October 12, 2009

Figuring the fit-how to pick a size thats right for you

Picking a size for a turks head knot bracelet is different than for an ordinary clasp bracelets. Rope bracelets do not have toggle or button closure but are a continuous weave or circular braid that has no beginning or ending. This design makes turks head bracelets especially appealing but requires consideration of the size when purchasing. Since it is impossible to try on for size over the web a bit of measuring must be done. In order to obtain the correct size several factors must be considered:

Wrist size:
This is the circumference of your wrist measured with some clearance for comfort. It can also be considered the final size you want to have with the bracelet in place. Many web sites offer wrist sizing guidance based on age. You can take a direct measurement using an ordinary cloth tape measure.

Slip-on size:
This is the measurement taken at the fattest part of your hand with your thumb squeezed tightly against your smallest finger. This size is usually somewhat larger than your wrist size, sometimes by as much as one or two inches. Slip-on size is shown in all the product offerings at the WhatKnotShop online shops.

Desired fit:
This is an individual determination. You may want a snug fit where the bracelet size is slightly larger than your wrist size, you may want a loose fit where the bracelet can slip on and off easily, or you may want something in between. 

For a loose fit imply select a “slip-on” size that is the same or larger than your measured slip-on size.
Most of the bracelets will stretch somewhat and most people's hands can be squeezed a little bit so you can pick a slip-on size that is the same or slightly smaller than your measurement and squeeze into the bracelet.

To get a snug fit you should pick a tight slip-on size and then use one or both of these two strategies:

Shrinkage: Many of the offerings in the WhatKnotShop online shops are made of cotton. Some are made from hand-dyed cotton alone or in combination with natural cotton cord. Check the materials listing to find out. Cotton will tend to shrink when wet. The hand dyed cord has been previously wetted during the dying process and will therefore shrink somewhat less than the all natural white cotton. Shrinkage is usually about 10% for natural cotton cord. Repeated wetting can cause more shrinkage as the cotton fibers expand.  For many people a tight "slip-on" size for a cotton bracelet will result in a comfortable fit after the material has relaxed to it's final shape. 

Synthetics will not shrink as much as cotton and will tend to hold the same size over time. Read the product descriptions carefully to find out how much "give" is built into each bracelet. Some are loose and will have considerable "give", others are worked up to a tight shape and will have very little "give".

If you want a nylon bracelet in a reduced circumference from the "slip-on" size you will need to pull some slack from the knot. Read on...

A few of the offerings in the WhatKnotShop online shops are labeled “adjustable”. This means that the bracelet has been fully completed but has not been tied off or worked up to the smallest possible circumference. Adjustable bracelets enables the buyer to adjust the final size of the bracelet to a comfortable fit by removing the excess slack in the knot. This is known as “working up” the knot to it’s final shape. This link describes how to "work up" a turks head bracelet: http://bit.ly/cQpLED

This process can take some time as it involves pulling loops of cord around the weave of the knot in a progressive pattern until the slack comes out in one of the two loose ends. Loose made cotton bracelets can be worked up by this method to fit over a large hand and then fitted to a skinny wrist. This is the only practical way to get a custom fit for for a bracelet made with nylon or polyester material.

Visit the online shops to see what is available in your size:

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhatKnotShop
Zibbet: http://www.zibbet.com/WhatKnotShop

If you don't find a pre-made design in your size please make a custom request! Due to the variety of designs not all sizes are stocked but most can be made within a very short time.


Kerra Lindsey said...

Most helpful--thanks for posting! I'm off to measure my little one's wrists to get them all matching sailor bracelets. :) Cheers!

George said...

Thanks Kerra, If you need a custom size or color please let me know!