Bracelets

Bracelet 'fit' ~  how sizes are specified:

Bracelets are measured as they would sit in the wrist, using a cone shaped mandrel.  The linear length of a finished bracelet may not be a useful measurement, as the diameter of the beads or shape of the links may make a big difference to how it will sit in wear.  So I sit the finished pieces on the cone and measure the diameter of where they fall naturally, just as they would on the wrist.

To measure your wrist, use a soft fabric tape measure (or string or ribbon and a ruler) to take a measurement around your wrist above your hand - wrap it round tightly but with a finger underneath for some ease. Depending on how loose you like to wear bracelets, add ½" / 13mm for a snug fit, add 1" / 25mm for a comfortable fit on the top of your hand, or more if you like a bracelet to dangle more loosely. This figure is the 'fit' figure of the bracelet. So if I describe a bracelet as a 178mm/7" fit, that would sit comfortably on the top of the hand for someone with a wrist measurement of 6" and allow some movement.

As a further check, measure the lowest point where you'd like the bracelet to sit on either your hand or up your forearm and see how this compares to the earlier figure you calculated.

Many of the bracelets can be adjusted, but in most cases, this will only be by the increment of one of the links, but smaller adjustments may be possible by using extension links around the clasp area.  Comments are made with individual items, but please ask if you don't find an answer. 


Buying a bracelet for a gift or want one to fit like your favourite?

If you want to choose a bracelet to give for a gift it can be tricky to know what size it needs to be if you can't measure the recipients wrist without giving the game away.  The next best thing would be to measure a bracelet that you know she likes the fit of.

Measuring the linear length of a bracelet is unlikely to be satisfactory unless it's a very fine chain - wider bracelets and those with chunky beads will be deceptively long, allowing for the diameter of the beads against the wrist - lifting the central core of the bracelet away from the skin. 

The best way to measure a bracelet fit is to curl a piece of paper into a cone, one of a suitable diameter that dropping a fastened bracelet over it will stop part way down and sit on the cone.  Use some sticky tape that you can later undo, to fix the paper into the cone at this size and mark where the overlap is - this is an important stage. 

Drop a bracelet over the cone and draw some marks where the centre line of it runs  around the cone - it probably stands proud of the cone, resting on any wider elements like beads - so you'll need to carefully project the line back to the paper with the point of your pencil - as you can see in the top right image.

Illustration of how to measure a bracelet to get the 'fit' size.  Please click for a larger view

Remove the bracelet and unfasten the cone and lay the paper flat and measure the line of the marks you've made - from where the paper overlaps and you marked it - to the edge of the paper.  It will be a curved line, so you'll need something flexible to measure it.  This is the inner circumference - or fit - of that particular bracelet.    The graphic on the right illustrates the process, please click on it to see a larger version and then use the back button to return to this page

Ideally repeat the process with more than one bracelet to get a range that you know will fit the gift-recipient.

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