Talk:Balaclava (clothing)

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exposing only the eyes and often the nose[edit]

"exposing only the eyes and often the nose" - Does this mean that the version with a big round hole in the front that exposes the whole face is not a balaclava? -- Heron 12:24, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I dunno about that but I'm now thinking that we should have a separate article for ski-mask and balaclava. Traditionally a balaclava is made of wool and can be rolled up into a hat. It predates the popularity of skiing by quite some time. Because of the origin of the term the word Balaclava is more well-known in Britain than America. Mintguy (T)

Perhaps two articles would be best. I moved this to ski mask because on google "ski mask" got many more hits than "balaclava"... but, if they're different then that's irrelevant. I don't know much about either of them, so I'll leave it to someone else to split the page, if that would be best. fabiform | talk 19:30, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Please please please don't use Google as a guide to relative worldwide usage. All google hits prove is that there are more websites in the USA than in the rest of the world. Mintguy (T) 21:22, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't think that either is more prevalent in the US. I thought that a ski mask was something else for the longest time. I have been told that the "big round hole" one is a balaclava, while a ski mask has separate holes for each eye, but there doesn't seem to be a difference in popular usage.


I added a reference to outdoor sports activities because that is how I initially heard of a balaclava. I was looking for ski gear, and a balaclava was recommended. Upon researching in the wiki, I found no reference for skiing or outdoor sports usage. "Real world" research at REI and other outdoor "outfitters" revealed such use.

Here in the UK they are both called baraclavas (but when we think of one we tend to think of the one with only three small holes for the eyes and the mouth - perhaps because i grew up in a generation when that was what the irish paramilitaries on TV wore). the only time ive ever heard it been called a ski mask is on american tv and books... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.16.153.191 (talk) 01:52, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[]

non-gun image[edit]

Does anyone have a Balaclava image which doesn't involve firearms? Perhaps something sports/weather-related? I'm not quite comfortable propagating the Hollywood stereotype that all balaclava-wearers are either muggers or SAS. I'm not pushing any liberal-hippie-gun-control-cabal-agenda, I'm just saying that balaclavas have plenty of non-violent uses. --LuciferBlack 21:30, 19 April 2006 (UTC)[]

The picture should stay. I'm willing to bet that the average person will associate the primary use of a balaclava being that of concealing one's identity (ostensibly to commit a violent or criminal act) anyways.
The average person living in a warm climate might. I live where it's winter much of the year and I certainly don't associate a ski-mask with violent crimes. 69.207.22.219 04:12, 22 June 2006 (UTC)[]
It doesn't matter if the average person associates balaclavas with criminal activity (which is disputable). The current image doesn't conform to NPOV standards. - 85.210.112.55 10:49, 29 June 2006 (UTC)[]
I couldn't find a skier in a balaclava after looking at around 4 dozen bio articles from arbitrarily selected skier categories and around 20 pictures. Ski masks don't seem to be very popular for pictures... --CalculatinAvatar(C-T) 08:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)[]

I found a fair-use photo that I think will satisfy concerns over NPOV. It shows a ski mask on a mannequin head. As neutral as neutral can be, I'd say. SchuminWeb (Talk) 06:09, 8 October 2006 (UTC)[]

Are you mad?If you pictured someone wearing a balaclava then it's more than likely going to be a criminal. 83.70.73.88

More than likely going to be a criminal ??? The image I posted yesterday shows a United States Antarctic Program issued balaclava, for use at a scientific station.Gmarsden 20:02, 10 November 2006 (UTC)[]
I reverted it per the previous discussion on this talk page. Spebudmak 20:40, 10 November 2006 (UTC)[]

It might be worthwhile to include something about the "omg ski masks used to kill people and are bad" stereotype. I don't think that's the most notable use for them, though. I know a lot of bicyclists who use them in winter. We'd need a source for it, though.IMFromKathlene 00:28, 1 December 2006 (UTC)[]

I agree with the sentiment that we shouldn't include the stereotype unless there's a source. I live where balaclavas are a common article of clothing (kids especially love them because it makes them look like a ninja - as in the noble, hollywood/anime superhero version, not the assassin). I've seen a lot of movies and played video games where the bad guys wore them, but is there any evidence of prominent use by criminals? And then, is it localized to a particular group or region? The ShadowSkull (talkcontribs) 04:48, 2 January 2011 (UTC)[]

Heat Exchange Balaclavas[edit]

I was surprised to find no reference to heat exchange balaclavas in the discussion. Heat exchangers have been around for over 100 years and commercially available and affordable for over 15 years. The concept is simple and easily verified. Heat is captured from the exhaled air and stored in a heat exchanger. The heat is then released into the inhaled air and the user is breathing fresh air, but it is warmed up. There are many benefits of breathing warm air. The largest is the ability to maintain body heat. 25% to 50% of one's body heat is lost through respiration (depending on activity level, respiration rate, and other clothing.) Other benefits include protection of the respiratory system from cold air. This is a tremendous benefit for athsmatics for whom cold air is a trigger for an attack. 71.208.205.114 15:17, 24 April 2007 (UTC)psolar[]

All sounds appropriate for the article. Why don't you add it? --Mikebrand 01:42, 25 April 2007 (UTC)[]

Other Variants?[edit]

This article should also include some of the other variants such as two-holed (eyes) and three-holed (eyes and mouth). Another picture or two couldn't hurt as well...I don't personally have a balaclava though. elateral 22:38, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, we need more description of the different variations, such as the three-hole variety commonly referred to as a "ski mask". As for more photos, though, I'd pass. Given the length of this article, we don't need any more photos unless this article gets dramatically longer. SchuminWeb (Talk) 17:04, 14 July 2007 (UTC)[]
Speeking of which, does anyone know what This is?Aryeonos (talk) 09:02, 17 July 2009 (UTC)[]
late to the table, but whole head coverings exposing just the face were around long before the debacle in the crimea. what were they called? and what would one call one not knitted? --86.151.106.75 (talk) 21:52, 20 March 2010 (UTC)[]

Well, there were whole head coverings for Knights, if this five year old magazine is to be trusted, called an "Arming Cap". Mostly to soften the hard metal on the head. But the originals, or so it says, were made from straw or rags. Or there are Coifs, sort of a wrap around the head sort of thing, which is essentially the same thing- but only in essence.'''Aryeonos''' (talk) 16:50, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[]

Balaclava related (and impossible to make up)[edit]

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=111736 --RCS (talk) 16:16, 12 January 2010 (UTC)[]

Balaklava vs Ski Mask[edit]

I always thought a ski mask had three holes, like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000ZQAFIQ/ref=dp_image_text_0?ie=UTF8&n=1036592&s=apparel

whereas a balaklava has one hole, like this: http://www.rei.com/product/725892

Am I alone in this?

Webbbbbbber (talk) 05:02, 7 September 2010 (UTC)[]

Nope! They are both balaclavas and both ski masks - just different styles is all. SchuminWeb (Talk) 05:28, 7 September 2010 (UTC)[]
Hi there, I wanted to chime in since I made those changes today. (BTW, I'm Kageskull just on a machine where I'm not comfortable logging in - long story). First note, I do wear a balaclava for any cold weather activity, including skiing. However, my understanding is that anything a skiier wears on his/her face is what they call their "ski mask" - in other words its more a personal term whereas a balaclava is a specific article of clothing. For example, some people wear those neoprene face masks (only covers the bottom of their face) and call it their ski mask. Also, do you have any reference for the two styles mentioned by Webbbbbbber as both being called a balaclava? In my time in the service a balaclava was very specifically the single holed head covering. 04:28, 2 January 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.62.84.16 (talk) []
Definitionally, I believe both are balaclavas, and additionally, I've heard both referred to as ski masks. SchuminWeb (Talk) 07:37, 2 January 2011 (UTC)[]
Just to make sure we're clear, what I was talking about is called a "half face mask" ([http://www.amazon.com/Rasta-NYE-Half-Face-Masks-Half/dp/B000WNT0GU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294002587&sr=8-1 here's one at Amazon]). There's also the full mask ([http://www.amazon.com/BLACK-NEOPRENE-WINTER-MOUTH-VENTS/dp/B000ZBH44O/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1294002587&sr=8-9 Amazon link]). I also know skiiers and other cold weather athletes, that have been wearing the skii beard (goofy, silly thing but amazingly warm, you can see it here). All of these things are marketed as ski masks, but none of which are a balaclava. The ShadowSkull (talkcontribs) 21:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)[]
Oh, dear, that beard is pretty funny looking.
However, going with WP:COMMONNAME, I believe that most associate the term "ski mask" with the balaclava, and thus it should stay pointed to this title. If we end up with articles about the other items (not inconceivable), then we can disambiguate via hatnotes. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:24, 3 January 2011 (UTC)[]
Sounds good, take care The Shadowskull 21:49, 3 January 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 164.214.1.54 (talk) []

Date of origin of term[edit]

I have added a reference in the lead section to the fact that the term 'balaclava' (like the other knitting/Crimean War-related names, cardigan and raglan) does not seem to have emerged during the period of the war, but instead later in the 19th century. However, I have not been able to check the source cited in ref.1 (Games 2007), so if that gives an actual 1850s/Crimean War period reference to the things being called balaclavas, perhaps somebody would kindly revert my edit accordingly! AgTigress (talk) 15:52, 23 November 2010 (UTC)[]

Indefinite article with 'Uhlan'[edit]

Nitpick: as a BE-speaker, I say a Uhlan, not an Uhlan. The word begins with a 'y' sound. Possibly AE-speakers start the word with 'oo', in which case it would, indeed, be 'an'. It is a minor point, of course, but I am just explaining why I changed it back to 'a' a couple of times. I shall now shrug my shoulders and let it stand. :-) AgTigress (talk) 22:27, 28 November 2010 (UTC)[]

Irish Terrorism Reference[edit]

This is an entry about a piece of clothing yet interestingly it's been turned into an advert for Irish Republican terrorism. The image of an IRA display is highly political and no doubt highly offense to millions of Irish people of all denominations. I came here to look at different types of balaclava not to be subjected to IRA propaganda. An image in and of itself showing non-specific/non-identifiable 'terrorist use' of the item is not offensive. But when when viewed with the caption which explains the specific politics of the display even mentioning the unit of the terrorist organization it is highly inflammatory. I can find no other reference to this picture on the web so would suggest it's been put here by a member of the IRA at this event or sympathizer. This conflict is thankfully over but the Peace Process is constantly under threat by those who want to return to killing and maiming. This type of Wikipedia exposure is likely to enable that return to terror in Ireland by romanticizing the IRA in young impressionable minds and by striking fear into the minds of those who themselves turned to terror to kill members of the Catholic community ie UDA. To preserve the peace this shold be replaced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stevexyg (talkcontribs) 12:02, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[]

Erroneous caption under the image of women wearing balaclavas in bright colors.[edit]

There is an error under the last image in this article, that I suspect to be an intentional troll. The images DOES NOT show "a group of prostitutes" from Russia. It shows the members of "Pussy Riot": a Russian feminist punk-rock protest group based in Moscow. They are not prostitutes. They are artists and activists. I propose to change the caption to reflect the actual facts and a hyperlink to the Pussy Riot wikipedia article.

Done by reverting the last edit --Tobias "ToMar" Maier (talk) 22:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)[]

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Balaclava helmet?[edit]

The page Deerstalker refers to this page. However, it seems to refer to a different type of headwear, also named "balaclava"? On the Deerstalker page, mention is made of the balaclava helmet also having two visors - a feature that I can't see in what is called "balaclava" here. This was the distinctive helmet worn by soldiers in the British military during the Crimean War (1853–56) as opposed to the ski mask now known as a Balaklava helmet.

 --Lasse Hillerøe Petersen (talk) 17:09, 27 February 2016 (UTC)[]

Facekini[edit]

Merge Facekini?--Zoupan 01:20, 13 May 2016 (UTC)[]

  • No. The Facekini is not a balaclava, it is a sun protection mask, developed in America. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 107.77.214.50 (talk) 09:46, 30 May 2016 (UTC)[]
  • Merge to section based on size and scope - balaclava being made from different materials, despite differences. Widefox; talk 14:33, 27 August 2016 (UTC)[]
  • Don't merge -- Facekini has its unique use as a swimwear much more related as a portmanteau to bikini, monokini, trikini, microkini, tankini, burkini etc. werldwayd (talk) 20:23, 8 July 2017 (UTC)[]

External links modified[edit]

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Mexican Police[edit]

Often times the Mexican police use Balaclava's on regular duty or during a drug raid. I'm surprised there was no pictures of mention of it. 172.114.196.164 (talk) 04:17, 8 February 2017 (UTC)[]

Military & helicopters[edit]

It might be worth mentioning that in military context balaclavas are also used to reduce dust, sand and debris from get in one's mouth or being inhaled in and around helicopter landings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.1.220.20 (talk) 15:39, 6 May 2017 (UTC)[]

Usages not mentioned[edit]

I don't think my primary associations with black blocs and bank robberies are particularly unique (of course, in the COVID-19 pandemic, balaclavas have acquired an additional use that is more respected), so I'm surprised that the article does not contain the slightest mention of them. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:51, 13 January 2021 (UTC)[]