Cool Tie / Neck Cooler

Sunday, July 07, 2013

A few years ago I made neck coolers for my sister who lives in Fresno, California (where there are more days when the temperature is over 100 degrees than I want to even think about.)  Today in the Boston area, we are in our 5th day of a heat wave and it seemed like a good time to write up my notes for these neck coolers (also known as cool tie) - which, by the way, work really, REALLY well!

Neck coolers are very easy to make. The hardest part is finding the polymer granules. I ordered 2 pounds of the medium 1-2mm polymer from Watersorb and that's enough for more neck coolers than I'll ever want to make. Luckily, there are a few other projects they can be used for. They can be added to soil for water retention (this might be helpful for those houseplants I keep forgetting to water!)  The crystals can also be warmed in a microwave (once they have been soaked) and used for heat pads -I'll save that project for the winter.

There are a few ways to make neck coolers and these sites have good instructions:

  • Sew a Fast & Easy Cool Neck Scarf
  • Polymer Cool Neck Bands (This site sells the crystals)
  • Neck Coolers

  •  And, as usual, I came up with my own! Here are mine :

    1. Fold in half a piece of cotton fabric around 45" long and 4" wide.

    2. Measure 7½"  from the center back and mark points. Sew seams from the corner to these marked points with ¼" seam allowance.   This step is represented with the red dashed lines.
    3. Turn the fabric and stitch the pockets (make sure that the edges of the open seam are folded to the inside). This step is represented with the green dashed lines
    4. Load the granules into the three pockets - a scant 1/4 teaspoon in each is all it takes. Trust me, don't use more than the recommended amount - the first cool tie I made had that stuff oozing out of the fabric because I just couldn't believe such a small amount would balloon that much! 
    5. Top stitch the outer edge closed.

     When giving as a gift I print a card with these instructions:
    Soak the cool tie in water for 15-20 minutes or until the granules have reached the desired expansion.  As the polymer granules soak up the water "mush" them around so the polymer spreads out equally along the tube.  Tie around your neck.

    Wear the Cool Tie around the neck or head and it will bring great relief from the heat! Keep one in a refrigerator or ice chest and as soon as the one being worn reaches body temperature, exchange it with the one in the cooler.

    Store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator, or hang to dry. The cool tie will rehydrate again using above instructions.
    Here's to keeping cool!


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