Faq II: Equipment & Maintenance:

2.5 Lame's

     The highest quality ones are made of stainless steel, which is
     much more corrosion resistant than copper.  Your lame' should
     come to your hip bones, and be form-fitting but not too tight.
     Most lame's come in right and left-handed versions, but
     ambidextrous (back-zip) versions are also available and sometimes
     have higher hips.

     Careful rinsing of your lame' in lukewarm water following a
     tournament or rigourous practice will wash out most of the sweat
     and salts that will damage your lame'.  Old sweat turns alkaline
     and can be quite damaging to the lame' fabric.  The salt crystals
     left behind from dried sweat can also be abrasive and conducive
     to corrosion.

     Occasional handwashing in lukewarm water with a mild detergent
     (eg.  Woolite or dishsoap) and a small amount of ammonia is an
     excellent way of cleaning your lame' and prolonging its life.
     Some fencers recommend neutralizing the alkaline deposits in the
     lame' with lemon juice added to the bath (about 2 lemons worth).

     Rinse your lame' after washing and hang dry on a wooden or
     plastic hanger.  Avoid folding, crumpling, wringing, or abrading
     it.  All of these will fatigue the metallic threads in the

     Similar care should be taken with sabre cuffs and mask bibs.
2.5.1 Repair

     Lame's can go dead for several reasons, including high electric
     resistance due to oxidation and corrosion (usually accompanied by
     visible discolouration), broken metal fibres, or tears in the

     High-resistance areas that are due to oxidation can often be
     temporarily resucitated by moistening them with water.  As the
     moisture soaks up salts and other deposits in the fabric,
     conductivity will increase enough for the lame' to pass the
     weapon check.  Sweat from vigourous fencing will have the same

     Small dead spots be "field-repaired" with a paper stapler or
     metallic marker.

     Larger dead areas and tears in the fabric can only be reliably
     repaired by stitching new lame' fabric over the affected areas.
     The fabric from the back of one dead lame' can be used to repair
     the front of another.

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