A bandana is a square of cloth (most commonly cotton) with sides normally measuring from eight to eighteen inches in length. The edges of bandanas are usually double- or triple-stitched with an eighth inch hem. Bandanas are currently available in any color or combination of colors, including tie-dyed variations.

Bandanas came into vogue in the late sixties and seventies as a colorful way to keep all of that hair out of your face. Now bandanas are used as street gang apparel, with various colors and styles of wear denoting different gangs or different ranks within a gang. Several rap artists including the late Tupac Shakur helped make this latest style popular.

Bandanas are also useful as handkerchiefs or for cleaning things (as a rag). They can be anointed with a little scented oil or stuffed with herbs and tied into a sachet. I have also seen bandanas used as a top by some girls with small frames, to their aesthetic advantage.

Ban*dan"na, Ban*dan"a (?), n. [Hind. bandhn a mode of dyeing in which the cloth is tied in different places so as to prevent the parts tied from receiving the dye. Cf. Band, n.]


A species of silk or cotton handkerchief, having a uniformly dyed ground, usually of red or blue, with white or yellow figures of a circular, lozenge, or other simple form.


A style of calico printing, in which white or bright spots are produced upon cloth previously dyed of a uniform red or dark color, by discharging portions of the color by chemical means, while the rest of the cloth is under pressure.



© Webster 1913.

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