This head wrap/scarf is modeled after the tubular designs that are popular right now.
Store bought ones come in varying fabric blends from merino wool, to cotton, to synthetic fibers. This one is cotton. Though cotton doesn’t dry as quickly or keep you as warm as the other blends, it is still my all-time favourite for a balance of comfort, variety of designs and affordability.
I don’t use my synthetic/wool blend one until the really cold weather starts and I can be sure I’ll be spending my days working outdoors.
I used a piece of scrap fabric from a fabric store (cotton jersey-knit) but you could use and old t-shirt, or really any fabric you want next to your skin.
If you want to make one that has higher performance properties such as: moisture wicking, heat retention, insulation, just hit up your local thrift store and look for an athletic-style shirt that is made of the fabric blend you want.
- Cut fabric into a square roughly 20” x 20”
- Fold in half to form a rectangle (make sure the design is on the inside).
- Sew a straight stitch seam up the edge to join the fabric.
- This should form a tube of fabric, turn it inside out. That’s it, that’s what these “Buff” style tubular scarves/bandanas are-Tubes!
If your scarf is not as close fitting as you like (too much space between your neck and fabric) then just add another straight seam beside the first one to make it smaller.
Option for colder weather:
1. If you like the design of the fabric, but it will be too thin for winter use, simply add a layer. Cut your 20”x20” piece of fabric and lay it flat, this time face up.
2. Cut another 20” x 20” piece of fabric for insulation (an old wool scarf, a piece of polar fleece). It’s easy to find fleece scarves at thrift stores for a dollar or two.
3. Sew these two squares together, leaving one seam open (similar to a pillow case). Once they are joined, turn it inside out so all of the good faces are showing.
4. Now fold it in half (step 2 above) and follow through to create the fabric tube. Your finished result should show the design on the outside and have your warm insulating layer on the inside.
These make great gifts for outdoor friends. I’ve had people ask me where I bought my Buff as they admire my homemade version (“Buff” is one of the leading brands making these). I recently bought a Buff to compare. Both are comfortable, and I love the designs on both.
Store bought ones might be between $10-40, whereas a homemade one can be made for under $5.
I would like to learn more about Buff technology, especially their UV rated fabrics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a typical t-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15.
Since first writing this post, I contacted the folks at Buff to find out about UV protection.
Here is what they wrote:
“Buffs vary in sun protection depending on the colour. Typical Buff blocks about 40% of sun’s rays. A High UV Protection Buff has a slightly different weave and is made from Coolmax Extreme fabric and gives 95% UV Protection.”
So, there you have it, from the horse’s mouth!