11 January 2015

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The Head Scarf: From Its Origins To Beyond


Before it became a highly popular fashion accessory, the head scarf was already an important and vital piece of clothing that women who abided by a certain code of dress due to their religious affiliation had to put on lest they be reprimanded. There are still countless women who must don this long piece of cloth to cover their hair, with some even being required to cover their entire head with only their faces or just their eyes being exposed, while there are many women who consider it nothing more than an optional accessory that they can choose to wear. 

Some believe that this practice of wearing this headdress made of cloth is limited to just the women of the Muslim faith. However, during the medieval period in continental Europe, women who were both married and were part of the Christian faith had to wear what was then known as a wimple or a piece of cloth that covered a woman’s head, including her hair, chin, and neck, leaving only the face peering out. Over time, the material used for the wimple became lighter and allowed the elaborately braided hair of women, a sign of peerage, to be somewhat seen. 

Nowadays, it is not just Muslim women who are required to have headwear by their religion. A married woman who is Orthodox Jewish wears a tichel or snood, a head scarf that is used to cover her hair. As stated in the Talmud, the text upon which a great number of practices in Judaism are derived, women must cover their hair so as to exemplify humility and modesty. While younger generations have turned to wearing a hat or something similar in place of the tichel or snood, there are still those who prefer to wear a scarf over their hair.

Over time, this head accessory has experienced a great deal of popularity and even though there are times that it may not be as “fashionable” to have it in one’s fashionista arsenal, like everything else in the world of fashion, it still keeps coming back with a vengeance and it will always have its loyal fans. Regardless of what season it may currently be, using a scarf can provide much needed protection from the heat from the sun’s rays, a few drops while running to get out of the rain, or a couple of snowflakes on a cold, wintery day.

There are different kinds of materials that can be used in the creation of a head scarf. From silk to cotton, there is bound to be a scarf that anyone can wear on their head to match whatever outfit they may have on. The designs can be very simple but a lot of scarves have designs printed on the cloth and there are also some that have a few embellishments added on for that extra sparkle. Take note, this is something that is not just limited to women since men and kids have also been known to don one themselves.

Submitted by: Nicholas Jarder


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