This is going to be quite a picture-heavy post. I've been thinking about the incredible things that you can do with some ribbon, so I put on a one-scarf turban, and played with some different pieces of ribbon (and a few other trimmings I had around). I wanted to take a look at how much of a difference details can make. I look forward to hearing your input.
Here's what I started with:
First, I did two variations with a narrow navy blue ribbon.
I particularly like the criss-cross effect in this one. I'd like to play with more effects in this style- keep your eyes peeled (at least if it goes plausibly well).
Then the effect of adding just one wrap around of different ribbons at different points:
Finally, a very long, wider ribbon (this one's about an inch or more wide- you can see, this much of it really dominates and transforms what's going on):
And then a few other accessories, since I was already playing, and wanted to show some other effects:
Some of the differences are subtle, others, more dramatic. How different would the look need to be in order to wear the same scarf two days in a row? I'm thinking that ribbons are a lot easier to pack than whole scarves, especially the larger ones.
Of course, I'm not that efficient or planned-out a packer. I throw things into a suitcase, and therefore often end up bringing more than I quite actually need.
This is a re-do of a shabbos day covering I put together. Somehow, it was just a bit better the day of, but I like the re-do, too. It was a rainy, dark day, and I was feeling tired by it. Then I put together an outfit that was all blacks and browns- so I decided I needed something really bright and cheerful on my head. This is the result. And since today is cold, if sunny, it felt like a good time to put up something warm and colorful.
One pashmina, two narrow scarves (too narrow to use on their own), and two yards of lace ribbon.
The first time I did it, it stayed nicely. Then I accidentally mussed it up, and it kept slipping for the rest of the day. Hence- this is a reconstruction.
Two scarves, one headband here. The orange scarf is actually tied on first, then the green square one (with the tails tucked in), and the tails of the orange scarf are pulled over- one mostly flat, the other twisted, and the little blue headband is added to show off/differentiate the twist.
Even though it's only Tuesday, here's a Shabbos style- from last Shabbos.
I was planning something rather different and more complex when I started this wrap. It's just a turban with some tails hanging, really. And the tails just looked so fun, as I went, that I decided to run with it. \
Then I added a pin to help keep the tails in place, and to dress things up just that little bit. It's not a pin that I can use on a scarf very often, since it dangles. This just worked out perfectly.
As you can see from the other side, it's really a very basic thing- one scarf, the other narrow one over, then the tails of the first brought over, and all tied together on the side.
It's always nice when I have enough time to actually take pictures of my shabbos evening outfit and covering. Often enough, there isn't really quite the time. No matter when I start, things do seem to just grow into the time available, don't they?
I'm once again thinking about how I talk about how and why I cover. I'm rather waiting for my new Hebrew school class to ask about it (I'm not teaching twice a week at a reform movement Hebrew school, and subbed at another yesterday), and so I'm trying to think about how best to explain it in a way that neither puts down the practice nor implies that their own parents ought to be doing so. It's a familiar balancing act- I id it a lot when I was explaining wearing a kippah- but not one I've always been good at.
And appropriately enough for the topic, a friend shared this- a performance artist's piece about why she covers her head, although it's pretty much a manifesto about tzniut, where the head covering is just the starting point.
Still, for all that I get uncomfortable with turning my choice about how to perform a mitzvah into a one-message item, the beginning does capture the awkwardness of these conversations. Also, the opportunity for vulnerability and real human connection. Asking about a religious symbol is one of the only socially acceptable ways to ask someone about the choices they make about self-presentation. It's no wonder that I have, on so many occasions, felt vulnerable when people have asked me these questions, and reacted defensively.
What I want to be able to do is to answer in a way that shows that vulnerability and true humanity. It isn't what the symbol is that matters, so much, as the opportunity it gives to share a piece of human experience and decision-making. The only thing is, it's hard to do, and even more so when the question comes without preparation or warning.
So I'm rather looking forward to my kids asking about my scarf. Maybe I can make a real connection when I talk about it, this time.
We're at least in theory (note the likely weather- there's supposed to be quite a bit of snow overnight) heading out for a shabbos at a shul out of state, so before I head off (tomorrow), and only one day late for the StyleCrone's Hat Attack, here's a favorite shabbos style of mine. You've definitely seen it before, but I like the color combination here.
I find this style to be a good Shabbos default for me. It is simple enough to do that I can put it on in a rush on a Friday afternoon, but between some sparkle in the scarves and the height it adds, it feels formal as well. It has layers and color-contrast, but is less persnickety than a wrap with all the tails layered over the head (making it faster, for me, than a full six color swaps, or layers, or whatever you want to call that).
These scarves are Israeli ones- bought for quite little while I was in Israel, way back when, and with a coarse enough texture that they stay in place really well. But I've done this with a pretty wide variety of scarves. In fact, someone at my husband's internship pulpit asked if I always wore my tichels like this...
And here's one taken with a flash. Who knows which is "more accurate"?
A couple of friends have been lovely to me and sent me links to interesting articles and blogs pertinent to our topic of choice. Here's my thoughts about one of them, with grateful appreciation.
Apparently, NPR has been looking into the price of things around the world- and has come to the price of various headcoverings in Jerusalem. It's a short read, with lots of pictures, many of them well-done. The result: with the exception of items that are both very expensive and implied to be religiously extreme (wigs, black hats, and shtraimels/the equivalent, which get called a "crown" at one point in the piece)(not that I quite disagree on some of those items, but still- I can think something, and still feel odd when someone outside says the same thing), you can buy a cheap version of anything mentioned for $5-10.
Interestingly, wigs are mentioned in a more significant manner than tichels/mitpachot/scarves ("For religious and Orthodox Jewish women, dictates of modesty can mean a wig after marriage. The more natural-looking, the more expensive. Otherwise, all kinds of hats, caps and scarves are available, at all kinds of prices.") but there's a picture of the latter, not the former. In fact, the objects that get the wordage- said wigs and shtraimels, don't get the pictures. It sends a funny mixed message.
Also interesting is that Jewish and Muslim headcoverings are mentioned together- but Jewish ones are called Jewish, and Muslim ones are referred to as Palestinian. In fact, neither the word Islam nor Muslim are mentioned in the article. I'm not sure what to make of the mismatch, but it does seem interesting. Do any of you have thoughts that might illuminate this oddity?
It's been a while- I almost forgot about this style. This is a turban with a side-braid over it. I doubled up a thin sash with a narrow scarf in making the side-braid, which gave a little bit more color, and some bulk to the tails that fall over my shoulder.
My favorite aspect of this style is that it has the ability to be done in advance, then assembled, as it were, on the spot, if you want. Great for days when you need to flow from one sort of activity and level of formality into another.
Tutorial coming soon, since I think this one is easier to learn by seeing than by reading a description.
I got this yellow sweater with my mom and sister over Thanksgiving. Thing is, I have almost nothing yellow in my scarf stash. However, I do have this one silk scarf that's white, yellow and orange, a gift from a friend. It all came together fairly easily. One rectangular scarf in what one might call a half-up half-down- one tail over the top of the head, one around the bun, then the yellow and white one twisted and around over the top.
It all went with a purple top under the sweater, so the result was pretty matchy-matchy, but hopefully not over-the-top. Anyway, wearing gifts and things that I associate with people I love always makes me feel good.
Since some of us have a little more time this week- I seem to be upping the blogging schedule. Here's some pretty interesting information about the Mehdor, a Jewish women's head covering from Morocco.
The Mehdor was made out of silver wire and
horsehair or cattlehair. It was basically a combination of a wig and an ornament/hat combination. The mehdor was the most elaborate of Moroccan women’s
headdresses, but it was worn daily in one region of the country. It would cover a woman's head from ear-to-ear in front, with two forelocks of "woven hair" visible. Basically, it came with it's own bit of "wig" in the front. These bands would then be gathered into braids (after/behind the visible part) which tied the mehdor onto the woman's head.
(In this image, you can see that the "hair" in front is part of the mehdor.)
On festive occasions, women would add a red silk scarf- called a feshtul- trailing down the back behind the mehdor. Affluent women would then add pearl tiara- called a tasfift- over it. (This tasfift is related to styles worn by Spanish Jews, and shows a connection and impact between the two Jewish cultures.) Over it all a they might add another scarf, called a sebniyya- which would fully conceal the mehdor itself.
(This is an image of a woman wearing a tasfift.)
Creating a mehdor was a collaborative process. First, a silversmith would arrange cattle-tail hair lengthwise, and bind bundles of it with silver wire. He would then attach vertical silver tubular half-cylinders to this base, which were also decorated with enamel cloisonné and inlaid with colorful beads. After that, seamstresses added a padded, layered cotton lining with a cylindrical thickened edge at top. (This gave it shaping.)
Like a number of other historical head coverings (like the Shterntikhl in Eastern Europe, for example) it was used to display family’s wealth.