Homemade Military Helmet Liners
Making helmet liners for military troops is a great way to show your support for the men and women serving overseas. Helmet liners are caps that pull down to cover the wearer’s head, neck, mouth and nose and have a large opening across the front at eye level. They provide warmth and comfort without obstructing view.
Helmet liners can be knitted or crocheted. Links to patterns for both techniques can be at skeinlane.com (see Resources). It is important to follow the gauge correctly to ensure that the helmet liners fit properly, as they will be worn under tight-fitting helmets.
It is imperative the only 100-percent wool yarn be used to make helmet liners. This is a safety issue. Cotton yarn is very flammable, and acrylic yarn will melt when exposed to flame. Wool yarn smolders, but it won’t burst into flames. For comfort, choose a wool yarn that is soft, not scratchy. The yarn color should be appropriate for the military, such as black, brown, tan, gray or olive.
Wool yarn labeled “superwash” has been treated to prevent shrinking and felting, a process during which the yarn fibers become very tight and compacted after laundering. For the convenience of troops, use superwash yarn if possible.
Attach a care label to your helmet liner. If the liner was made using superwash wool, it can be machine-washed in warm water and tumble-dried on low. If it is wool yarn other than superwash, it must be gently hand-washed in lukewarm water and laid out flat on a towel to dry. The wet liner can be squeezed and rolled in a towel to remove excess water, but never wrung.
If you are making just one helmet liner for a certain individual, contact that person to find out where it should be sent.
If you are making many helmet liners, perhaps as a group project, contact a military office or base in your area for instructions regarding where and ship them overseas for distribution. To avoid having to ship them, the helmet liners could be given to troops before they are deployed.
Many yarn shops across the national also have become involved in helmet-liner projects. Call around to see if you can join a local group that is making and distributing helmet liners.