Neck wraps are a great way to help regulate your temperature, but sometimes it can be a hassle to have to keep re-wetting the cloth. With a little effort there is a simple to make the cooling benefits last longer. Learning how to make a cooling neck wrap doesn’t have to be complicated. Those that want a prettier result will have to sew a little bit. Those that want a functional neck wrap without the sewing just need to know how to tie a knot. The filling process in both methods is the same.
Sewing a Neck Wrap
If you want to sew your neck wrap, you will need:
- Strip of cotton fabric, about 25 inches by 5 inches
- Either a sewing machine or needle
- Polymer gel beads
To assemble your neck wrap you first need to determine which side of the fabric is the right side. The right side is brighter in color and is the part that you want to be seen when you are done. The wrong side tends to be lighter in color. This can be difficult to tell with some fabrics. Don’t panic if you cannot tell which is which, just pick a side to be right.
- Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the right sides together. The fabric should now be about 25 inches by 2.5 inches with the wrong side facing out. Pin the edges of the fabric to keep them together.
- Sew one short end of the fabric and the long end together. Remember to leave about a ½ inch between the edge of the fabric and your stitches.
- Trim the excess fabric along the outside of your stitches, leaving about ¼ inch edge between the edge of your fabric and your stitches. The fabric is now a tube about 24 inches by 2 inches
- Turn your fabric right side out.
- Measure about 5 to 6 inches up from the short closed end and sew across the tube. This will leave extra fabric to tie the neck tube around your neck.
- Take about 3 tablespoons of polymer gel beads. Pour them into your tube.
- Measure about 6 inches up from the open end and pin across the tube, so the bead won’t fall out.
- Sew across the tube at the pins.
- Fold the raw edges of the cut end into the tube. Then sew shut to seal.
No-Sew Neck Wrap
If you don’t want to sew your neck wrap, you’ll need:
- One clean knee high sock
- One or two shoe laces (strong string or ribbon works too)
- Polymer gel beads
If your shoelace is a several inches longer than your knee high sock, you will only need one lace. If it is not as long or just barely longer, then you’ll need two laces.
- If using one shoe lace, poke one end through the toe of the sock. Thread the shoe lace through the middle of the sock until shoe lace sticks out about 5 or 6 inches on either side. Tie a knot in the end of the shoe lace to keep from slipping. Continue to step 3. If the shoelace is not long enough you’ll need to use two shoe laces. Continue to step 2.
- If using two shoe laces, follow the same technique as in step 1, but don’t pull the one lace all the way through. Once the first end of the lace is through the toe and in the sock, take the other shoe lace and tie it to the part of the lace in the sock with a strong knot. Adjust the laces until they are about even on both sides.
- Pour about 3 tablespoons of polymer gel bead into your sock.
- Tie a knot in the open end of the sock to keep the beads from falling out, make sure the shoe laces are still sticking out on both ends.
You are almost ready to use your cooling neck wrap. Soak the neck wrap in cold or ice water for about 15 minutes. In this time the polymer gel beads will absorb the water and swell to fill the neck wrap. After the neck wrap is done soaking, drape it around your neck and secure it with the ties/shoe laces. Go about your business feeling cool and comfortable.
Finding Polymer Gel Beads
Polymer gel beads can be found at most large craft stores or garden shops. They are come in many different colors and are often used as decorative soil substitute for house plants. Some even come scented.
Now when the temperature rises you’ll be prepared, because you know how to make a cooling neck wrap.