How to Make Neckerchiefs

 

 

 

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by Rick Seymour

Ever wonder why your Troop doesn't look like a Norman Rockwell painting?  One reason is the design of the Scout Neckerchief.  In the 1970s, the Neckerchief was relegated to its current position as an under-the-collar fashion accessory.   Baden-Powell designed the Neckerchief to protect the neck from sunburn, but even more important than this intended function was B-P's eye as an artist.  Around the world, a full-sized Neckerchief is the most striking aspect of the Scout Uniform!  The size of a Traditional Boy Scout Neckerchief is a square 32" X 32," and it is worn over the collar

Traditional Neckerchiefs are not available in your local Scout Shop.  To make your own, first look for the owner of a local "deep-discount" store who will sell you a bolt of material at his wholesale cost. If you buy your material by the bolt, each Neckerchief should cost about US$2. In the past I used a 100% "Wrinkle Free" Cotton material but most Scouts seem to prefer material that is softer and less "scratchy".

At your next Committee Meeting, ask if anyone "knows someone" who would be willing to hem the sides of the Neckerchiefs. It is easier to find such a volunteer if you "cut" the material yourself, which also helps eliminate misunderstandings and lengthy instructions.

To "cut" the individual Neckerchiefs, take the bolt of material and cut a notch or slit 33" from one of the sides, grab a side of the material in each hand, and RIP along this "seam" for the entire 25 yards of the bolt of material (it takes a bit of courage, but bless you, Auntie Beans, it really *does* work!).

Then cut a slit every 33" along this 25 yard length and rip across the width of the material to form 33" square pieces. It should take less than an hour to "cut" 27 Neckerchiefs out of a single 25 yard bolt of material. After the sides are hemmed, the final size will be about 32"square.

You will also be left with 25 yards of extra "discard" material that matches the official Group Neckerchiefs and can be used for trim on Patrol Flags, at Courts of Honor, and any number of other things that you might want to match to the group's  "official color" (I have thought of using it to make ribbons to award to Patrols that win weekly Patrol competitions, and would appreciate any ideas as to how to make ribbons quickly -- I guess all you need is a grommet maker).

If you closely examine Norman Rockwell paintings, old Scout literature, or the opening of the Indiana Jones movie with Jones as a Boy Scout, you will find that the early Neckerchiefs had NO patterns or Troop identifications! You can follow this tradition to get started cheaply (I would avoid silk screening).

Some Troops design a large, really cool inverted triangle patch for their Neckerchiefs that incorporates their Troop number and images of activities that their Scouts have experienced.  Images of these activities can be  also useful in recruiting their friends.  Consider images of rock climbing, white water canoeing, bears, rattlesnakes, or even campfires. These patches can be very impressive!

 

 

   

 

 


Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ How to Make Neckerchiefs ] Scouting with Neckerchief ] Necessary Necker ]

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Activity Pants ] Traditional Uniform ] Otter Uniform ] TimberWolf Uniform ] B-P Examples ] B-P Shirts How-To ] B-P's Uniform ] Scout Neckerchief ] Hats Inside? ] Dan Beard Camp Uniform ] Daniel Boone Costume ] Gumption for Chumps ] Officer Badges ] Woodcraft Honor Band ] Woodcraft Council Robes ] Sewing Patches ] SM Hatpins ] Scouting for Boys ] Cheap Backpacking Socks ] New_Uniform ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.