CROCHETED OR KNITTED TROPICAL SORE BANDAGES  - important update-see below: JUNE 2017

       Tropical sore bandagesleprosy bandages
From D.O.V.E. who has been taking the leprosy bandages:

We learned that, while leprosy continues, most of the open sores which needed bandaging have been healed. Also, they have been able to start utilizing disposable gauze for bandaging. It is readily available there locally and does not pose the challenge of trying to wash and sterilize. The cost for purchase of disposables is just a fraction of the cost and effort for our volunteers to make the knit bandages, ship them to Ohio. D.O.V.E. Fund volunteers packaging/handling, plus increased expenses incurred transporting them to Vietnam and distributing them within the country. Therefore, the decision has been made to ask our volunteers to use up their supply of cotton thread and turn in their completed bandages by the end of 2017. "  Linda Stocker

Please send all finished banages to DOVE by the end of November 2017.

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.
*Put in plastic bag, remove air, and seal.

If you wish to print these patterns, left click on your mouse and hold the button down, drag the curser over the words you wish to print to highlight them, then let go of button.  Hit ctrl-C to copy.  Then open up WORD and paste (ctrl-V) it in there.

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.
8 sts = 1"  12 rows = 1"

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.


For the latest photos and info on when to send bandages etc please go to their BLOG here. 

They are supporting 
TOP ('Tours of Peace' ~ trips Vietnam Vets make) - They take these bandages personally to Hansen's Disease Settlement in Vietnam.  They also take school supplies, medical needs, and such.

From the DOVE website
AFTER you have woven the ends back into the stitches, wash the bandages, roll them and secure with a large safety pin. Put in plastic bag (several to a bag if desired), remove air, and seal."
"Please enclose in your box of finished bandages a sheet of paper (8 x 11) with your name, address, phone and e-mail contact information (to save us postage, if you have an e-mail address). Mail your package to the following address:"

Shipping, Tracking & Notification:
All bandages should be shipped direct to our new East Coast Bandage Brigade collection location addressed like this:

Roland  Southard
115 East Back Bay Road
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Roland Southard can also be contacted at: (419)823-6897
Linda Stocker can be contacted at: (360)231-4212  

if you just have a few feel free to send them in a sturdy envelope.  If you get tracking as a shipping option you will be able to verify their arrival online.

How tight or loose should the bandages be?
It should be what I call a 'medium-tight', not strangling, but fairly close, with breathable holes. When they are washed they do shrink a little and make it a little tighter but not a lot.  If yours look Mesh-like you may want to switch to a smaller hook  (try the D) if it's looking really loose and make a chain of about 26 sts or so.   Use a size 2 knitting needle if your knitting is loose.

How long does a bandage take to make?
It takes me 1 hour to knit about 3" of bandage that is 4" wide, so about 16 hours to complete one 48" bandage.
Crochet might be faster, but I don't do well crocheting them so I don't know how long it takes to make one that way, it's been a while since I've crocheted a bandage.)

My bandage looks terrible,  will they still want it?
Please know that the bandages do NOT have to 'perfect', so don't let that stop you if you are afraid yours is not 'straight' enough or whatever.  Each one is cherished and gratefully accepted. I always wash the bandages.  The bandages do tighten up and shrink a bit after washing.

Why Handmade Bandages and not Storebought?
I wrote to LDS Humanitarian for the answer:  "The leper bandages breathe better, and can be sterilized for reuse." Plus, I found out recently that people with leprosy wear these bandages on their stumps as well as on sores, and the bandages become like their shoes as they move on their stumps.  Gauze would wear out so fast.

Blind leper with bandage

"One of the most healing things we do with the leprosy-affected people of India is simply to touch them:  to give them "high-fives", hugs, handshakes, and kisses.  Greater than the suffering caused by their disease, is the suffering caused by society's declaring them to be untouchables.  The bandages are one way we can begin to heal their social wounds. That is the secret of the healing power of the bandages that are so lovingly made by so many.  The very fact that they take dozens and dozens of hours, testifies of the love another person has for the leprosy-affected.  Instead of pushing the leprosy patient aside, the bandage-makers make a personal sacrifice of time to serve them.  This is the greatest value of the bandages!"  Becky Douglas with Rising Star Outreach.


Many 3rd world countries like India, Vietnam etc still have victims of LEPROSY or as it is known today Hansons Disease.  They are outcasts in society and life is not kind to them. You can help make life a little easier for them by making and donating these handmade bandages to wrap their wounds. LDS Humanitarian Services ships these bandages all over the world-wherever they are needed, to people with leprosy or other tropical diseases, and to those in natural disasters who made need them.


Leprosy info

*Touching article*  about a bandage one of my readers sent, that appeared in Jan 8, 2005 LDS Church News.

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