This species called Artisans has a second shoulder on the lower half of the ribcage which extends into a pterosaur-like wing, and a membrane that goes from the wing shoulder down to about the knee. I have a few ideas about how to clothe them, but all feel inhumane--cutting a small hole at the waist level for a belt, putting magnets on either side--and this is set in a pseudo-medieval world, they wear armor on the regular(though they have better than medieval knowledge of medicine). How would clothes work if a person has a membrane running from their lower ribcage to their knees?


2 Answers 2


Frame challenge - why?

What is the purpose of human-style clothing on these non-human people? If the membrane is functional for flying or at least gliding, clothing is just going to get in the way, armour doubly so. They clearly evolved without requiring clothing, so what has changed? If they require decorations then body paint, tattoos or similar options would be used in preference to covering the body in cloth or fur.

The only scenario I can think of that requires clothing is if the Artisans have settled or travelled to climates colder than they evolved in. In that situation then a cloak wrapped around the entire body, including the wing membranes, is the simplest and most effective option, which can quickly be discarded if a short flight is required. The flight membranes would be a major source of heat loss, like elephants' ears, so covering them in cold weather is essential.

Regarding armour - it depends on who or what they are fighting. Assuming that they are optimised for flying/gliding, with hollow bones and the bulk of their musculature supporting their wings with a keel-like breastbone, ground fighting is something they would be really bad at compared to humans. However, if Artisans are the only species around and doctrine requires boots on the ground then the best option is helmet, light greaves, large shield and a one-handed weapon (probably a spear). Omitting chest armour is bad, but badly fitting chest armour that will impede movement is worse. The advantage of minimal armour is that if unburdened flight becomes necessary then any or all of the shield, spear and helmet can be discarded quickly.

The wing has not been described in detail, but depending on its structure it might be possible to attach a buckler near the tip of one or both wings to provide additional protection. If the Artisans are like many bird species and have superior eyesight, their use of the shield and bucklers (if fitted) may make them much more effective at spotting and deflecting incoming missiles compared to humans, reducing their dependence on armour.

  • $\begingroup$ They have pterodactyl like wings--two fingers for flight and three for a "hand". A buckler would be perfect :) $\endgroup$
    – Nightmare
    Commented Apr 4 at 16:08

If you can only fasten clothing at neck and knee without interfering with the membrane and everything has to be open at the sides as you appear to have described you have two broad options.

  1. A Borat style mankini .. or more substantially basically a sheet passed between the legs the two ends pulled up over the body back and front and corners tied together over the shoulder.

  2. A basic sort of tabard that's basically a sheet with a hole cut for the head (fastenings and garter 'belts' below the knee optional).

You could wear both of course.

More normal (to us) clothing might be worn over the membrane if the membrane is anything like that of sugar glider or flying squirrel, you just wouldn't be able to use the membrane to fly or glide without stripping off first .. but if the membrane is like a bat or pterosaur wing that's not an option.

The armour you say they wear is simply not going to be an option for them unless it conforms to one of those two basic designs as well, which leaves the limbs and sides unarmoured other than by using pieces like a cuff bracelet or bangle (open one side) slid onto the limb from the end and squeezed to grip and hold in place, which could be used, for the sides there's nothing you can do.


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