How to make a pattern for an arm bracer- Part 4; Some Flare and Reality

After receiving the package from England and trying them on, I noticed a few things. They looked good, were made of thick, tough leather and matched my measurements and they were so uncomfortable they were unwearable. The edge at the elbow joint cut into my arms anytime they weren’t completely straight. So I bought a hearty pair of leather shears and redrew the pattern to accommodate the extra room.

I started to wear them for 2 hours twice a day. They were still very uncomfortable, the edge at the wrist dug in mercilessly. When they got loose, the entire weight of the bracer would be concentrated on a thin edge directly on top of my wrist tendons. I told my train buddy who happens to be a conservator at the Smithsonian about my issue. She told me that it would help if I flared the edge. When I asked her how to do that, she told me “the leather is tough and don’t be afraid to beat the crap out of it” and suggested to work it over an edge of something hard with a hammer. This is beyond my ability so at every hard edge I could get under the edge of the bracer, I’d push the leather. After a few days, it had a decent flare.

Another issue I should have foresaw was caused by pronation/ suppination of the wrist (palm down/ palm up when elbow at 90). This is done by twisting and untwisting the two forearm bones.

So the forearm near the wrist twists while near the elbow stays still. The bracer is made of very hard leather. If it was tight you wouldn’t be able to rotate your wrist without giving yourself an Indian burn (I did an informal poll and found there is no more politically correct, commonly accepted name for it). To get around this, I decided that I needed the bracer tight at the wrist and looser near the elbow. With a single lace, especially if it is thin, it is difficult to get two different tensions. I solved this with two sets of laces. Now I use elastic for the elbow laces which are permanently tied. Which cuts back on hassle.

A better idea may be to put long slots in the bracer parallel to the arm allowing it to twist. I’m not sure how you would tighten it though -a problem for when I get bored someday.

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *