It’s hot out there … and even hotter in some of our sewing rooms! Polymer gel-filled neckbands can be a very effective way to make hot days much more comfortable.
There are so many cute cotton prints out there – these can be a fashion statement as well as a survival tool! One container of gel crystals (available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. in the gardening section) will make many neckbands – make a few extra for friends and family.
This project comes from Washington’s very own Joy Polk, a Clothing and Textile Advisor from Benton/Franklin Counties, and Kay Hendrickson, Area Extension Agent for Washington State University.
- Tape measure
- Sewing machine
- Fabric: 4″ strip wide and 45″ long
(You can adjust the length to your personal preferences)
- Matching or contrasting thread
- One Tbsp. of polymer granules.NOTE: Do not use more than 2 Tbsp. or the band may ooze out a
You can find at any home or garden store. Polymer granules are used in
soil for moisture retention. One brand name to look for is “Soil
- Cut one strip of fabric 4″ wide from
a fabric that is at least 45″ wide. If you want to have a bow to tie
use a 60″ wide fabric.
- Fold the fabric strip in half
lengthwise (the piece should be 4″ by 22 1/2″). Mark the fold. This is
the center back of the neck band. Open up the fabric and measure and
mark 7″ on each side of the center back.
Fold the fabric right sides together the width of the strip (the piece
should now be 2″ by 45″.) Using a 5/8″ seam, stitch between the marks.
(There should be 14″ stitched–7″ on either side of center back.)
- The tail ends may be rounded or slanted to give a more finished
look. Finish the edges and ends of the rest of the band by turning and
- Turn tube right side out and press. At one end of the tube, stitch
to close, then double stitch for strength. At this point you should
have one end of the tube open.
- Carefully pour the polymer granules into the tube (about two
tablespoons). Stitch the tube closed. Reinforce with another row of
- To use the cool neck band, soak in cold water for a few seconds.
As the polymer granules soak up the water “mush” them around so the
jelly spreads out equally along the tube. Tie around your neck for a
Wet band before use, soaking for 5-15 minutes. For more cooling place
in refrigerator or freezer first.
[Thanks to: Joy Polk,
Benton/Franklin Clothing and Textile Advisor, and
Kay Hendrickson, Area
Extension Agent, Washington State University Cooperative Extension.]