Everything you Need to Know About Bandanas
Bandanas are the modern equivalent of shawls, but with some notable differences. As a matter of fact, it is pretty much in the present form. This piece of cloth has been around for more or less 300 years. And it is a lot more than just a bit of fabric to wipe your forehead or nose with. When was the last time you gave any thoughts about bandanas?
People who use them regularly barely notice this piece of cloth even though they use it almost every day and can see them in virtually everywhere – in the back pockets, around the necks, on the head, or tied to the straps. But a fashion world without this small piece of cloth would be less fun and less colorful. So, let us take a look at that omnipresent, but a usually overlooked piece of material called the bandana.
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What is a bandana?
It is a modern equivalent of handkerchiefs, but with some notable differences. A kerchief, which comes from the French word couvre-chef, which means to cover the head, is a small triangular or square-shaped piece of cloth that is usually tied on the head or around your neck for decorative and protective purposes.
Bandanas, on the other hand, is also a square-shaped cloth, but much larger and more colorful (usually paisley) than kerchiefs and traditionally worn on the head to protect the hair. But in today’s modern fashion, the colors have started to introduce multiple hues of colors, as well as different kinds of sizes and patterns.
Its use is also expanded surprisingly. Although it has similarities with kerchiefs in size, function and shape, it varies with the type of fabric they are made of. Shawls were made of linen while its close brother was usually made from plain-woven cotton, silk or cambric.
Not only that, kerchiefs are often plainer compared to bandanas, with fewer colors and prints. Kerchiefs have far fewer functions, being worn primarily as a covering for the head. Bandanas, on the other hand, had practical applications and are used as identifiers among farmers, sailors, bikers, cowboys, or gang members.
Having started as a two-tone paisley-print cambric cotton cloth, this large handkerchief has come a long way. Now you can find them almost everywhere, imprinted with slogans, political messages and logos. They are now used for nearly everything from group symbol identities, for personal expression to promotional instrument for political campaigns and pop culture.
We would be remiss in our little overview of this accessory if we did not mention its connection with the cowboy culture. It is true because, in today’s world, it is uniquely American, and what embodies the American spirit more than the cowboy culture of love of freedom and adventure.
For cowboys, this piece of cloth was a very functional piece of accessory, sometimes a necessary tool for survival, not to mention as a fashion statement. It serves as a protection from the sun for their necks and dust of their nose and eyes on cattle drives.
Cowboys were considered as fashion conscious – from wearing gal-leg spurs to colorful bandanas that are tied or worn around their necks. Consider the film star Tom Mix who is known for creating breathtaking jumps in his horse. The actor always wore his signature accessory, which also becomes a big marketing tool. Kids would go through boxes and boxes of cereal just to become a member of Straight Shooter Club – and hopefully win the coveted prize – an autograph piece of cloth of Tom Mix.
How to style a Kerchief? Click here to find out more.
The Washington effects
The original Washington accessory has been the inspiration of political slogans ever since. It hit the peak in the mid-1950s. For example, Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 printed his political campaign slogan – “Win with Ike for President” – on this piece of cloth and had them dispense to his supporters.
That kind of bandanas moved om the world of marketing and advertising, and later on in pop culture, and earning the momentum with experimental and imaginative elements. They were used to help promote awareness of things like a sports team, certain groups to breakfast cereals and Elvis Presley. It is used as a new marketing tool that you can tie or put on your body or use to cover your hair. Not to mention the world of sports. This accessory decorated with Red Sox or Yankees identifiers is very common in sporting events.