Putting on Puttees
Wrapping puttees can be a tricky exercise for even the most experienced
soldier and so for both the experienced and inexperienced, following
are some simple instructions to help you put on the puttee.
Before putting your puttees on make sure your breeches are comfortably,
but snugly laced at your calf. If not, once the puttees are put on
you will find them tugging uncomfortably at the legs of your breeches
(see figure 1).
1) Roll up the puttees. Start the roll by rolling the cotton tape,
gradually towards the wool strip and roll that up as well. Roll the
puttees up in so that the cotton tape is in the center of the roll.
The loose end of the rolled puttee is the starting point and as you
unroll and work up the leg, the tape will be exposed last and at the
top of the calf.
2) You may find it comfortable to prop your foot up on a bench or a
box. Take your rolled up puttee and find the loose end of the roll.
Starting with about six inches, place it against your shin and unroll
towards your boot top (figure 2).
3) At the boot top fold the puttee so that you can start wrapping it
around your leg. Start with the material over lapping the top of your
boots and make two passes around the tops, pulling the puttees snug
4) Once you have made a couple passes around the top of the boots,
continue wrapping the puttees around your leg with each pass overlapping
the previous wrap, until you reach the top of your calf below the knee
(figure 4). At this point you should reach the end of the wool puttee
and come to the cotton tape. Unroll the cotton tape, wrapping it snugly
around the top of the puttee to hold it in place (figure 5). Reaching
the end of the tape tie it off as a hitch knot.
When wearing the puttee they should be snug, but not so much so that
circulation is cut off or that they are uncomfortable. Also as already
pointed out the leg of the breeches should be pulled up enough so that
they are laced at the calf. If not, you will notice an uncomfortable
tugging on the legs of the breeches. Finally the cotton tape should
be snug to hold the top of the puttees in place and keep them from unraveling.
Take some time to practice this until you are comfortable putting them
on. The real Doughboys could do this in the dark.