What are Cool Ties?
Cool Ties keep you cool for hours on end during a hot day. Simply wrap the tie around your neck as you work or exercise outdoors. Watch as the sweat disappears and the cool fabric keeps your neck happy and cold.
Cool Ties are a simple product that can be created at home. All it takes is a piece of fabric, a sewing machine, and water absorbing powder like the kind found in gardening sections.
How do they Work?
Cool Ties work by evaporative cooling. The wet fabric conducts heat out away from the neck for hours, even if the fabric is at room temperature. The fabric also pulls sweat off the skin which also keeps the user dry and cool. The towel doesn’t slip and slide when wet because the absorbing crystals, not the fabric, hold the water. These water absorbing crystals can absorb over 100 times their weight in water. A few teaspoons of the crystals can fill an entire Cool Tie.
What are the Water Absorbing Crystals Made out of?
Water absorbing crystals sell to consumers as a white powder. The material is called a superabsorbent polymers (or SAP), and it’s a type of salt. Like other salts, the polymer really likes water. These polymers are capable of absorbing over 100 times their weight in water.
They are sometimes called crystals because they appear like small crystals when they absorb the maximum amount of water they can hold. They take the color of whatever liquid they absorb, so when the water is clear they will appear like clear little crystals.
Superabsorbent polymers exist in diapers and have been tested heavily as a result. Since the polymers are related to salt, they are non-toxic and safe to be touched and handled. Just don’t eat them.
Advantages of Water Absorbing Crystals
Water absorbing crystals in a Cool Tie help protect against skin irritation. When wet skin rubs against a surface (even fabric) again and again, irritation develops. Water absorbing crystals wick away moisture released by the body which keeps skin dry. This protects users from nasty irritation.
When the water absorbing crystals pull sweat away, they also reduce the risk of spreading diseases. Water-borne pathogens become trapped in the crystals and any disease that transfers via sweat will be trapped in the crystals along with the sweat.
Instructions for Using your Cool Tie
Once your tie is ready for use, be sure to expose it to water before your first use. You will want to make sure that the water absorbing crystals have been dispersed equally in the tie. Soak it in water and use your hands to make sure the absorbing crystals inside make a nice, equal spread down the length of the tie.
If the tie has been filed with too many absorption crystals, the extra ‘mush’ may come out of the fabric. Don’t worry. It’s harmless. Just remove the excess.
A cool tie can be refrigerated in advance to help cool you faster. Additionally, since they’re inexpensive, you can use several at a time and keep one cold in a refrigerator while you use the other.
Is a Cool Tie with Water Absorbing Crystals any better than PVA Towels and Products?
Many cooling towels and neckties make use of PVA cloth. PVA (or polyvinyl acetate) is a type of plastic used in many cooling towels to help them retain moisture and thereby increase their cooling ability. Just like a Cool Tie these towels use evaporation to cool their wearers.
These soft-to-the-touch towels recently grew in popularity and can be found in stores under a number of brand names. They’re also fairly inexpensive which is nice.
One of the downsides of these fabrics is that they tend to become rigid when dry. Because the fabric is partly or entirely made from a plastic, when dry the material reverts to feeling very much like the plastic it is. It is also not as good at water retention as water absorbing crystals. A Cool Tie can hold much more water than a PVA towel and therefore keep wearers cooler for longer.
Is a Cool Tie with Water Absorbing Crystals any better than a Chamois Cloth?
Chamois has been used for centuries as a cleaning cloth. Originally a type of soft leather, the cloth is popular because it is non-abrasive and porous. Compared to other cloth and leather it can absorb water well. Chamois is a great material for polishing and wiping surfaces dry.
Like PVA towels, Chamois cloth relies on evaporation to cool. This evaporation depends on how well the fabric holds and retains water. If it dries out, it’s useless. Chamois cloth does not retain water as well as water absorbing crystals in a Cool Tie. The cloth does a great job at absorbing water, but the special properties of superabsorbent polymers make them unmatched when it comes to water absorption.