A local lady covered the working area of a pair of knit gloves for her husband with piece of flannel that she cut from an old flannel shirt. She did such a cute job -- one big circle in the palm and 4 smaller circles just under the fingers. It looked like a pawprint :-) I believe she used a blanket stitch edging around it to hold it in place.
Perhaps something similar might work on your husband's sweater's elbows. Starting with a lightweight fabric, you can cut the piece to suit the size needed, to add a stylish look.
(posted by me this day on spindlers)