Friday, July 30, 2010

Bandanas have been popular with lots of users over the decades, or centuries.

One group of wholesale users were the American cowboys (quite different from the South American Gauchos, but more on them later...). 

The bandana started as a cheap means of protection against dust while riding the prairies, following cattle creating a nightmare for asthmatics.

Over time, it proved an excellent means too for bank robbers and other outlaws,  a practice later adopted by gangs and bikers clubs. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rockabilly style and bandanas go hand in hand. This is because the rockabilly style is tied in with “greasers.” Mechanics would stuff bandanas in their pocket to clean off their hands with after working on oily cars. The bandana as a headpiece is a symbol of classic 1930s-1960s mid-century Americana. This guide offers two bandana folding methods that are commonly seen in the rockabilly style. The head wrap option works great for ladies' hairdos that feature a pompadour or Bettie Page-style bangs. The second option is a more unisex option, though it is more commonly seen in men.
Difficulty: Easy

  1. Step 1
    Fold the bandana diagonally in half.

  2. Step 2
    From the fold, fold the bandana over approximately 2 1/2 inches.

  3. Step 3
    Fold the bandana over again, an equal amount.

  4. Step 4
    Hold the bandana by the ends and pull the bandana to the underside of your head.

  5. Step 5
    Tie the ends together on the top of your hair in a standard square knot.
  6. For a pocket square

  7. Step 1
    Fold the bandana diagonally in half.

  8. Step 2
    Fold it vertically in half, matching your edges together.

  9. Step 3
    Fold it again vertically and repeat until the bandana is a pocket-sized triangle.

  10. Step 4
    Slip it into your back pocket, exposing the bandana so it's easy to grab.

Read more: How to Fold a Bandana Rockabilly Style | Elizabeth Holli Wood

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Amarcord is a 1973 Italian drama film directed by Federico Fellini, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale that combines poignancy with bawdy comedy. It tells the story of a wild cast of characters inhabiting the fictional Borgo based on Fellini's hometown of Rimini in 1930s Fascist Italy. Amarcord is Romagnolo for "I remember".
Titta's sentimental education is emblematic of Italy's "lapse of conscience". Fellini skewers Mussolini's ludicrous posturings and those of a Catholic Church that "imprisoned Italians in a perpetual adolescence" by mocking himself and his fellow villagers in comic scenes that underline their incapacity to adopt genuine moral responsibility or outgrow foolish sexual fantasies.
The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Director and Best Writing, Original Screenplay.
There are numerous beautiful lines in the script (as above), or these for the neckerchief part:
   Don't try to be a wise guy! Answer! 
   They woke me from my sleep. I didn't even have time to put my tie on. 
   Your tie or your anarchist's neckerchief? -What neckerchief? 
   Would you like to drink a toast to the victory of Fascism? 
   Well, really at this time... 
The neckerchief of Spanish anarchists

Or this poem "Bricks", by 'Mortar', an old brick-maker:
My grandfather made bricks
My father made bricks
I make bricks, too,
but where’s my house?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bandanas and Jeans

Jeans and bandanas have always formed a great combination; whether worn by workers or hippies, cowboys and rangers or street-gangs - blue denim and red bandanas do well together.
But, as so often, the industry follows individuals when there is a buck to make; Levi's and Lee produce their own bandanas these days:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Some History, the Bandana as a Worker's Necktie

For working-class Europeans, the bandana provided a mark of masculine respectability at an affordable price. Of brightly coloured and robust material, the bandana did not easily show the dirt, and was quite washable when it did. In addition, the material could be used to form a basket, lead an animal, or mop the sweat from a working brow when not being used to project the owner's dignity. 

Prohibited in England by the Calico Acts of 1700 and 1702, the lowly bandana even acquired something of the cachet of the forbidden, as well as another name - "the Kingsman" for the King's man or customs officer who would normally seize the forbidden cloth.

Soon, however, European industrialists began to cash in on the craze, and knock-offs of the Bengali silk prints were being manufactured at home. Over the water, in North America, the cotton bandana became an extremely popular and affordable common-sense form of neckwear for those colonists who could not wholly abandon the urbane fashions of the Old Countries.
As interest in the bandana necktie became ever more general, the time-worn urge of a certain power elite to distinguish themselves from common men soon provoked the flourishing of yet another style of neckwear: the Incroyable neckcloth.  Partisan politics were again at the root of fashion, and the Incroyables - literally the Unbelievables - were a dandy group of young French nonconformists who expressed sympathy with Republican ideals by revolutionary sartorial excesses.  

They wore strange cravats of an almost inconceivable size: "The shirt collar rose to the sides of the ears, and the top of the cravat covered the mouth and the lower part of the nose, so that the face (with the exception of the nose) was concealed by the cravat and a forest of whiskers; these rose on each side of the hair, which was combed down over the eyes.  In this costume, the elegans bore a greater resemblance to beasts then men, and the fashion gave rise to many laughable caricatures.  They were compelled to look straight before them, as the head could only be turned by the general consent of all the members, and the tout ensemble was that of an unfinished statue."  Royalists countered the excesses of the Incroyables with more sober green neckcloths, which in turn prompted even more extravagance on the part of the Republicans: two sheets of muslin, one white and one black, wrapped around the neck, chin, and face, finished with floppy bows drooped across the shoulders.

Despite the pretensions of the French Incroyables and their affected imitators, it was gradually the lowly bandanna that solidified its position as the neckwear of choice with the fashionable men about town.  Instrumental in the establishment of this relatively sober, practical, and easy-to-tie neckcloth was the most famous pugilist of the early 19th century: Jem Belcher.  Belcher, of humble origins, nearly always appeared with a blue silk peacock-eyed bandanna, knotted suavely about the neck.  Anxious to associate their own male prowess with the cock of the walk, fashionable young bucks and bloods of the day took to wearing the Belcher neckcloth with almost monotonous rigidity.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yes, Bandanas!

Does a square piece of cotton, 55 x 55 centimeters, justify a web-site, a multiple weekly updated blog?

There are many more important issues pressing for attention, I know. We haven’t solved the hunger problem in the world, there is global warming, abuse of women, children, homosexuals, ethnic minorities, animals; there is overwhelming greed, ego’s that badly get into other people’s ways, but still, I believe there is room for attention for something so humble, so unobtrusive, as this piece of dyed material.
Alas, a quick search through on-line dictionaries shows another picture of the bandana: a weapon, whip, gang affiliations…

kerchief (from the French couvre-chef, “cover the head”) is a triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the head or around the neck for protective or decorative purposes. A “handkerchief” primarily refers to a napkin made of cloth, used to maintain personal hygiene. A bandanna or bandana (from Hindi: बन्धन bandhana, “to tie”) is a type of large, usually colorful, kerchief, usually worn on the head. Bandannas are frequently printed in a paisley pattern.
Certain colors of kerchiefs are associated with gangs making it potentially dangerous to wear different types of them in certain areas. For example, in Los Angeles, California, a red kerchief is associated with Bloods and a blue one is associated with Crips or Sureños. In certain cities such as Richmond, Virginia, non-violent bicycle clubs such as The Loners may wear black and white bandannas to show their association.
A bandana can also be used as a gag and has been used in western movies and in BDSM movies to prevent a person from speaking. The person being gagged is almost always tied up in some way and the bandana is tied so its in the persons mouth or around over the mouth.

Or, from the Urban Dictionary:
A rag that can be worn in different styles on your head,mouth area and neck.Popular with street gangs,most of them wear a bandana with the tie to the front,or around there mouths.Bandanas are restricted in schools because it is a sign for gangs,and can be used as a weapon(strangle holding,and whipping).
Personally, I just prefer to tie the bandana loosely around my neck, cowboy-style, but then, I do appreciate the very creative applications some people have come up with: