Wrapping, strapping, chaining and tying


My early obsession with wrapping and strapping remembered in an article in Checkmate magazine some time ago.

The first simulated strait-jacket experience I ever had was when I wriggled myself into my older brother's leather bomber jacket with it's arms pulled inside. I zipped it up with difficulty and tried to imagine not being able to get out. Instinctively, I next tried to put it on backwards with arms folded inside but failed to get the zip fully closed in-back. The jacket also felt good with the leather inside but it looked stupid - and the visual has always been important to me.

The bomber jacket when pulled on back-to-front but with my arms in the sleeves made it tight up around my neck even without the zip right up. Crossing my arms in front, the bulk and tightness felt good - it remained for me to invent ways of fixing my arms. I found ways (Footnote: Since those early days I've often used a standard motorcycle jacket backwards on others as the basis of an improvised strait-jacket introduction. With a novice it's less threatening than the real thing and can be just as efficient. For technical details of improvising an SJ from a bike jacket see link from 'Locked-on Clothes' page).

Government surplus anorak modified as SJ:
The first strait-jacket I owned was when I adapted a tough naval flight deck smock. Bought cheap in a surplus store it was heavy-duty rip-proof, wind-proof fabric well sewn together and the arms were already quite long. Being the type you pull on over your head it had neither back or front opening. There was also a snug-fitting hood which, when fully closed with a draw-string, only eyes were showing. This particularly appealed to me because in addition it had external tough mouth and collar flaps that could be tightened satisfyingly around the lower face and neck. All that was missing to satisfy me was closed-end sleeves (and perhaps some sort of strappery).

In those days of secret self-applied bondage, making-do was the name of the game. A pair of army ski mitts and a few webbing straps bought from the same source allowed me to improvise myself into some sort of strait-jacketed effect. The same jacket when pulled on back-to-front so the hood was over my face intensified the experience. I could just about close a couple of webbing straps between my wrists while wearing mitts before the air started to run out. Dangerous days. A metal eyelet kit from a tent store allowed me to add a couple of breathing holes in the back of the hood so I could enjoy the situation for longer.

However, the jacket still lacked closed-end sleeves. My first experience of sewing tough fabric was hand stitching the anorak sleeve ends and the leather ski-mitts together. This resulted in some sore fingers but was worth the effort. I could now climb into and sleep in this rugged if somewhat baggy jacket and hood with wrists strapped together strait-jacket fashion - and live to extricate myself in the morning (Cautionary notes about self-applied bondage appear frequently in my writings).

Experience soon taught me that attaching wrist-to-wrist in strait-jacket fashion is not the same as the hands being linked mitt-end to mitt-end. I needed to learn to add rivets - which would strengthen all my strappery and reinforce my hand-sewing.

When I found a solid black oilskin ex-Navy anorak complete with matching pants I further improved my DIY skills. The anorak was the same shape as the previous one but also had a waist belt. Buying a second pair of pants allowed me to cut these up and add double thickness simple tubes of oilskin to lengthen the sleeves beyond finger-ends. Carried away by my improving skills, the extra fabric also became a through-crotch flap which could be laced tight between my oilskin clad legs (if a chose to wear the pants) otherwise between my naked thighs. Even a pair of crude oilskin foot covers were attempted to complete the ensemble. However, strapped in the heavy and sticky black anorak in strait-jacket mode while wearing the oilskin trousers and rubber boots confirmed my preference for total encasement in industrial-weight gear and simulated restraint.
(A descriptive and illustrated extension of this scenario has resulted in a story Fantasy and Fact in PVC. Recently added to the 'Storylines' list on the Home Page).

Attempts to add back straps to tighten the body of the baggy jacket around my chest and waist before crossing the arms were not strictly necessary as there was no back or front opening, but the strappery made it feel more like I imagined a strait-jacket should feel.

In those early days I always visualised a strait-jacket with crossed arms. The image of a restraint jacket with arms straight down the sides of the body came later.

Both government surplus jacket bodies were hip length, ending at wrist level. With sleeves pulled inside the jacket and my arms loose inside the hooded tube of heavy oilskin, I could roll myself until the tough fabric tightened around me. I also found that with hands threaded down inside the waist of the oilskin trousers I could, by rolling on a tarpaulin, get somewhere close to the total immobilisation sensation I was eager to try if only I could find anybody in the world willing to lend me a hand.

The arms-down, strapped and wrapped situation seemed, in my imagination, to be totally different from wriggling around in a strait-jacket - but the alternative body position had it's own appeal. I also tried to spread-eagle myself while wearing the oilskin suit or fabric jacket plus heavy canvas work pants and boots, or with legs encased inside an army kit bag tightly cinched over the waist of the jacket and with legs strapped together. Many hours of self-applied restraint had taught me how to get myself into and (hopefully) out of various configurations of straps or rope: Spread-eagle, hog-tie, arms down, crossed arms … I enjoyed the differences.

Personal development:
Making from scratch my first closed-end-sleeve jacket with a leg-sack attached was the next logical step in strait-jacket design. By this time I had bought an old industrial-weight sewing machine and figured out the complexities of home dress-making patterns. A pyjama pattern provided the basis for a back-opening jacket with attached leg sack. A second-hand army tent offered suitably rugged lived-in canvas. Having discovered spring-close slider buckles to use with ex-army webbing straps, I was able to tighten a range of straps around legs, waist, chest and biceps of my full-body strait-jacket/bag before tightening a strap between the closed sleeve-end around my waist. Using a hook in the wall I learned how to not only cross my arms in front but wrap the extra-long mitt-straps (now firmly riveted and hand-sewn to mitt-ends) once around my waist before closing the buckle at the front. This not only took the buckle further out of reach, the strap also cinched my waist satisfyingly tight.

Practice closing this particular configuration soon enabled me for the first time to experiment with arms crossed behind my back instead of in front, before cinching the mitt strap. The arms-in-back strait-jacket forced the chest forward and left the stomach and groin deliciously accessible.

Soon I could achieve this arms-in-back position in all my jackets. It felt different - but good. Standing or lying in front of a mirror peering through eye-slits I'd made in all the over-face hoods, it was easy to imagine having been put into this position by somebody who now had total power over me … to keep me restrained for however long they chose and do with me what they liked.

Shared experiences:
This is not the place to record my first opportunities to share both my hard-earned knowledge and, by now, quite efficient pieces of gear. But, the existence of the equipment certainly helped to entice several first-time bondage assistants. Houdini was the key to persuading various people to help me with my 'experiments'. It's an old story and one I often hear from others who arrived instinctively and unaided at an enthusiasm for physical-restraint games.

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