Common Options for Custom Hand Garments
Thumb web inserts made of our stretchy soft Insert Material is the most commonly requested insert for a hand garment. This is a small wedge of insert material placed along the web between the thumb and index finger to prevent irritation and skin breakdown. An ulnar insert, usually 1 – 2 inches wide and extending from the base of the fifth digit to the proximal end of the glove, is sometimes added to a glove or gauntlet to provide for extra flexibility in the glove or to assist the patient in donning the garment.
Zippers are commonly requested features of hand garments, however, a patient with good hand and finger strength who is not experiencing extraordinary pain or discomfort probably does not need a zipper on a glove or gauntlet. Most patients who need a zipper find that a dorsal zipper works best for them. In some cases a dorsal zipper is not indicated, as for a recent dorsal skin graft site. For these patients a palmar, ulnar, or even radial zipper might be better options.
Hook & Loop Closure
Hook & loop may be used to substitute for a zipper to provide for some additional adjust-ability in the garment fit. Location and length should be carefully specified on the Hand Measurement Chart.
Hook & Loop Zipper Stop Tab
Glove and gauntlet zippers may occasionally come open on some patients. To prevent this we can install a hook and loop tab across the zipper to hold it together.
Hook & Loop Wrist Tab
For some patients, getting the hand through the wrist band can be challenging, but a zipper is not needed. This difficulty is solved by installing a hook & loop tab across a break in the wrist band. A common practice is to order the first hand garment version with a zipper and the second without, or just with a wrist tab.
Linings may be indicated for a patient with a very sensitive dorsum or palm.A lining results in two layers of fabric while an insert is only one layer of fabric. The entire hand garment could be lined, but the resulting garment would be bulky and difficult to don. In this case we would recommend constructing the whole garment of soft or insert material. We also use a soft neoprene (rubber) pad sewn into the dorsal inside of a glove for lymphedema patients who tend to experience excess pooling of lymph fluid in that area.
Except for complete finger and thumb amputations, all hand garments have at least a thumb. This may be closed-tipped or open. For open tips, on the hand tracing, which is required for every hand garment, draw a line across the finger where you want the garment to end. For closed-tips do not draw a line across each finger and be sure to check the box labelled “Finger/thumb tips closed ” on the Hand Measurement Chart.
The fabrics described below are Nylon® Lycra® or Dorlastan® spandex and contain no latex. All pressure ranges are available in all fabric types, however, each fabric has its own stretch properties. A soft fabric with high stretch will “give” more as the patient moves, and may, therefore, be less suitable for large circumferences or very active patients. A heavier stretch-resistant fabric will tend to maintain a more consistent pressure, but may be irritating to sensitive skin. Be sure to indicate the diagnosis on the Order Form.
Default material for adults and children 11 years or older (except head and neck and hand garments, see below). This is a heavy open weave, with a maximum stretch resistance. Regular Material is available in all 30 Bio-Concepts garment colors.
Close Knit Material
Default material for children 10 and under and for elderly patients 75 and older. Also the default fabric for face masks, chin straps, and hand garments. This fabric is very similar to the Regular Matierial, however, the threads are much finer and the weave is slightly more open. Close Knit Material is available in all 30 Bio-Concepts colors.
Our new LuxFab™ is a wonderful fabric for the vascular patient. It has great three-way stretch and durability. Many patients will benefit from a LuxFab garment in their lymphedema management program.
Patients with extremely sensitive areas of skin may not be ready for Regular Material or even Close Knit fabric. The skin side of our Soft Material is very smooth and the fabric is very light as well. We often construct whole garments of Soft Material for small children and the very elderly. Soft Material is available in all 30 Bio-Concepts colors.
We normally use Lining Material to line the inside of the garment over particularly sensitive areas, such as elbows, axillae, and knees. We can line entire garments as well. The lining material is very soft. Lining Material is available in all 30 Bio-Concepts colors.
Insert Material stretches well in every direction and conforms extremely well to irregular surfaces. Elbows, knees, chins, tops of heads, heels, abdomens, and other sites are good places for inserts. Because Insert Material conforms so well, we also use it to cover stumps and to end a mitten. Insert Material is available in all 30 Bio-Concepts colors.
A revolutionary new material that we incorporate directly into the garment. Silon-TEX is a medical-grade silicone elastomer sheet bonded to a Lycra Spandex fabric. Silon-TEX may be sewn into the garment in virtually any configuration needed to treat troublesome hypertrophic and keloid scars. Typically, Silon-TEX is used as a lining, sewn into the inside of the material of the rest of the garment. Silon-TEX is available only in white.