|"Woman in a Blue Turban" by Delacroix. Dallas Museum of Art|
So you're looking for some awesome headgear? Hmm... well bowlers and top hats are all well and good (and done OFTEN). Fezzes are cool- but we've already covered their construction in a previous tutorial. Let's face it, folks, buying new hats can be expensive (but a joyous experience, one which I would recommend having with the folks over at Blonde Swan) and making them does take a certain degree of skill. But what I'm going to show you today is a hat that requires very little money, barely any sewing, and can be in a matter of minutes... with some practice.
|Sikh troops in the British army wearing their dastar turbans.|
It should be noted that this kind of turban is NOT a Sikh-style turban. That's an entirely different shape and method of wrapping (not to mention that it involves FAR more cloth). If you'd like to learn to wrap and tie a Dastar, I direct you to this helpful video. On a similar note, this is not a turban of state worn by some Muslim leaders in prior centuries which requires a framework or bolster underneath to get the correct shape.
|Me in another one of my North African/Turkish inspired outfits. Photo by Mark Moore. Cookies by Katherine Moore.|
- Sewing Machine (briefly, in fact you could probably hand-sew it with little hassle)
- A mirror... or a very clean window, in my case.
- 2-3 yards ( about 2.5m) of 42-45 inch (about 1m) width lightweight fabric. My personal recommendations: Cotton/linen/silk voile, crinkle cotton/gauze, cotton flannel. You'll probably want something that's a natural fiber- not because I'm a snob- but because it'll be much cooler to wear and the fiber won't slip against itself when you're tying the turban. My experience is that soft-folding fabrics work better than harder ones.
- Thread to match
- Scarves or sashes to be wound in (optional).
- Any additions such as veils, hat/stickpins, feathers, or broaches (optional... but fun).
-First of all, take out your length of fabric and wash it, either by machine or hand. It seems trivial, but it's necessary. Washing will make the fibers more pliable, and therefore a little friendlier to tie.
- Once your fabric is washed and dried, fold it in half lengthwise (as we learned in the previous tutorial, I prefer to call this 'hot dog' style. My elementary teachers would be proud). Sew along the edge where the two sides meet- basically you're making a long tube.
-Turn your tube right side out and there's your turban base!
Tying Instructions (with Optional Steps for Different Styles):
If you have long hair and don't want it peeking out, pull it into a ponytail or loose bun. If you have shorter hair, pin it or comb it back neatly.
-Optional step: If you would like to wear a veil with your turban, such as the style worn by Amazigh, Tuareg, or Bedouin peoples, do the following:
Using bobby pins or regular hair pins, attach your veil piece to your head, so it covers your head and potentially your shoulders. This is just to keep it from slipping around while you wrap.
- First step: Making sure that it's centered, place your turban on your head, unfolded. The longer edge of it should meet your forehead.
|Seen here: What happens when your cameraperson says something odd.|
|In some cultures a white turban is a symbol of leadership. In the context of this blog it means that the blogger had to improvise because her usual turbans were packed away somewhere.|
-Third step: There should be two loose tails in the back. Pulling the fabric taunt, bring one of the tails around the front of your head and tuck it over your ear.
-Optional step: If you have scarves you'd like to interweave into your turban (it does look pretty flash) then follow this step.
Tuck one end of your scarf or sash into one side of the base of your turban- again, a good anchor point would be either of your ears.
Before you proceed with step four, experiment with different ways of winding your sashes around the untucked tails of your turban. That's really all I can tell you. It's fun to play with the different colors and textures, though- just be sure to leave enough at the end of the sash to be able to securely tuck it near one of your ears.
-Fourth step: Next, take the second tail and repeat on the other side of your head. Be sure to free your ears if you like and make sure any unwanted flyaways are tucked away- although I have had fun with little beaded braids sticking out from the turban or my usual casually elegant errant curls. (Note: This is what the blogger calls her hair when it misbehaves... which it often does.. in an attempt to not look like a slob. Use it for your own hair! Hooray denial!)
|Keeping a hand along the base of your turban can help keep it stable as you tuck.|
|You can also pull folds down gently to cover your hairline if need be.|
-Optional step: If you want to have fun...
|Not bad, kinda snazzy.|
Admittedly this is the best part. Tack or pin on tassels, add feathered pins or hat pins, brooches, goggles, hamsters- the sky's the limit!
There you have it! Wasn't so hard, was it? Admittedly, tying any sort of turban takes practice to get it down quickly and smoothly, but after a half-dozen tries you should get it! Here are a few more ideas for this style of turban:
-If you like how your turban came out and want a more permanent hat, then with the turban still on your head (be careful! Or have a friend help you...) tack the folds down with needle and thread. Then transfer it onto a skull cap or a baseball cap with the bill torn off.
-Sometimes with how this turban is wrapped, there's a sort of 'empty space' near the back of the head. With the help of a very careful friend and some pins, you could tack a fez or similar hat in place there. It looks very swank and lets you show off that fez you made using Miss K's handy tutorial.
-Note: Unless tied very tightly or pinned in place, excessive physical activity such as hanging upside down or falling on the ground because you were in a stunt-fighting workshop will result in a de-turbaning. Luckily they're so easy to tie!
I love wearing these even when I'm not at a costumed event. When it's humid and hot in August or I have a day of cooking or propwork ahead of me I like to wear these to protect my hair and keep the back of my neck cool. Give it a try sometime and enjoy your turban!
|Note: It's important to get roommates involved in your creative process, particularly if they're tipsy. This is Josh. I'm keeping him quiet by having him hold the stem of my feather cluster.|