The balaclava got its start in the Crimean War as a new addition to the British Army’s uniform. The British were unprepared for the harsh Ukrainian winter conditions, but were expected to adhere to their uniforms. To help the soldiers fight the cold and wind, British citizens knit warm clothing with government-issued patterns and regulation yarn, so that the clothing would both protect the soldiers and meet requirements. One of the items was a wool hat that could be worn under the helmet, which they dubbed the balaclava helmet and later shortened to balaclava. The balaclava remains a staple of activities in bitterly cold weather. Some styles of this protective headwear feature resilient fabrics and technology that wicks moisture, retains heat and eliminates odor.