Rice? Why Rice? Before I answer that, I have a puzzle.
What is this:
It's a quilted heat pad for the table. The top is a quilted square, sewn to a fleece bottom. Seams run from top to bottom to form tubes, which are then filled with RICE. I also add herbs to the rice. For heat pads that go on the table, I'll use cooking herbs like bay, basil and such. I also have one for deserts, which have cinnamon and nutmeg in those.
Rice absorbs and holds heat. Other grains can also be used, each with their own charactoristics. Many people swear by flaxseed and cherry pits. I use rice, as it is generally the least expensive.
Besides protecting other surfaces from heat damage, the properties of rice are great for pillows. These pillows can be heated in the microwave, or placed in the freezer to provide both hot and cold treatments to the body. Different sizes and shapes are better for different things.
This red pillow is rectangular in shape, and loosely filled. It is great for the back (as shown with my wonderful hubby) as well as any other larger areas of the body. I use this one quite a bit for both my shoulder and to warm my hands in the morning when my arthritis is bad.
The most commonly seen pillows are neck pillows. Long, thin tubes, filled more than the one above, and set on the neck. Yet, they can be used anywhere that you need to wrap - wrists, knees and ankles are other places the neck pillows work well, as shown here with my son.
Eye pillows are another use. A small rectange, medium amount of rice, with soothing herbs such as lavander or chamomille are great to relieve many types of headaches.
The problem with most rice pillows is that they are not easily washed. So, for most of mine, I make the pillow, then create a sleeve to go over it, generally from a thin flannel material. It allows the heat through, but can be easily removed and thrown into the washer.
Rice pillows with sleeves will soon be available through our Etsy store.