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.
Measure the bicep area of the arm with a tape measure.
Cut 7.5 cm (3 inch) wide black fabric so it is the length of your arm measurement plus half again.
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.
Turn this tube inside out so the seam is on the inside.
Cut a piece of 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) elastic to the bicep measurement.
Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic.
Feed the elastic into the black tube, using the pin as a guide.
Sew the ends of the elastic together.
Use hand stitching to attach the two ends of the black tube together, totally encasing the elastic .
Things you need
- Tape measure
- Black fabric strip
- Black thread
- Sewing machine
- 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) elastic