Doeks have come a long way from simply being part of the Tswana traditional wear. Women from across the world are now, more than ever, interested in knowing how to tie a Doek. They have slowly but steadily begun making waves across the fashion industry. Doeks ceased being simply functional, and are now worn as fashion and cultural statements.
So how did these fashion pieces come to be? Known by various names across Africa, the Doek is called idukuin isiZulu, dukuin Chichewa, and dhukuin Shona. In America, it is simply referred to as the headwrap or turban.
In the US, the Doek was imposed on African American women as a sign of enslavement by their white masters. It was a means to differentiate between African American people who had power, and those who did not.
Years later, the Doek was no longer a symbol of shame and embarrassment but of pride and confidence. Women wore it deliberately to show that the Doek no longer has any power over them.
Doeks come in a variety of styles, lengths, and colors. They can be wrapped in so many different ways and can be worn to both formal and informal events. Some of the most popular Doek styles include the top knot, twisted rope, turban, and side knot.
How to tie a Doek step by step
Tying a Doek is easy. Do this in front of a mirror.
Here are three simple ways on how to wear a Doek stylishly
- Choose a nice Doek. It should match with the dress or any other clothes you plan to wear. Make sure it is clean without wrinkles and stretch it gently to get rid of any wrinkles.
- If it looks nice and neat, get ready to tie it.
- Fold it into two halves and note the center line.
- Hold it with your two hands to cover the back of your head; either of your hands should be at the point close to edges.
- Make sure the center line is exactly at the back of your head. This will make sure it looks neat even when you are done. Take a look at the above image to get an idea of how to do it:
- Wrap the doek around your head from the nape of the collar to the edge of your hair at the face.
- Tie your headscarf to make a knot. The knot should be at the center; above your eyes and in the same line with your nose.
- The knot must be firm. You will wear the doek all day; you do not want it to fall off in public.
- You can continue to tie other knots on top of the 1st knot to make a bigger knot. Suit yourself.
- When you are done, tuck the remaining edges under the knot.
The Big Bow tie style
This is another very simple idea on how to wrap a doek
- Opt for a fine looking headscarf. Just like the first one; make sure it is neat and suits your day’s outfit.
- The bow tie style will look nice with a slim doek. The thin doek is easy to tie too.
- Make your hair into a knot at the top of your head.
- Fold the two edges of your doek into two equal loops. The two loops will help you form the bow tie.
- To make a bow tie knot. Tie the two loops one under the other to form a knot. Then, pull the edges emanating from the knot to make it firm and tight.
- Then, tuck the two ends so that you remain with your bow tie.
There are two types of bow ties; the small and big bow tie. The big one is good with official wear while the small bow tie knot is good when you dress casually. So, you can pull the edges of the bow tie to suit your outfit.
The Twisty Bun style (1st Image)
If your hair is made in a bun; then this is your ideal Doek tie style. Choose a nice Doek that you like. As always, make sure it is neat, clean and smooth without wrinkles. You can try it right away because that is the only way you will learn how to wear a Doek.
- Wrap your Doek from the top of your face to the back of your head.
- Let the two edges of the scarf crisscross each other in a tie at the back of your head.
- Then, bring the remaining edges to the front.
- Twist both edges. When the twists look nice, wrap them severally around your head to remain with a short material of about 1 inch.
- Pull the edges tight to make sure the Doek is firm. You can then tuck the remaining fabric.
For centuries, African and African American women have been rocking Doeks for various reasons. As explained earlier, it used to be a symbol of oppression; for example, with Afrikaans culture clothing during apartheid. However, black women across the world have chosen to take back what the Doek meant then and have given it a new meaning. The swati traditional dresses, for example, are often complemented by the Doek. It now symbolizes black girl magic and is proudly worn as a show of defiance.
These are just a few simple ways on how to tie a traditional Doek. However, there are several other ways on how to tie a Doek step by step, some of which are more complex than others. You want to turn heads, but not for the wrong reasons. You want your Doek to be stylish but still look professional enough for the office. So, choose to style your Doek in a not too fancy way by wearing a style that sits low on your head.