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How To Tie A Bedouin Scarf


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Vikky Durfee



When it comes to accessorizing your travel wardrobe, a Bedouin scarf is a versatile and stylish addition. Originating from the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, this traditional desert garment offers practicality and cultural appeal. Whether you’re exploring bustling souks, camel trekking through the dunes, or simply seeking protection from the sun and sand, learning how to tie a Bedouin scarf will elevate your travel experience. The art of tying a Bedouin scarf is not only functional but also an expression of personal style. It can be used to shield your face and neck from the elements, create a graceful head covering, or add a touch of flair to your outfit. With a few simple steps, you can master different techniques to achieve various looks, allowing you to adapt to different climates and occasions. In this article, we will guide you through the process of tying a Bedouin scarf, from folding it properly to securing it in place. We will also share tips on adjusting and styling your scarf to achieve a comfortable and fashionable fit. So, gather your scarf and let’s dive in to discover the secrets of this captivating accessory.


Materials Needed

Before we begin, let’s gather the materials you’ll need to tie a Bedouin scarf. Fortunately, the list is short and simple, making this versatile accessory accessible to everyone. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A Bedouin scarf: Look for a lightweight, breathable fabric like cotton or linen. Aim for a rectangular shape with dimensions around 40 inches by 70 inches.
  2. A mirror: Having a mirror nearby will help you see and adjust your scarf as you tie it, ensuring the desired look.
  3. A hairpin or bobby pin (optional): While not essential, a hairpin or bobby pin can be useful in securing your scarf in place, particularly when it’s windy.
Once you have these materials ready, you’ll be all set to explore the various ways of tying a Bedouin scarf. Let’s move on to the next section to learn the first step in this process.


Step 1: Fold the Scarf

The first step in tying a Bedouin scarf is to fold it properly. Follow these instructions to achieve the right size and shape for your desired style:

  1. Lay your Bedouin scarf flat on a clean surface, ensuring there are no wrinkles or creases.
  2. Fold the scarf in half lengthwise, bringing one end to meet the other. This will create a long, narrow strip.
  3. Smooth out any wrinkles and adjust the edges to align them neatly.
  4. If the scarf is too long for your desired style, you can fold it in half again to make it shorter. Keep in mind that the final length will depend on your preference and the style you want to achieve.
Once you have folded the scarf, you are ready to move on to the next step: placing the scarf on your head. Grab your folded Bedouin scarf and let’s continue the journey of mastering this traditional accessory.


Step 2: Place the Scarf on Your Head

Now that you have folded your Bedouin scarf, it’s time to place it on your head. Follow these steps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit:

  1. Hold the folded scarf with both hands, gripping the ends.
  2. Position the scarf on the top of your head, with one end slightly longer than the other.
  3. Adjust the scarf so that the center of the folded strip is aligned with your forehead.
  4. Bring the two ends of the scarf down to your shoulders, allowing them to hang loosely on either side of your face.
  5. Ensure that the longer end remains on the same side as when you initially placed the scarf on your head. This will be important for the next step.
At this stage, the scarf should be comfortably resting on your head, with the two ends flowing down your shoulders. The next step will involve crossing the ends to create the distinctive Bedouin scarf style. Let’s move on to the next section to learn how to do this.


Step 3: Cross the Ends

Now that the scarf is securely placed on your head, it’s time to create the iconic Bedouin scarf style by crossing the ends. Follow these steps to achieve the desired look:

  1. Take the longer end of the scarf and cross it over the shorter end.
  2. Bring the longer end behind your head, crossing it over the top of the shorter end.
  3. Continue to bring the longer end around to the front, crossing it over the shorter end once more.
  4. It’s important to ensure that the ends are securely crossed and that the fabric is tight enough to stay in place while still providing comfort.
By crossing the ends in this manner, you create a beautiful and functional design that is typical of the Bedouin scarf style. The next step will focus on securing the scarf in place to maintain its position. Let’s move on to the next section to learn how to do this.


Step 4: Secure the Scarf

After crossing the ends of the Bedouin scarf, it’s time to secure it in place to ensure it doesn’t come undone. There are a few different methods you can use to secure the scarf, depending on your personal preference and the style you want to achieve. Here are two commonly used techniques:

  1. Knot Technique: Take the two crossed ends of the scarf and tie them together at the back of your head in a double knot. This method is simple and effective, offering a secure hold.
  2. Pin Technique: For a more elegant and polished look, you can use a hairpin or bobby pin to secure the ends of the scarf at the back of your head. Slide the pin through the layers of fabric, ensuring it holds the scarf securely in place.
Whichever technique you choose, make sure the scarf feels secure but not too tight, allowing for comfort and flexibility. Take a moment to adjust the scarf and ensure it sits comfortably on your head before moving on to the next step.


Step 5: Adjust and Style

Once you have securely fastened the Bedouin scarf, it’s time to adjust and style it to achieve your desired look. Here are some tips on how to personalize and perfect your scarf:

  1. Adjust the Fit: Take a moment to ensure that the scarf feels comfortable and secure on your head. You can slightly loosen or tighten the knot or pin to achieve the perfect fit.
  2. Fluff and Arrange: Gently fluff and arrange the fabric of the scarf to create volume and movement. You can adjust how much of your hair is covered, depending on the style you prefer.
  3. Experiment with Drapes: Depending on your outfit, the occasion, or your personal style, you can experiment with different ways of draping the fabric over your shoulders or around your neck. Be creative and find a drape that complements your look.
  4. Accessorize: To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the Bedouin scarf, consider adding some complementary accessories such as a brooch or a decorative hair clip. These small additions can add an extra touch of elegance to your overall style.
Remember, the Bedouin scarf is not just a practical accessory but also a fashion statement. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different styles, ensuring that you feel confident and unique in your scarf. With step-by-step instructions and a touch of creativity, you have now mastered the art of tying and styling a Bedouin scarf. Whether you’re exploring the desert or adding a Middle Eastern twist to your everyday outfit, this timeless accessory is sure to elevate your travel style and leave a lasting impression. Enjoy your journey as you embrace the charm and versatility of the Bedouin scarf!



Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to tie and style a Bedouin scarf. This versatile accessory not only adds a touch of cultural charm to your travel wardrobe but also provides practicality and protection from the elements. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve different looks and adapt to various climates and occasions. Remember to start by folding the scarf properly, placing it on your head, and crossing the ends to create the signature Bedouin style. Then, secure the scarf using either a knot or a pin, ensuring it stays in place without compromising comfort. Finally, adjust and style the scarf to your preference, exploring different drapes and accessorizing options. With your newfound skills, you can enhance your travel adventures and daily outfits with the timeless elegance of the Bedouin scarf. Whether you’re wandering through bustling markets, exploring ancient ruins, or simply strolling along sandy beaches, this accessory will add a touch of authenticity and flair to your ensemble. Now, go ahead and embrace the beauty and versatility of the Bedouin scarf. Experiment with different styles, be creative, and make it your own. Discover the joy of wearing this traditional accessory and celebrate the cultural heritage it represents. So, pack your bags, don your Bedouin scarf, and embark on your next adventure with confidence and style. Let the breathtaking landscapes and captivating cultures become the backdrop for your unique fashion statement. Embrace the spirit of the Bedouin tradition as you explore the world, one stylish scarf at a time.