Bandanas are simple, yet versatile tools for any womanís accessory collection. Theyíre more casual versions of a scarf, and when properly applied to a given situation, they
can replace several different hair accessories.
Since they are usually made from cotton fibers, they are absorbent and can take a wide variety of colors and patterning techniques, so that you can find bandanas in nearly
any color you can imagine, as well as a wide range of designs and even character and themed styles. In older generations, bandanas were considered true multipurpose tools. In addition to their original use as
handkerchiefs and neck wear to help keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter, bandanas could be tied in different fashions to make them into small sacks for carrying. They were used to carry dry goods and
small shopping items, carry lunches and foodstuffs by workers in various industries, and who can forget the iconographic image of the hobo with all his belongings tied up in a bandana which was then secured to a
stick which he lay over his shoulder.
Today, we tend not to rely on bandanas for more than fashion accessorizing, but they are still versatile in that role. So letís take a look at the different methods of tying
bandanas to wear on the head.
Headband or Alice Band
One of the simplest and oldest uses of bandanas is as a headband, tied to keep the sweat from the eyes and the hair out of the face. The conversion of the regular bandana
shape into a headband/Alice band is much simpler than many expect. However, there is one tip that many people never think of on their own which can make a big difference in the finished look:
Donít ROLL your bandana to create the headband shape. Doing so only leaves the two ends of the diagonal fold flapping loose. Instead fold the bandana, and if you want to make
a truly neat and tidy fold, use this method:
(Click to enlarge)
Spread your bandana out on a flat surface and smooth it out. Fold the bandana diagonally and create a triangular shape. Smooth along the folded line to crease the fabric.
Reopen your bandana and take the ends you previously brought together and bring them to the central crease. The points of the opposing corners should touch in the center. Smooth
the newly folded edges to crease them and allow them to lie flat.
Continue the folding process by halving the folded fabric on either side of the central crease and bringing the folded edges in to the center. If you have a extra-large
bandana, you can repeat this step as many times as needed to get the desired width of the finished band.
Fold the outer edges of the bandana in a final time along the central crease. You can now place the center of the bandana/headband at your forehead and draw the ends around
to the base of the skull, under the hair for an Alice band, or simply draw the ends straight back along the tops of the ears to form a traditional headband configuration.