Turban/Turban Maker

Rainbowlight

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello everyone,

I would like to know which is the Arabic word for turban and if there are classical and modern names for it.

I am very curious as to its usage by Arabs. Of course I've seen all kinds of visual representations of it, but I do not know if they correspond to the actual usage of it. Is it used only on special occasions? Is its main purpose to protect hair from sand and dust? Is there a specialist on creating them, just as the French have their own tradition of chapellerie and the figure of a chapelier, or is also the tailor the person in charge of these confections?

Thank you very much for your kindness and help.
 
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  • Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    The turban is called عَمَامَة = ‘amaama. It’s basically a long cloth that is wrapped around the head, hence there is no “maker”. It’s usually worn with a small cap under it called طاقية = Taqiyya, in Classical Arabic قلنسوة.

    Historically it was used to protect the head from the elements, a part was left unwrapped to be used over the face if necessary (during a sandstorm for example). The below is based on historic descriptions and may or may not accurately represent what it looked like this:
    1634152890674.png

    (Although descriptions say the unwrapped part was left draping along the back rather than around the neck).

    Through the centuries fashions changed, sometimes making it larger, sometimes smaller, sometimes replacing it with something else altogether. Although it had its uses, but a ghutra & uqaal (what is used today in the Peninsula) for example do the same job with equal efficiency. It’s mostly now about tradition.

    It’s still used traditionally in some places, in most of them it doesn’t look much like the historic one (except in upper Egypt, rather close although not identical).

    It’s also traditionally used by Shia clergy (usually black and relatively large and tight), and Sunni scholars (usually white and small worn with a fez rather than the cap). I can’t speak for Shia but at least for Sunni it’s just tradition and has no religious or social significance.
     

    Rainbowlight

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    The turban is called عَمَامَة = ‘amaama. It’s basically a long cloth that is wrapped around the head, hence there is no “maker”. It’s usually worn with a small cap under it called طاقية = Taqiyya, in Classical Arabic قلنسوة.

    Historically it was used to protect the head from the elements, a part was left unwrapped to be used over the face if necessary (during a sandstorm for example). The below is based on historic descriptions and may or may not accurately represent what it looked like this:
    View attachment 62920
    (Although descriptions say the unwrapped part was left draping along the back rather than around the neck).

    Through the centuries fashions changed, sometimes making it larger, sometimes smaller, sometimes replacing it with something else altogether. Although it had its uses, but a ghutra & uqaal (what is used today in the Peninsula) for example do the same job with equal efficiency. It’s mostly now about tradition.

    It’s still used traditionally in some places, in most of them it doesn’t look much like the historic one (except in upper Egypt, rather close although not identical).

    It’s also traditionally used by Shia clergy (usually black and relatively large and tight), and Sunni scholars (usually white and small worn with a fez rather than the cap). I can’t speak for Shia but at least for Sunni it’s just tradition and has no religious or social significance.
    Thank you so much for your help. I can't help but asking again about the fabric turbans are made of. Is it cut from a larger piece of fabric and then sewn or does it follow the pattern of, say, a European scarf in which all sides are already locked?

    I am curious too about where this cloth is bought. Do people buy it from a specialist shop, where only headwear is made and sold? Does a tailor or any clothes maker also sell it too?

    Thanks again.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    The fabric depends on the style, the fashion, and how much you can afford. Most common is cotton though, you need it to breathe and drape, yet if it was too soft (like satin for example) it won’t hold.

    It’s not sewn, all you need is a long rectangular cloth, the length and width also depend on the style. So I’d say closer to a scarf.

    I don’t know where people buy it, but probably at shops that sell traditional clothes, or for some it might be tailored.

    If you want to see what it looks like, just go to YouTube and type:

    طريقة لف العمامة

    Copy and paste the line if you can’t type Arabic. You’ll find quite some videos showing how to wrap it, that way you will see what it looks like. Note that you will find several different ways with different types and dimensions of fabric and different caps under it (some don’t use the cap), unless you can read Arabic, you won’t know what type it is.
     
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