During the long years of studying medieval Bulgarian and Balkan murals and wall-depictions, I have noticed a very distinct and common headwear style. It appears that the people on the Balkans – modern Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Macedonia, have a tradition of wrapping their heads with scarfs. It may seem like an eastern practice to most modern reconstructors, but back in the middle ages they used to use that a lot. It’s not very surprising considering that women had to wear scarfs and keep their hair hidden while in public.
We call that the “Byzantine” style of wear because they have a tradition in wearing that, and the tribes that came during the great migration from Asia, adopted it later. I think that Bulgarians and Serbs adopted that fashion after the 12th century, and it lasted up to the late 14th -15th.
At first, we thought that this is just a way for depicting wise men or certain biblical figures. With time and various historical evidence from depictions and murals, we’ve become convinced that this style of headgear was actually used and not just depicted in churches and monasteries.
The medieval scarf needs to be long and rectangular. It has to be made of a thin and flexible fabric that can breathe easily and keep your head shaded at the same time. I managed to develop the wrapping technique with plenty of tests and experiments.
Leave the captions on if you need a more detailed tutorial.
These are just a few of the many sources on the Balkans that show this type of medieval scarf. You can even see the byzantine soldier wearing it under his helmet. The photo on the cover is my experiment of what it would look like to wear a helmet over a scarf. It’s pretty comfortable actually, but it depends on the helmet as well.
Enjoy, and feel free to ask 😛