How to make a mourning armband

Written by patti perry
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How to make a mourning armband
Black armbands are often worn by groups to show a solidarity of respect for the deceased. (kzenon/iStock/Getty Images)

Mourning armbands have a history for men but are increasingly worn by all members of the armed services, police, fire brigades and sports teams as they pay homage to a deceased colleague. Historically, widowed men wore them for months to a year. They could remarry when the black armband period was over. Mourning armbands are also referred to as sleeve garters and are constructed of fabric-encased elastic. They can be made in various widths with meaningful symbols or colours attached to them.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Black fabric strip
  • Black thread
  • Sewing machine
  • 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) elastic
  • Needle

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  1. 1

    Measure the bicep area of the arm with a tape measure.

  2. 2

    Cut 7.5 cm (3 inch) wide black fabric so it is the length of your arm measurement plus half again.

  3. 3

    Fold the right sides together lengthwise and stitch a seam, with a 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) wide seam allowance. Use a sewing machine or hand stitch this seam.

  4. 4

    Turn this tube inside out so the seam is on the inside.

  5. 5

    Cut a piece of 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) elastic to the bicep measurement.

  6. 6

    Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic.

  7. 7

    Feed the elastic into the black tube, using the pin as a guide.

  8. 8

    Sew the ends of the elastic together.

  9. 9

    Use hand stitching to attach the two ends of the black tube together, totally encasing the elastic .

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