How To Guides

Beat The Heat With Polymer Gel Neckbands

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.


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



  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. 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

    stitching. Press.

  4. 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.

  5. Carefully pour the polymer granules into the tube (about two

    tablespoons). Stitch the tube closed. Reinforce with another row of


  6. 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

    "Cool Band."

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.]

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