Rolling the Wrap Puttee

by Rick Mattock

Reprinted from the IR63 Die Frontsoldat Communiqué October 1997.

A seldom failing mark of a newcomer to WWI reenacting is by looking at how the man's

puttees are wrapped: If white socks show or the fellow looks like he has both legs

curved the same way, then you've got a tenderfoot. The solution is simple: Wrap your

puttees the way the experts do.

The secret is to begin your wrap at your ankle, above the shoe top or overlapping the

shoe top just a bit. The end of the puttee should be placed upon the inside of the ankle,

or perhaps just in front of the lacing of the shoe. Experience will soon show you which

area is better so that the upper end of the wrap finishes at the side or rear of the calf

out of sight.

Then, begin wrapping the puttee downward. That's right, downward. Cover the shoe top

and the bump made by the knot of the laces. (The laces have previously been tucked

into the tops of the shoes so they won't show below the puttee) When you have

reached the top of the instep where the shoe begins to swell outward broadly, wrap the

puttee neatly and parallel with the ground, then start up the leg. Each turn should be

about 1 inch above the bottom of the previous wrap.

The rolled puttee should be pulled tautly away from the leg to maintain tension on the

wrap. This gives a tight fit, which will: (a) hold the puttee to the leg, and (b) give support

to the calf of the leg.

The final wrap should be neatly parallel with the ground, with the 1-inch tape band lying

neatly upon itself in the center of the wrap, and the free end tucked neatly under the

tight band. The triangular point of the wrap should be out of sight on the side or back of

the calf, as mentioned before.

Now take a look at yourself in the mirror. Dummkopf, did you wrap both legs from left to

right? Always wrap from the inside of the leg, around the front, toward the outside of the

leg. Ne c'est pas?

Now it's time to learn yet another secret—how to roll the puttees for storage.

For when it id time to store the dry puttee, it is rolled up with the tape end in the center! The tape

hangs free as the puttee is carefully rolledwithout wrinkles upon itself. When the puttee

is completely rolled up, the tape is wrapped without wrinkles, perpendicular to the

cylinder: i.e. across the top, down the curved side, across the bottom, and up the

curved side, then neatly tucked under itself'

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