Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Tie a Christy Pañuelo

Step 1: Lay out a square bandanna or scarf. Yes, a square. Which limits you, because a lot of scarves sold today are rectangular. Save those lovely rectangular scarves to wear around your neck. My favorite fabric is rayon batik, because it has a nice drape and the pattern is the same on both sides. Cotton batik is also nice, but the drape is a bit stiffer. A standard 100% cotton bandanna is fine and will soften over time, especially if you dry it in the dryer. Wool is scratchy against my sensitive scalp and silk doesn't like to stay in place on a bare head. But that's just me. What works for you will depend on how much hair you have, how itch tolerant you are, and what look you're going for.

Step 2: Fold the square tip to tip to form a triangle. If it's a large scarf like the pañuelos my mother sews for me (27"x27"ish or more), proceed to step 3.

Note: If it's a typical bandanna (20"x20"ish), you might want to give yourself more fabric to work with, which can be done by shifting one tip down a few inches.

Step 3: Drape the long flat end across your forehead. If you've assembled your triangle tip to tip, then it doesn't matter which side you use because they're both the same. If you've extended your fabric like the example above, be sure to put the larger, uninterrupted side on the outside.

Note: At the back you should have three tails.

Step 4: Tighten the flat end across your forehead. Play with positioning so that you get the amount of forehead you want to show. Some people prefer their headscarves low; others like them at the hairline so they're able to display their entire forehead. Place your scarf where you feel most comfortable.

Step 5: Take the two outer tips and tie them over the middle triangular flap. I like to use a double knot: right over left and around, left over right and around -- just as I learned in Girl Scouts. Tie the knot as tight as you can; it will loosen up the minute you let go of the fabric, and even more so throughout the day. In fact you may want to retie throughout the day just to be sure your scarf stays securely in place.
Step 6: Smooth down the middle flap. Pull down any bunched up fabric that's hiding under the headscarf so that it hangs nicely in the back. Work out any wrinkles and bumps in the front. Readjust where your scarf crosses your forehead, if necessary. Smile like a crazy person and hit the town!

How do you tie your headscarves? I'd love to get your ideas!