Types of Sikh Turbans

Updated April 17, 2017

The religion of Sikhism originated in the 15th century in northern India. As a token of love and devotion, followers of this system of belief, called Sikhs, are required to abstain from cutting their hair and must wrap it up in a turban. Both male and female Sikhs wear the turban as a symbol of piety, spirituality and distinction; however, it is mostly donned by male worshippers as it was first associated with male warriors.

Simple Turban

Turban cloths are usually 16 feet long and 3 feet wide, and made of 100 per cent cotton. This style is the most common and entails the cloth to be folded in halves until it is four to five inches wide, and then wrapped around the head of the wearer. It can be a casual look that is worn both indoors and outdoors, or fashioned with more expensive materials such as silk for festive occasions.

Nok Turban

The Nok turban style, also called the Double Patti, is double wide. In this style, 19.7 feet of turban cloth is cut in half to make two 9.85 feet pieces, which are then sewn together width-wise. As such, the turban is much larger, thus requiring fewer wraps around the head as it covers more head space with each wrap. The wearer needs to have tied his hair up in a high knot before the wrapping begins.

Dhamala Turban

The Dhamala way of styling the turban requires two 13.8 inches wide pieces of cloth. One piece should measure 16 feet, and the other 36 feet. The wearer's hair is tied up in a high knot, and the first cloth is wrapped around it several times until the entirety of the bun is covered. The longer piece of material, which has a knot at the end to make sure it stays on the wearer's head, is placed on the head, the knot being at the base. The cloth is then wrapped tightly around the person's entire head.

House Turban

The house turban is worn around the house or to do sports. Kids mostly don this type of turban, or adults wear it underneath fuller turban styles. The cloth, usually 4.9 feet to 6.5 feet long, may vary in length depending on the wearer's preference. First, the wearer ties the knot on top of his head. The turban cloth is then placed on the head, the knotted area of the cloth being at the base. The two ends of the material are brought to the front and twisted at the centre of the forehead. It is then wrapped around the hair knot once, folded in half, and then wrapped around the rest of the head.

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About the Author

Magdalene Ayuk began writing professionally in 2006. She has served as Voices editor for Dawson's student newspaper, snagged an internship with online magazine M.I.S.S., worked as a ghostwriter and written commentaries related to the black Montreal community for "Community Contact." Ayuk attended Concordia University where she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature with a minor in Spanish.