How to Tie Your Tagelmust (Touareg Turban)


Introduction: How to Tie Your Tagelmust (Touareg Turban)

Dreaming of desert landscapes and treks through the unforgiving sandfilled areas and/or want to express your love for Touareg desert blues by dressing up like a Touareg?

Well then you have to know how to tie your shesh or Touareg turban!

What you need:

  • a piece of fabric about 75 cm wide and 4 to 6 meters long (2.5 feet wide and at least 14 feet long)
  • not being bothered by people who look at you like you are a terrorist or shout ''Touareg!!'' sympathetically whilst cycling past them

Step 1: Placing the Turban

Your head should be in the middle of width of the turban whilst one end doesn't go lower than your hips!

Step 2: First Wrap

You take the longest end of your turban and wrap it around your neck.

You can do this loosely or tightly it's up to you really.

Step 3: Second Wrap

Wrap it once around your head and hold it.

Step 4: My Personal Touch

Now I always fold the loose bit that it hanging in front of your eyes over the first wrap. This way the bit that is actually touching your head directly will not move anymore.

Step 5: 3rd and 4th Wrap

Now just wrap the turban around 2 times.

I think it is most beautiful when you lay them next to each other like the second picture.

Step 6: Last Wrap

Now wrap the turban one more time around your head and if the turban was placed right on your head in the beginning and you wrapped it right then you should be able to tuck the loose end away at the sides where the turban isn't to tight so that it is easily done!

Step 7: No Sand, Snow or High Wind?

If there is no sand, snow or high wind or if you don't want to look like an Aladdin villain then you can just wrap the other loose end around your neck loosely.

Step 8: Face Covering Pt 1

Take the loose end and pull it high enough to that it will go just under your eyes.

Step 9: Face Covering Pt 2

Pull it as tight as you want over your face to that is doesn't slip down.

Step 10: Face Covering Pt3

Normally you can tuck the loose end away on the same side where the other loose end is tucked away.

Step 11: Finish!

You are finished!


White turban: Ramadan

Blue turban: Party! (I'm always partying in my head ;) )

darker is richer!

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Cool 'structable.
Is this you, or just someone steeling your pictures?


Wow ! you dressed really like a true Touareg, I also ove the Touareg Turban my friends visited the algerian desert and brought to me one ! I did some photos it was awsome :)

5 replies

good view, in Arabian countries, women doesn't wore this, in traditional culture women always to be carried on a comfortable small room over a camel, the man that walk through the desert and pulling the camel behind him

beautiful!! Offcourse for a women this is called a shesh ;)

Yep a shesh :) I never thaught you know all of this about the touareg culture !! impressive !!

I barely scratch the surface ;) but it grows out of a love for Touareg desert blues!

Tinariwen,tamikrest,terrakraft,ali farka toure,....

wow !! I would guess that music is the best way to speak about cultures !! I love that music btw especially Tinariwen :)

P.S. If you're attempting to visit the Algerian desert I'm very happy to help you !

In Islam the prophet Muhammad s.a.w wore a white or green turban. But on fridays he wore a black turban. Also when at war he wore black. Intimidates the enemy.

He had a turban [i.e., that which is wrapped around the head, as is the dress of ordinary people in some countries nowadays, such as Yemen and Sudan] that was called as-sahaab (“the cloud”), which he gave to ‘Ali. Under it he wore a cap (qalansuwah). Sometimes he wore the cap without the turban, and sometimes he wore the turban without the cap. When he put on the turban, he let the ends hang down between his shoulder blades, as Muslim narrated in his Saheeh from ‘Amr ibn Hurayth who said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on the minbar wearing a black turban, with its two ends hanging down between his shoulder blades. In Muslim it is also narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) entered Makkah wearing a black turban. The hadith of Jaabir does not mention the end of the turban, which indicates that he did not always let the end hang down between his shoulder blades. It may be said that he entered Makkah wearing battle dress and a cap of chain mail on his head, because in every situation he wore what was appropriate.

More info on the turban in Islam.

The turban tradition in Islam
by Sh. G. F. Haddad

ALLAHUMMA salli 'ala sahibi al-taj, goes a famous Yemeni prayer _
"Our Lord, bless the Owner of the Crown!" The "crown" is the turban, and its owner is the Holy Prophet Muhammad, upon him blessings and peace.

'Imama, the turban, has been the most distinctive vestimentary sunnah _ "way of life" _ of Islam since the beginnings of the Religion. 'Abd Allah ibn 'Umar said: "The Prophet used to wind the turban around his head and tuck it in behind him, letting its extremity hang down between his shoulders."

Turbans were worn even before Islam and signified a man's honour. An Arab saying goes, "Turbans are the crowns of the Arabs". This was explained to mean that although the pristine Arabs were too proud to accept a king's rule over them, and therefore had no crowns other than their turbans.

The early Muslim way of wearing the turban consisted in two pieces of headdress: the qalansuwa or borderless hat of varying thickness, and the 'imama, the actual turban cloth wound around the qalansuwa. Abu Dawud mentioned in his Sunan that the Prophet is related to have said, "The difference between us and the pagans is that we wear the 'imama on top of the qalansuwa." Thus, wearing either exclusively of the other was originally a foreign practice.

The material of the turban is ideally white muslin, a very fine cotton. The colours and length of the turban vary. In the chapters on the Prophet's turban in the books of the "Prophetic Characteristics" known as Shama'il, the authorities have mentioned seven and 10 yard lengths as the two standards. However, as long as one can at least wind the turban around once, its length suffices, while great Shaykhs of the past have been known to wear large and heavy turbans exceeding 10 yard-lengths by far.

All of the founding Imams of the four schools of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah wore the turban. In their biographies of the founder of the Hanafi School, Imam Abu Hanifah _ famous for his awesome analytical mind _ al-Suyuti and al-Haytami relate that he owned seven turbans, perhaps one for each day of the week.

The Hanafis, such as Subcontinent and other Asian Muslims from the Chinese to the Turks, are particularly strict about never praying bareheaded. A famous manual of law according to the four Sunni Schools states, "According to the Hanafi school it is abominable to pray bareheaded out of laziness. But praying bareheaded out of humbleness and a feeling of submission is permitted."

The founder of the Maliki School _ which dominates most of Africa today _ Imam Malik ibn Anas always wore beautiful clothes, especially white, and he "passed the turban under his chin (a style known as tahannuk), letting its extremity hang behind his back, and he wore musk and other scents," said one of his students.

Malik stressed the wearing of the turban, particularly for the learned. "The turbans should not be neglected," he said. "I wore the turban with nary a hair on my face. When I asked permission from my mother to pursue the scholarly life she said: 'First, wear the garb of the scholars'; she took me and dressed me in short-hemmed (mushammara) garments, placed a tall headcover on my head and tied a turban around it then she said, 'Now go and write the Science'.

"I saw over 30 men wearing the turban in my teacher Rabi'a's circle. He would not put it down before the Pleiades rose (late at night) and he used to say: 'I swear it strengthens wit!"'

Baring the head in Islam was the sign of a man of low condition and is listed in many a manual among the "acts which betray lack of self-respect" (khawarim al-muru'a). A scholar relates that as a young man, one day, he entered the mosque in Madinah without anything on his head whereupon his father scolded him to no end. "How dare you enter the mosque bare-headed?"

It was a different matter, however, if the same was done out of humility, as revealed by the wording of a question that was put to one of the eight-century authorities in Syria: "Is it all right if people gather in the mosque, making zikir and reading al-Qur'an, praying to Allah and taking their turbans off their heads, weeping, as long as their intention is not pride nor self-display but seeking to draw closer to Him?" he replied yes.

The illiterate Shaykh 'Ali al-Hajjar was described as "the Bare-Headed, the saintly man" but another Egyptian, the stern Ibn Daqiq al-'Id, said: "What is carried on top of the head should not be put down" _ at least, not on the floor.

Imam Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi'i, founder of the School which bears his name and dominates large parts of the middle East and the totality of Southeast Asia, "was thrifty in his dress and wore thin clothes of linen and Baghdadi cotton. He sometimes wore a headcover that was not very tall but he wore the turban very often", said one of his students. "I counted three hundred turbans in his circle save those I could not see."

Another said: "Al-Shafi'i used to wear a large turban, as if he were a desert Arab." Both he and his student, the Imam of the Hanbali School, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, passed it under his chin the way the North African Touareg and many Sudanese do to this day.

Such is the high nobility of the turban that we are told even the angels wore it. Of the Qur'anic verse, "Your Lord shall help you with five thousand angels bearing marks" (Surat Ali 'Imran, verse 125), Ibn 'Abbas, the greatest of the early exegetes, said: "The signs are that they wore turbans."


1 reply

it can be as short as about 2 or 3 meters but generaly the longer the better

i like it

from morocco

Thought this was great, thank you for sharing something personal!

I sometimes wear a shemagh when I am outdoors, especially in windy or cold weather. I have a large-ish head so it's hard for me to get good coverage with most shemaghs, even the military ones. This looks so much more practical for me as it is infinitely adjustable, and any size/length of material can be used to suit.

Thank you very much. I have seen many pictures of the Touareg men wearing this, but never any instructions on how to do it.

I suppose making one out of my family tartan (Scottish descent) or from some fabric I have covered in Texas flags would keep people from thinking I was a terrorist :-)

Good job.

2 replies

I also wear those from time to time however in my experience the military style ones are significantly smaller and thicker. my lightweight one is about one meter by one meter. and thin enough to breathe through. for this reason I also use it as a dust mask.

A tagelmust from fabric that is full of texas flags? Hel yeah! I want to see that!

It will actually add to the cool factor, just the contradiction alone is very trendy! ;D

(I do not wish to offend anyone with this comment) Great, now go into the streets in a Western country with this turban and greet God. Then see what happens :)

1 reply

people tend to look, sometimes with fright, sometimes with confusion , sometimes they shout "eh touareg!!" and recently my brother got a comment from a Morroccan guy that he looked awesome! Sidenote: I live in Belgium! So I know what happens ;)

This uses way more material than I thought it would. I admire it's practicality but am sad about many people's reaction to it. would this work with a warmth catching material for say snowboarding?

1 reply

yeah well basicly the longer your fabric the thicker your turban. I have a 6 meter one as well and it is just a couple more wraps and it's just looks bigger.

This is already pretty warm! but it would definitly work! just don't use any fabric that is thick cause it wouldn't work that well just get a longer one and maybe make the mouth piece a bit longer to wrap it twice.... Just experiment ;)

Yeah people tend to react a bit freaky but I see it as a way to rebel against stupidity! If people have some remarks about it then just explain how comfy and warm it is and teach them the origins of this turban (Touareg are NOT terrorists)

This really is a practical garment in many circumstances, thanks for sharing the wrapping technique.