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Turbans are the traditional headwear that Sikh people, usually men, wear to protect their hair. This is because according to Sikh culture, Sikhs are not allowed to cut their hair. The tradition of wearing a turban started with Guru Nanak and was made mandatory by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The main motive of wearing the turban, however, is to take care and protect the hair, promote equality among people and to preserve the identity of the Sikh people.
The Sikh turbans with different colours and styles can be associated with different groups of Sikhs, fashion or religious conviction. There are different styles for turban to be worn on different occasions as well. For example, the longer turbans are worn at formal settings like weddings, celebrations, etc.
A few common fabrics in which turbans come are:
Voile :- Light-weighted weave or sheer, soft fabric.
Mal Mal :- A fine fabric made of cotton that is thin, soft and fluffy.
Rubia :- A medium-weighted fabric which has a dense weave.
Among the many different turban styles, a few commonly seen ones are:
1. Domalla :- This is the double length turban style. The length of the cloth used to tie such a turban is 10 or more meters or yards. However, people may choose to use a shorter length cloth for this style. The size of the turban is decided by the length of the cloth that is used, however, it depends on the strength of the wearer’s neck. The turban can also be decorated with ornaments to make it look stylish.
2. Pagri :- This style of turban is tied using 6 or more meters of cloth. It is a double width turban style which is also referred to as a General men turban or a Pag. It is tied with at least 7 turns around the head.The shape of this turban usually has a pointed front to it. However, it is not as pointed as a Dastar. The end of the Pagri is called larh and is not usually folded or given any specific shape.
3. Dastar :- This style of turban is tied using a 4 to 6 meter long cloth. The only difference between a simple pagri and a dastar is that it is comparatively bigger in size. It is also more pointed at the front (Nok). A modern way of tying this turban includes making the larh into a ‘V’ shape using the special Turban Needle.
4. Patka :- Usually seen worn by young boys, this type of turban is tied using only about half to one meter of cloth. This turban is used to cover the joora and the head. The Patka is worn casually during everyday lives or for sports!
5. Domalla-Warrior Turban :- This is a different version of the Domalla turban includes a wire inside the headwear, which is popularly used by Domalla warriors going into battle. The special part of this turban is that it shows the ‘Chand Tora’, which is an ornament shaped as a crescent moon with a sword. Sometimes a Khand is also used instead of a Chand Tora.
6. Keski :- This is a casual style of turban which is tied using a 2 or more meter cloth. It is very much like a domalla in shape, but is short and small. It takes less time to tie and is commonly worn to save time or as a turban under a full turban!