Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Home Made "ACE" Bandages

This was just a little experiment to see what this pattern turned out like. Al though this could be categorized under preparedness, as medical supplies would be in high demand in a disaster type scenario, I chose to make this to accompany my herbal first aid kit and use now in fomentations etc. ACE brand bandages, and the like are not suitable to use in this way because of the materials, and lack of breathe-ability. The cotton that that these are made with fits the bill, as well as being washable, bleach-able, and if you need to, boil-able. Not to mention that they are extremely durable. So far my knitted bandage is a little over 2 1/2 feet. Its a great little project to mindlessly work on while putting my daughters down for their nap. It has even spawned a lesson in parenting.

Size: approximately 3" - 4"  inches wide by 4 feet long.
Material specifications: No. 10 knit Cro-sheen, 100% mercerized cotton in white, cream or ecru. 

(1 small ball 225 yds- should make 1 knitted bandage)

Knitting needles:
US 2 = 2.75 mm = UK size 12

US size 3 = 3.25 mm = UK size 10

Crochet hooks:

US size D = 3.00 mm = UK size 11

US size E = 3.50 mm = UK size 9

Do not use dyes/colors.

*When completed, roll bandages and secure with a large (2") safety pin.

Hand Knitted Bandage:

US size 2 = 2.75 mm = UK size 12 OR US size 3 = 3.25 mm = UK size 10
knitting needles if you knit average or loosely, size 3 needles if you knit tightly.
Cast on 24 to 27 stitches so the bandage measures 3"- 4" across.
Knit every row until bandage is desired length of about 4 feet long, then bind off, leaving a 2-3" tail to weave in.
(The edge looks neater if you slip the first stitch of each row instead of knitting it.)
Secure tail by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a small knot, and weaving end back through stitches.

Crocheted Bandage:
Use US size D = 3.00 mm = UK size 11 or US size E = 3.50 mm = UK size 9 (looser tension desirable).
Chain enough stitches (23-26) to measure 3" - 4"  in width.
(GAUGE: 23 chs and an E hook, and it takes about 6 rows to equal one inch.) 
Row 1: Single crochet into each chain. Chain 1 and turn. 
Rows 2: 
Single crochet into each sc across row. Ch 1 and turn. Continue to single crochet to end, chain 1 and turn
Row 3 - ? (4 feet long) Repeat row 2 until bandage measures about 4' long. Finish off by pulling thread through last loop and secure with a knot. Weave end back through stitches. I use a sewing needle to do this.


  1. What a fantastic idea! This would be a dramatically better use of crochet time than making yet another scarf - thank you so much for sharing! :0)

  2. Love this idea, I'll have to pick up some yarn today! Also I love your site, Keep it up!

  3. I also love your ideas! You have motivated me!

  4. Is there much difference between the crochet or knitted bandage? Just wondering if one has a greater stiffness to prevent rolling edges. Well and of course is the less stiff one more comfortable to wear. I would think placement and/or purpose might make one better than the other.

  5. these are a marvelous idea...thank you for sharing it!

  6. I think this is also the pattern used for leper bandages in third world countries. I need to do some of these.

  7. This is a great idea and I shared it on my Blog and linked it back to your Blog so they can check your site out , I am new to your site and love it. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. What a wonderful idea. I have been looking to change more within my house to make it a little "greener". These fit the bill perfectly.

  9. this is such a smart idea! I'm always trying to keep busy work available to work on when I have free time and this is perfect. Not only is it extremely useful, but can be done without having to really pay attention to it. Thanks for posting!

  10. love this idea...I was actually thinking that it would also work for the non knitter/crocheter to get cotton sweaters at thrift store & cut circles around the sweater & quick sew a straight stitch on the edges for the same use. or if its an emergency & going to go into the trash when done, skip the edging sew step.

    We also use socks missing a match by cutting the foot off & using the upper part to be used as a band aide. Case in point. My daughter slid on some rocks & messed up her entire arm. No band aide would have sufficed. So we took the sock which we keep in our first aid kit & after applying the heals all salve I make, we slid the sock up the arm to hold the pain.

    These work wonderfully. We save all sizes from baby socks to adult.

  11. Lovely idea. Maybe you could make a sling or two to go with them.

  12. I love this idea!!! I crochet and have lots of extra yarn left over and this is a great way to use some of it up!!

  13. Great idea, can't wait to make some. Love the site, great tips and such helpful information...Thanks!!

  14. Gonna give this a try, when we travel I always have knitting or crochet in the car, keeps my mind off the traffic. Thank you for the idea Mary

  15. This is a great idea - love that they can be sterilized.

  16. Very good news for latex allergy folks! Many stretch type bandages contain hidden latex or rubberized thread. Thanks! will share with my FB group No Latex

  17. Any ideas on how to secure the ends when using them on someone? Safety pin? Or are there other ideas?

  18. These are great busy work..but they take forever! I've got two or three of them made...you need to make sure to use the un-dyed #10 bedspread cotton (the kind you make doilies out of) for these....

    1. Why does it have to be undyed? Just curious because I have lots of the thread, but it is all different colors.

    2. I'd guess undyed would be more for bandage use than for ACE wrap type purposes - you don't want any dyes getting into open wounds, nasty stuff.
      However, if you're using them for, say, a sprained ankle or something I'd imagine colored thread would be fine.

    3. We use 'undyed' bandages in the field to aid Us in spotting the first signs of infection,to monitor the amount of blood loss and clots. White bandages tell a story.
      --Retired EMT/ vol. Firefighter/ search and Rescue ( in the field 12+yrs)

  19. Does the yarn have to be mercerized cotton or would other yarn work just as well?

  20. Does the yarn have to be mercerized cotton or would other yarn work just as well?

  21. my grandmother used to make these for years and send them to her friend in another country for people who had leprosy. like you mentioned, they could boil them and reuse them, plus they were softer on their wounds than other things.

  22. This would go well with my knee and elbow pads that I fill with epsom salts, my husband uses them when he overdoes his workout to ease stiffness, I'd make them a little wider to make the wrap nice and snug.

  23. These were originally 'Tropical Sore bandages' - the LDS Church does not accept them anymore, but there is still a place who does, and the info is on my website where the original pattern was published.


    They are best secured shut with a large safety pin snce I saw that question. And yes, you need to use #10 cotton to make these. Otherwise they turn out very thick, and acrylic will not absorb. Hope this helps, Bev

  24. Thanks for your nice blog! Recently i’m promoting incontinence, wound care and bandages products named wound care . We’re selling Dignity, Molicare, Hartmann and Attends products.