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How to Tie a Turban Knot

Updated July 20, 2017

Turbans are traditionally worn by men from the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. They are created by wrapping a long cotton scarf around the head and knotting it in place. Turbans are also popular in the fashion world. Using a cotton fabric will allow you to work the different turban styles with ease. During the wrapping process, make each wrap as tight as desired to prevent the scarf from loosening or coming undone.

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  1. Tie a big knot at one end of a 9-foot scarf. Center the knot on the back of your neck, draping the loose end over the top of your head.

  2. Take your fist and squeeze together the fabric near the top of your forehead. This will make a tight fitted cap on the top of your head.

  3. Remove your fist and start twisting the fabric tightly about 2 inches away from your forehead. Allow the fabric to coil naturally into a tight circle resting on your forehead.

  4. Wrap the rest of the fabric around your entire head twice without going lower than your forehead. Tuck all excess fabric into the folds created in the step above. The back knot can be untied and wrapped around the face if desired.

  5. Tie a patka, or head cap, around your head tight before starting to wrap the scarf.

  6. Fold your scarf in half vertically, repeating this process until you have a long, skinny strip. The scarf should be anywhere between 4 to 5 inches wide, depending on your personal taste.

  7. Roll the scarf up inward until you have a circular shape. This will make it easier for you to handle the whole scarf at once during the wrapping process.

  8. Pull out one end to allocate how much scarf you want to work with for the start. Basically you are creating the first strip to wrap around your head. A bigger head will require bigger strips, while a smaller head will require smaller strips.

  9. Grip the end of the first pulled strip with in teeth. Start pulling the entire scarf to your left cheek. Continue wrapping to the left until it reaches the back of your head.

  10. Continue pulling the scarf upwards until it reaches your right temple. A diagonal line has now been made in the back of your head or neck area. Continue to pull across your forehead and down towards your left cheek, following your hair line.

  11. Release the end from your teeth; if the turban is wrapped tight enough, it should stay in place. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 again, lining the second strip right below the first one.

  12. Center the scarf in the middle of your forehead with each wrap. The right side of your head will always have the newest strip hit below the last strip wrapped, while the left side will always have the newest strip hit above the last strip wrapped.

  13. Repeat this wrapping process until you have completed six strips. You will be able to clearly make out the six levels of wrapping by turning your head from side to side. If you can't make out the six levels, undo the turban and start the wrapping process again from the beginning.

  14. Take remaining end of the scarf and tuck it into the top back end of your turban, being careful not to unravel your wrapping. Be gentle when tucking in the end piece, since the layers are fragile.

  15. Find the first strip you created -- the one closest to your head -- and pull it up gently and slowly, over the top of the turban. Continue to pull until the beginning end piece is almost tucked into the back of the turban.

  16. Open up the first strip -- the one you have just pulled over your head -- as much as possible. Drape the flattened fold across the top of your head. Tuck in all edges of this strip of fabric, completely covering the your head.

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Things You'll Need

  • 9-foot cotton turban scarf, or pagh
  • 1 patka, or any head cap

About the Author

Jenny Torres has been writing professionally since 2009. She is also a creative writer and has been published in a Seattle blog about arts, music and theater. Torres holds a Bachelor of Science in advertising from the Art Institute of California-San Diego.

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