The Balaclava Story

During the Crimean War (1854-56) British, French and Turkish soldiers fought against the Russians in S.W. Crimea of the Soviet Union. The Russian village of Balaklava was captured and set up as a base for the allies. Temperatures there were frigid and the men suffered from hunger and cold. Immortalized by Tennyson in "The Charge of the Light Brigade", a disastrous battle was fought at Balaklava, involving miscommunications between British commander Lord Raglan and cavalry leader Lord Cardigan. (It’s in the history books!) British women, in an effort to support their men, designed and made warm clothing for them, including hoods that covered the head, neck and shoulders. Thus the Balaclava was born and concurrently, two new styles of sweaters!

Made originally from sheep’s wool, today Minikins makes these protective hoods from warm, washable polarfleece® which is gentle enough on the face and neck for even infants to wear. Made in a variety of brilliant colors and easily slipped over the head, children love them. They eliminate the need for scarves and dickies.

Minikins first designed the hats for infants and children, but soon saw a large demand from adults. Men and women both find the balaclava to be the perfect protection during winter activities such as walking, jogging, ice- fishing, snowmobiling and XC skiing. They have long been standard attire for mountaineers and ice climbers. Balaclavas also make wonderful helmet liners for construction and utility workers.

Minikins now carries a new expedition balaclava that has an adjustable closure around the face for maximum coverage and protection.