Picture of How to tie a Shemagh
The Shemagh is a length of material that is wrapped around the head, commonly worn by Arabic or middle eastern desert dwellers to protect from the sun and sand.  Pronounced “Schmog”.  Also known as a Keffiyeh or Ghutrah - wikipedia.  It has been adopted by military forces all over the world as a standard issue garment because of its sheer functionality.  For an outdoors-man, survivalist or bushcrafter, the Shemagh can be a multi-use tool with literally 100′s of uses.  

I live in a desert that can dip below freezing at night and peak over 100 degrees the very next day.  I have found the Shemagh to be invaluable in both climates to regulate temperature and protect from both extreme exposures. Some of the pictures are from Willow Creek Outdoors, great survival site!  I've included a short list of other examples and uses on the last step.

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Step 1: Fold

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Lay the shemagh out flat in front of you. Fold the shemagh in half corner to corner so that a large triangle is formed.

Step 2: Place on head

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Place the shemagh on top of your head with two of the points hanging over your shoulders, and the third between your shoulder blades. One side should be slightly longer than the other.

Step 3: Cover face

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Wrap the shorter point under your chin and up in front of the other point. Pull the long end across the face, over the nose and mouth, in front of the shorter end. Only the eyes should remain visible.

Step 4: Pull corners behind head

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Pull both points of the shemagh together behind the head. They should meet right behind the ear.

Step 5: Tie

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Tie the two points together with an overhand knot. To do this, cross the points, wrap one over and around the other, and pull tight. The shemagh will now be secured tightly around your head.
Unless you are Creek from Willow Haven Outdoors, you should give credit where credit is due.
DualPhase (author)  gabriel.eckers2 years ago
Good point, thanks. Updated

I think you meant to give credit to Willow Haven Outdoor. And thank you for for the instructions. Very helpful.

DualPhase (author)  JoshuaD68 months ago
Thanks. i did: Introduction, second paragraph.
Takelababy3 years ago
What are the best dimensions?
DualPhase (author)  Takelababy3 years ago
The smaller ones are harder to tie, especially if you have a big head like me :)

try folding a smaller one off-center, so that you have one big triangle and one smaller one. This gives you the fold plus the distance to the two corners, which is, of course, a little longer than a symmetrical fold.


can you use it with a normal scarf?
ashi0013121 year ago

yes i got it ..! thanks for share

Templeton11 year ago

Excellent tutorial, and thanks for the extra tips!

Cervantes1 year ago
I used it as a fly swatter.. Just like popping a towel in the gym shower.. but it has less friction and a real good n loud crack. Just remember which end got the fly guts on it.
Torgeirro2 years ago
Double doors...
Eacon3 years ago
The "keeping cool" actually works great with the fluffy gaze-like shemaghs. Fold and twist it into a saussage that sucks up water like a sponge and keeps your neck cool forever. Thanks for the tip!

(I hope nobody has tried out the "weapon" example yet!)
jbroadbeck3 years ago
Nice job! I usually just wear my shemagh around my neck and mouth in the winter. But, next time we have a snow storm I'm going to give this full head wrap style a try. Thanks!
skimmo3 years ago
if you keep them wet is stops heat stroke
Not something I plan to go out and do any time soon, but you did a fantastic job, especially with the photos.
scoochmaroo3 years ago
This is great. I think the finished picture of you with it all tied on would make for an even more compelling intro image. I never knew how to do this!