How to Tie a Bandana

Girl wearing a bandana
Basic Tips for Tying Bandanas
Bandanas are simple, yet versatile tools for any woman’s accessory collection. They’re 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 let’s 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:
Don’t 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:
How to tie a bandana as a headband
Step One:
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.
Step Two:
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.
Step Three:
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.
Step Four:
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.
{Note: if wearing the bandana as an Alice band, you can also tie the bandana with the knot at the top of the head and tuck the ends under for visual interest. Also, if tying the bandana under your hair is too difficult, you can tie it at the top of the head, pull the band down around your neck, turn it so that the knot is in the back, and then lift it again into place.}
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(Photo: Mike Von / Unsplash)