iron Duke website and much flows from whether you intend to arm yourself with a P1842 musket or a P1853 Enfield. The latter was supported by a new pouch arrangement, in brief, a 20 round expense pouch worn on the waistbelt, and a main 40 round pouch worn on a shoulder belt. Formerly there had been a 60 round main pouch only. Both types were used in the Mutiny depending on unit.
There are two Osprey titles on Indian Mutiny uniforms which should be available second hand online for about a fiver. New they are only about 15 quid. Whilst I have some reservations about some of the closer detail (arising generally from assumptions which are not necessarily sound), they are a good enough start point to advanced IM studies.
Perhaps in the circumstances the best start point is to decide which regiment you seek to portray and take it from there.
Last edited by mike snook
on 11 Jul 2015 14:44, edited 4 times in total.
Dr Mike Snook MBE psc