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Fancy Ladies Skirt Guard - Method for Attaching

Bulletin #: 22
by Carl Wiedman
Prepared June 1977
Revised: 2018-01-14

A general provision for ladies bikes in the early safety period was the use of a twine or string cover over a portion of the rear wheel as a skirt guard. Such twine covers were also supplied as chain guards on both men’s and ladies’ bikes.

The color of the twine varied from light beige on some bikes to deep black on others, and covered the entire intermediate range. Generally the lighter colors show up to greater advantage for display purposes and even bright colors such as red and orange have been used.

Such twines are available from stores selling arts and crafts supplies for macrame and weaving. The proper type is referred to as navy twine and is of the correct texture and weight to correspond with the material used in the 1800s.

The most simple skirt guard is simply an up and down pattern from the eyelets in the fender or mud-guard back to the loop affixed to the bike frame somewhere near the rear hub. This simple pattern works well, and was used frequently on the old bikes.

For a little more glamour, another pattern has been used. This is one that appears to be quite complex to install, but using a few simple tricks can be done quite readily.

  1. Start by tying one end of the twine to the small ring near the wheel axle. Carry it up to the fender, and stick a loop through the first eyelet. Note that it is not necessary to feed the entire length through.

    Now, take a separate piece of the same twine and put it through this single loop, under the fender. Note that the twine is brought up on the outside, a single loop stuck through, and the other string fed through the single loop on the underside, as shown.

    Continue this procedure by returning to the central bracket ring, feed the entire length through this loop, and again carry up to the fender, this time feeding through the second eyelet. Again stick the loop down through the eyelet, and feed the same separate piece through the loop, as before. Continue the entire length by going back to the central bracket ring, feeding the entire string through, and up to the fender. Proceed to subsequent eyelets until the entire length is covered on one side of the fender, and tie at the central metal loop bracket.

    Keep the twine fairly taut, but do not stretch it.
  2. At a position one-fourth of the way down the twine, take the second and third length and tie as shown. Use a light linen sewing thread that is exactly the same color as the twine. Use a good tight knot, and cut off the ends close to the knot. Repeat with the fourth and fifth lengths, and the sixth and seventh, as shown until all are tied at the one-fourth position.
  3. Repeat the identical procedure at the half-way position, all the way across.
  4. Repeat again at the three-fourths position, as shown.

If this is done properly, the linen thread knots will not be discernible, and the twine will appear to cross at these points. Repeat the whole procedure on the other side of the fender.


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