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T-Tape and Strap Method: Making the Strap

In the time I've used the t-tape and strap restoration method, I've gone through several revisions and interations and styles of elastic straps, trying to find what's the most comfortable and easiest to use. The results of my efforts are reproduced here.

You can do it most any way you want to, as the point is merely to have tension on the t-tape at all times. One end of the strap assembly serves as an anchor, the other clips to the t-tape. As such, there are probably dozens of possibilities. Humans are inventive by nature, and you shouldn't hesitate to experiment, and try some variations on what's here.

Since there are so many ways to go about making the elastic strap, I've decided, for now, not to include specific instructions for a particular model or type. Rather, I'll describe in general terms what's needed, where you can get it, and how you might approach making one.

Something I should mention... The entire approach to t-tape and strap means that confining underwear is out. Boxer shorts are about the only option. As shown in the pictures in the t-tape section, you'll need to bring your penis through the fly and clip on the strap. Or, if you're using a leg strap, it can go down the leg (put everything on, then pull up your underwear and pants). This may already be obvious, but I thought I'd mention it.

Some guys have had some success stretching out the leg opening of jockey shorts (Y fronts) and wearing that. It depends on the brand, you may wish to try it if you prefer this style of underwear.

IMPORTANT: If you don't sew, or simply don't want to make your own custom strap, there are a number of alternatives! Refer to our t-tape and strap enhancements page for details (but read this page first to learn the concepts).

Supply Listing

  • Elastic. I used a 1 inch (2.5 cm) braided elastic. There are many kinds, and many sizes. You should pick the size based on the suspender clip (below). As for type, I think a braided elastic is fine. Elastic can be found at any fabric store. Buy plenty, since you may need to try different lengths, and it's cheap anyway. "No-roll" elastic is heavier, typically does not have as much give, but may work better in some cases. In any event, elastic is usually available in black or white; pick whatever you want.

  • Suspender clips. These are the little clips on the ends of a pair of suspenders. It should be easy to find at most fabric stores in the notions department. I found and used a Dritz brand suspender clip, packaged in sets of two, chrome color, that accommodate a 1 inch (2.5 cm) width of elastic. Read the package to find out its size.

  • Hook and loop closure. In other words, Velcro. You may not need this depending on how you construct your strap! Velcro comes in several types, colors, and widths. Types include sew-on, iron-on, glue-on, and Sticky Back (self adhesive). Get sew-on. As for width, the pictured straps below used 3/4 inch (2 cm) Velcro, so that's what I'll recommend here – 3/4 inch (2 cm), sew-on Velcro brand hook and loop fastener. I bought mine in a 3 foot roll (1 m) that was nice and cheap. Buy plenty, because you'll use more of the loop side than the hook side. Note that the elastic and the nylon strapping is 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide; this is best, since the raw edge of the Velcro is somewhat sharp, and allowing the material to be wider than the Velcro eliminates direct skin contact with that edge.

  • Woven strapping material. This is the stuff used to make straps for backpacks, butt packs, and all kinds of things. You may not need this depending on how you construct your strap! Generally this comes in 1 inch (2.5 cm) widths. Usually it's made of nylon or other acrylic material, but cotton or cotton blends can be had. IMPORTANT: If you use nylon, remember that if you cut the material, you'll have to use a match or cigarette lighter to synge the end of the cut edge or it will unravel. You can find this stuff, usually near the elastic, in the notions department of most fabric stores. It's sold by the yard (or presumably by the meter outside the U.S.).

  • General sewing equipment and supplies. A sewing machine, thread, scissors, and all the usual stuff anyone who has a sewing machine and knows how to use it will have sitting around anyway.

Leg Strap

Leg straps are a fairly simple concept. Basically you use a band of material around some part of your leg, then use a piece of elastic with a suspender clip on the end to connect to the t-tape.

I've tried a leg strap that straps around my leg just above the knee, and one that straps around just below the knee. Of the two, the one that straps below the knee is most comfortable, but I can't say I like either one. The tightness around the leg is fine when you're sitting still, but walking or moving around a lot with it gets fatiguing fast, but I have trouble with my sciatic nerve, and found that the leg strap is merely exacerbating that pre-existing problem.

The other down side to the leg strap is that the tension is uneven when you walk, so you get this tug, relax, tug, relax action going as you move along. It's annoying, but not uncomfortable. Sitting tends to let the thing relax too much.

In any event, the best leg strap configuration I found is to craft the part that goes around the leg out of the nylon woven strapping material I mentioned in the supply list. Using elastic for this part doesn't work well. When I made mine, I measured around my leg at the site of the strap, added 2 inches (5 cm), and stitched Velcro onto the two sides of the overlap.

Then, I measured from the strap to the end of the t-tape, and deducted 2 inches (5 cm). I sewed the elastic perpendicular to the leg strap, and then sewed a suspender clip on the other end of the elastic. The length of the elastic is what controls the amount of tension on the t-tape, so you may have to make adjustments to compensate for the amount of tension you like, and for variation in elastic "give."

Pictured above is my leg strap. The various important elements are identified. The nylon strapping is used to go around the leg, and elastic to connect to the t-tape. While I sewed-on the elastic at the site of the Velcro in what's pictured here, that didn't prove to be the best idea. I'd recommend sewing it someplace else, oriented to allow the Velcro "joint" to be on the front of your leg for the greatest comfort.

Waist Strap

This is really the best approach in my experience. It's comfortable, easy to wear and adjust. The only down side is that if clipped to underwear, as is common, you'll find that the underwear tends to rotate around your waist in the direction of the applied tension, so periodic adjustment (shifting your underwear back around) is necessary throughout the day.

The general concept is simple. This one uses two suspender clips, one on each end of the strap. One clips to the t-tape, to other clips to clothing somewhere along the line. You can clip that to your boxer shorts, or to the inside pocket of your jeans, whatever is handy. You can get a real good idea what this is about by looking at the pictures shown in the t-tape instructions.

There's lots of ways you can do this, the easiest being to simply to use a piece of elastic and sew the suspender clips one on each end. I don't like this, because I may not be able to securely clip the end opposite the tape in the same place all the time.

What I used is a length of the nylon strapping material, and a length of elastic. I sewed a few inches of one side of the Velcro to one end of the elastic, and the other Velcro side to one end of the nylon strapping. Then, I put a suspender clip on the end opposite the Velcro on both the strapping piece and the elastic piece. The Velcro makes it adjustable, so within the available surface area of the Velcro at least, I can clip the elastic end to the t-tape, the strapping end to a piece of clothing, and then join the Velcro together to get the desired tension.

I've found that even 1 inch (2.5 cm) of joined Velcro is plenty to securely hold everything at the tension I use.

In any event, having the Velcro there makes "quick disconnect" convenient when using the bathroom or whatever. It's also easier to put on in the first place.

Here's my waist strap. With the lengths I used (which I'll note in a moment), I clip the nylon strap side to the left side of my boxer shorts, wrap it around my back side and clip it to the t-tape. The Velcro joint ends-up on my right side. Once connected, I find it easiest to "fine tune" the tension by using the Velcro, overlapping it more for a tighter fit, or overlapping it less for a looser one.

I really like the Velcro there, since it's a lot easier and faster to adjust it, instead of clipping and reclipping the suspender clip that attaches to my underwear.

My lengths are about 12 inches (30 cm) of elastic, and roughly 15 inches (38 cm) for the nylon strap, but I'll confess that I merely guessed on both when I made it. Each piece of Velcro is 4 inches (10 cm) long, and is sewn on as outlined previously. Assuming that 1 inch (2.5 cm) of Velcro contact is sufficient, the 4 inches (10 cm) of Velcro yields 6 inches (15 cm) of total length travel – way more than enough for fine tuning (or even coarse tuning!) of the tension once you clip everything together.

Shoulder Straps

This is one variation I've not tried. It's preferred for night time use (unless you wear clothing to bed – I don't). You can see the bottom end of one in one of the pictures above. In the commercially available system, the strap clips onto the t-tape, goes over your shoulder, and the other end clips to your boxer shorts or other garment. I'm not planning to explore this one, since I don't wear the system at night and don't want to.

Making the T-Tape

Enhancements


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