How To Tie a Desert Scarf

The desert scarf or keffiyeh or shemagh is usually worn by people living in the arid regions to protect their faces, eyes and mouths from wind and dust as well as the heat of the sun. When army-styled clothing became fashionable and the wars in the Middle East led to the exposure of the West to the traditional clothing styles of men and women in the Middle East, one that had gained wide acceptance and popularity was the desert scarf. Hip people and fashionistas, particularly those belonging to the younger set began to wear the desert scarf as a fashion accessory, just like the traditional Western scarves. Wearing a desert scarf looks chic with its unique pattern and fringed edges. Below are some ideas on how to tie a desert scarf.

  • A desert scarf is usually rectangular in shape. With the extra length it can be slung over the shoulders with the ends allowed to dangle in front. You can also flip one of the ends over one shoulder just like what you do with a regular long scarf.
  • If you want it to wrap more closely around your neck and shoulders, fold the scarf in half so that you will have a shorter and more square scarf. Fold the square over so you will have a triangle. Position the scarf over your chest with the pointed ends down. Wrap the long ends around your neck and knot it loosely at the back.
  • Arrange the front of the scarf so that the fabric will fall loosely and naturally around you. Adjust the knot to bring the scarf closer to your neck and tuck the tail ends of the scarf under for a cleaner look. You can leave the pointed end centrally located or move the scarf around so that the pointed end will be positioned somewhere over your right or left chest which looks more hip and chic as this will make the scarf wrap asymmetrically around you. Adjust the scarf so that part of it will drape over one shoulder more than on the other and the fringes will show on the other side.
  • If you have a long rectangular desert scarf, place the center of the scarf over your chest. Hold the top corner of the left side with your left hand and the bottom corner of the other side with your right hand.
  • Bring the ends over the back of your hand and cross the ends, transferring the hand holding each end. Bring the ends out in front and allow them to fall on your sides. Arrange the folds so that the front of the scarf will look like a cowl falling naturally.
  • For an easy no nonsense look, you just roll the desert scarf, fold it in half and wrap it around your neck. Push the ends of the scarf through the loop and tighten it a bit. You can also just wrap the desert scarf around your neck loosely a couple of times and allow the ends to dangle on the sides - cool, chic and very easy to do.

Treat a desert scarf like you treat other scarves and you will not go wrong. Since desert scarves are worn basically by younger people the style of tying them is looser and more basic than what you are used to.


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