How to Make a Cherokee Turban

Written by joy prescott
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How to Make a Cherokee Turban
Paisley fabric was used by many Southeastern Native American tribes for turbans. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The Cherokee first began to wear turbans after King George's ministers disliked the attire of Cherokee chiefs at court. The ministers gave the Cherokee garments left behind by a delegation from India; these included turbans. After the chiefs returned home, the turbans became highly-prized and worn only for special occasions. Today, turbans are still worn for special occasions as items of Cherokee regalia. You can tie a turban each time you want to wear one but tying a turban once over a modified ball cap allows you to repeatedly wear the turban without having to retie each time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 36-inch square of lightweight natural fabric such as silk, lightweight wool, cotton print or linen
  • Ball cap
  • Utility scissors
  • Sewing needle and thread

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  1. 1

    Obtain a square of fabric appropriate for the era such as a wool Scotch plaid scarf or a floral or paisley print. Plain solids are used less often.

  2. 2

    Cut the bill off the ball cap with a scissors and set aside.

  3. 3

    Fold the fabric in half diagonally to create a triangle. Then fold two to three inches of fabric up from the bottom towards the point of the triangle. Fold three or four more times to create a "cuff." The cuff must reach around the ball cap with the point reaching over and covering the top.

  4. 4

    Place the fabric over the ball cap with the cuff facing out and the point of the triangle at centre front. Twist the cuff ends several times and tie into an overhand knot over the point of the triangle. Pull tight. Bring the ends up and tuck into the cuff.

  5. 5

    Reach under the centre front, grab the point of the triangle and pull snug up and over the knot. Tuck in any loose edges of fabric.

  6. 6

    Carefully flip the ball cap and turban over. Stitch the turban to the modified ball cap in a few places in such a way that the stitches don't show on the outside.

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