I've come up with a few "cheaters". Hmm, let's see if I cam describe them in text.

I bought a device in the notions section of a fabric store, it's meant to provide "fit" to loose-fitting coats and dresses. It's a length of elastic with clips on each end, sorry, I forget the proper name. Usually you clip it to the back of a dress or coat, the elastic pulls the garment in, making your waistline more noticeable. Anyway, I clip it to the sides of a scarf, pull the scarf over my head around my neck, smooth my hair back, pull the scarf back up on top of my head, with the elastic under my hair. You might have to experiment to get the fit comfortable on you. That bit of elastic insures a tight fit without tying a large knot in the scarf. I can tie on more scarves which completely cover the elastic, or not. My long hair covers the elastic well enough.

Another "cheater" is a headband made of a rectangular piece of fabric, sewn into a tube, stuffed with quilt filling. The ends of the tube are folded to tapers, a length of elastic is sewn to the ends of the stuffed tube. The results should be a circular headband. The headband substitutes for a scarf, twisted into a rope, tied about the head. Again, pull the headband over your head around your neck, smooth back hair and/or underlaying scarf, pull the headband back up on top of your head, with the elastic under your hair and/or the tied ends of the underlaying scarf. Again, you can tie on more scarves to hide the elastic conpletely.

For a bit of jewelry on the forehead, I made a necklace-like thingie. Instead of a chain and clasp at the back of the neck, it has elastic, sized to fit my head. I put the thingie on, center the pendant on my forehead, then construct a turban on top. The pendant fills my high forehead.

OK, one more. I sew hairclips to the inside of hats. The clips are the kind which snap open when bent one way, snap shut when bent the other way. Put the hat on, clips open, make sure you pick up a bit of hair. Press on the clips, through the hat, snapping the clips shut. I've worn pillbox hats outdoors on many occasions, haven't lost one yet.

Hope this helps, Joya, Darach, Caid


As one who always wears turbans I can offer some experiences....

I use light weight cotton (bought from an India sari shop) about 3 yd long (sometimes more) and 15-22 inches wide.

I start by placing my long hair in a bun.

Take an indigo piece (measuring out an arms length for the face wrap) and placing that point in the middle of your forehead using the edge of the material just over my eyebrows (basically you have a short tail on one side and the longer one on the other), tie a single knot at the base of your neck. Using the longer tail firmly wrap around the hat brim area of your head - tucking in the tail inside the brim along the top. This gives you a non slipping base now.

I now apply a second layer of colorful material (matching or contrasting to what I am wear at that moment). This second turban can be any length of material - from 3 to 9 yd. but keep in mind that narrower material is easier to wrap. Start by wrapping the fabric a figure eight over the forehead and at the back of the head until out of fabric. This layer of turban does not have to be as tight.

I have woven strands of pearls and other brightly colored materials as an added contrast to the outermost layer of turban. Sometimes the strands of pearls have crossed under my chin for a more dramatic effect.

Back to the face wrap. I usually leave this laying on the back of my neck for sun protection. I must admit that I have on more than one occasion used this portion of fabric to hide my face when sneaking out into the night *evil grin*.

I will note that it IS possible to have bad turban days. Some time this process can take less than two minutes and OTHERS can be 30 minutes *smile*.

Lady Rozalynd of Thornabee on Tees aka Rozie


A friend in my mundane middle eastern dance class taught me this trick for keeping something on your head (it's a nurse's trick that they used to keep those white caps on):

Sew a ribbon loop on the underside of your veil. Put your veil on and pick up a small section of hair under the loop of ribbon. Take two bobbie pins and slide them into the hair and the ribbon in the shape of an X. I've used this trick with veils and metal head pieces (tikas and other forehead jewelry) in mundane dance performances which included fast falls, and going from a prone position to a standing position, as well as quick turns.

Middle eastern turbans done with at least 6 yards of material (I cheat with mine and cut my fabric in half so the turban is only 20 some inches wide) don't need anything to hold them on as long as you aren't doing deep back bends or bending too far forward. Winding them is just a matter of practice - there are probably as many ways to wind them as there are people who wear them.

-Navazesh bint Nariman


I wear a turban regularly and don't need anything to keep it on, it is all done in the wrapping. I wear a type of turban most Sikh people wear (comes from india). I take a square of pretty material and drape it over my hair, (Which is long and put in a secure bun) then I wrap the cotton turban around my head. Start with a piece of material about 30ish inches wide, fold it over and over into a long rectangle. (this piece should be long enough to trail on the floor when you hold it to your forehead) Start at the center of your forehead and wrap it around the back of your head to meet in a point (Upside down V) in the center of your forehead. Then keep wrapping in a circle almost around your head, keeping it tight. The material should go over the top parts of your ears. Tuck the last bit of material into wherever you end up. Then if you want to take an identically sized piece of material, ( I use silk chiffon) damp it down and wring it out or shake it if you have a friend to help. Then wrap this piece around the same way. This not only gives the turban a smoother finished look, but it also keeps you cool as the water evaporates, great for pennsic. To finish it off like the Sikh women do, place another veil identical to your silk chiffon one over the whole and pin it with a decorative pin in the center above the upside down V. No pins, needles hatpin etc necessary. Honestly the idea of pins that near my head makes me shudder.

For a simple veil I use an agal which is the Arabic word for the cord/wrapped piece of material which is put on over a Keffiyah (the mans rectangular folded headpiece we see arabs wearing today.) I have seen pictures of women wearing them, although in the period sources I have read, it seems that mostly men wore these types of things. However, I will wear them anyway, as they are great for keeping the back of my neck un-sunburned! Hope this helps.

Yasmeena al-ja'fara al-harar bint Haroun

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