There are a few Types of Thumb tip available to the magician.
They come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials.
In this article we go through the types you can find and preparing them for use.
The Fit of the Thumb Tip
The first item of business with your thumb tip is testing out a thumb tip that is manageable in size. Finding one that fits is all part of the learning curve in thumb tip magic.
Tips are either Plastic or rubber. If the tip you decide to use is plastic, you can place it in hot water which makes the tip very pliable for a custom fit (Be very careful not to burn yourself doing this, always allow the tip to cool slightly and remove all hot water inside the tip) Then once you have your size, place it in cold water so it sets correctly.
Rubber thumb tips do stretch slightly so a tighter tip is OK. However, any thumb tip will work properly if you have or chose the correct size.
Your Tip should fit just tight enough to stay on the thumb and not look like a swollen thumb, but also loose enough to fit a load (i.e. silk) in the tip.
Remember when the tip is loaded it should not pass the knuckle of the thumb. This area should fit snugly around the knuckle to keep the tip in place when loaded.
Sizes of thumb tips
Vernet thumb tips come in xs s m l xl in sizes, some come very long. If you find your thumb tip being a tad to long, you can cut them down to size to fit correctly.
Also if you want to use a thumb tip for a finger, you can buy a smaller thumb tip and cut it down to the finger joint just below the nail for a suitable finger tip.
The colour of the Thumb tip.
You need to select a colour which matches the colour of your skin. Plastic tips come in different colours, from very pale to dark brown.
You may find plastic tips are lighter in colour than a rubber one which seem to come in a darker colour most of the time.
Metal thumb tips
These types of thumb tips are getting rarer to find but are excellent in the use of fire and heat as they will not melt.
You may find that you can only find one size, if its a bit bigger than your thumb, i suggest padding it out with a piece of tyre inner tube around the inside edge, away from the end so it doesnt touch when you use heat in your magic trick.
If small you could use a hammer and rod of iron to bang it out a little into a shape. Then use enamel paint the colour of your skin to paint it.