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Guide - puttees

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Jade (Anne-Christine)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:43 pm    Post subject: Guide - puttees Reply with quote

For my generic controller costume I've chosen to wear boots with puttees (leg wraps). Here's a short guide on puttees. Kristina has done a lot of research on puttees, how to properly wrap them and which shoes would fit with them, so the information she gave me is in this guide as well!

The type of boots that would likely work well with the puttees are basic slip on ankle boots, for example Chelsea-style boots or loafer-style ankle boots. Based on what was screen used, the shoes vary from a lighter to darker brown. The puttees should be made in a matching colour to the boots. Most World War puttees are made of wool with a piece of twill tape to secure them. There are short and long puttees, but for the style used on screen the long ones are needed. Long puttees can also be created by sewing together the shorter puttees.

The woman to the left of Nien Nunb in this picture is wearing puttees:

Close up of the puttees:

Here are some tutorials for wrapping puttees correctly
How to wrap puttees:

Mike's guide to WW1 British and Commonwealth puttees:

Puttees can be bought:
However, they are mostly some shade of green, so they would have to be dyed in a matching brown to the boots.

I chose to make the puttees myself, because I had a piece of brown wool that nearly perfectly matched my boots.

My first puttee, to try out, was made from a scrap piece of the wool that came from the cut away excess fabric of the hem of a jedi robe. Therefore it had a slight curve in it and also some stretch. It was 3 inches wide.

I also did some experimenting with cutting the puttee straight an bias. Conclusions:
1. A puttee made from a straight cut strip of fabric, 4 inches wide is nearly impossible to wrap straight. It has no stretch and it just doesn't want to be wrapped nicely. I assume you can wrap these easier by using the twisting technique. However, to me the reference picture shows a straight wrap. The twisting technique is basically for the fabric to be able to follow the shape of your leg, especially handy when there is no stretch in the fabric. Next to that it gives a nice looking pattern on the puttee.
2. A puttee made from a bias cut piece of fabric is easier to wrap straight, because it has a bit of stretch, but if it is 4 inches wide it is still difficult to wrap nicely without having to use the twisting technique.
3. The try-out scrap puttee... turned out to be the easiest to wrap straight, possibly because there is a light curve in it, has stretch and it was only 3 inches wide.

My final puttees:
- Cut slightly bias with a slight curve
- Three strips sewn together (just a single seam, no topstitching)
- 3 inches wide
- About 3.10-3.20 meters long (just the wool part)
- About 1.40 meters of the twill tape attached to one end (twill tape is 1.5 cm wide, I bought it white and dyed it to match the wool)
- One end of each puttee is folded into a triangle and sewn with the twill tape on top (just used an original puttee as example)

I had some old knee high (Shabbies Amsterdam) lying around that worked for this costume. They were bought second hand for about 15 euros.

They are very flexible and worn out dark brown leather, have no zippers, an almost flat sole and sit very tight around my legs.
(I do not recommend buying these boots, unless you can find them as cheap as I did, because when bought new they are over 200 euros...)
I considered cutting the boots down, but when I wrapped the puttees over these boots it didn't look weird or thick, so Kristina agreed with me wrapping the puttees over them. I do not think wrapping puttees over long boots will work with every boot, only if they are tight enough. I would recommend buying a shorter boot of you are going for the puttee style.

Here is the link to the full gallery of my puttees!

If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them!
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RebelLady (Kristina Gundersen)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for writing this up, Anne-Christine! Smile
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