Why do Muslim women wear tudung? This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions by some whenever they see Muslim women wearing one. The quickest answer usually is because to adhere to religion’s needs but rarely answered that the tudung is just a fashion. Some even don’t know why they would want to wear tudung or hijab and from that we can conclude that some of them are just following the herd without trying to understand the reasons to wear tudung. In my humble opinion, it is a shame when a women doesn’t know why she wears a tudung as I believe that a woman should always know why they want something and why they do something. However, that is just based on my assumptions on my own experience of interacting with other women. Whatever your judgments are on tudung, I would like to remind you that wearing tudung is not some kind of cult or anything but rather an honor for the Muslim women to wear them to protect themselves from any unwanted situations.
These days there are a lot of tudung variations and from what I learned, the most sought after tudung is tudung bawal. If you are not that sure what does it mean by "tudung bawal", you can read my previous post about variations of tudung including tudung bawal. Tudung bawal is famous for its softness which is what most women want whenever they wear tudung. Softness means that the tudung bawal is going to provide high level of comfort and comfort is all that a woman wants; from head to toe.
Some women wear tudung bawal just for fun and since tudung bawal is one of the most comfortable tudungs, it becomes the first choice for that single purpose. Furthermore, tudung bawal is quite easy to wear as there are only few simple knots to apply. However, I have also received some news from my close friends informing me that teenagers these days are more interested in finding “tudung ekin” than tudung bawal. We will discuss more about tudung ekin in future post but at this moment we will tackle few issues about tudung bawal.
What does it mean actually by tudung bawal? Straight-forward definition would translate the meaning as the pomfret-fish scarf. I believe that it received that name due to its folded-shape which is diamond-like or more of resembling the fish; the silver pomfret. However, the meaning does not help at all in identifying which tudung is tudung bawal and which are not.
One common feature of tudung bawal is the flourish decoration embroidered on the tudung surface. The flourish designs are usually embroidered at the tudung edges taking up quite a large space. Since Islam prohibited designs or images of animals on garments, these embroideries are usually consists of ornamented flowers with curvy and sweeping lines. Some tudung bawal are embroidered with the flourish patterns all the way along the edges which proves to be easier for some tudung wearers to fold it and wear it the way that they wanted.
Malay calls this embroidery as “kerawang” as the kerawang is part of tudung bawal itself rather than being stitched on the tudung bawal. So when you see tudung bawal sulam kerawang or tudung bawal kerawang, it means that the tudung is embroidered with the flourish designs. I don’t think that you can find tudung bawal with animal patterns since Islam discourage these kind of decorations. Furthermore, I do think that flourish designs are much better than animal designs as I find it beautiful whenever there are curves and swishes on the tudung bawal. Some kerawang(s) have different colors than the tudung which added more color varieties to the tudung bawal itself and therefore makes the tudung bawal looks more appealing. If you know the right way to wear the tudung bawal, I can assure you that you will look amazing with tudung bawal.
There are a lot of colors when it comes to purchase tudung bawal kerawang and my tenet is the best colors are pink tudung bawal, white tudung bawal, black tudung bawal with diamond-like kerawang, red tudung bawal, and also grey tudung bawal. What I’m trying to say here is these colors are easy to be matched with your other garments and since the “kerawang’ is usually shining, you can create an eye-catching manifestation whenever you wear one.
Some of these tudungs are also decorated with an array of “oktant” which are small shiny beads. These octants are designed and added to the scarf to make it more appealing and more attention-grabbing. Some women dislike these kinds of decoration as they look a bit hefty. Some women even mentioned that these types of decorations on tudung bawal will only turn the scarf to be more suitable for older women. Well, I have no comments on this view but I don’t mind wearing one that is modest in everything including the color, the numbers of the swish lines, and also I don’t mind having a few shining materials there. I believe that the lesser decorations there, the more appealing it will be.
As I have mentioned earlier, tudung bawal is popular since they are usually made from silk or cotton clothing which made them significantly comfort to the head and hair. You don’t feel too hot when wearing them and if you are working outdoors, tudung bawal might be your best bet. Additionally, the tudung bawal is quite easy to be worn and if you are quite new at wearing tudung, you can easily adapt the feelings of wearing tudung with tudung bawal.
Where can you get tudung bawal? Well, currently there are a lot of tudung bawal sellers out there that are actively selling this type of tudungs. One of my colleagues are getting them from east coast of Malaysia, Kelantan. According to some of the customers, tudung bawal from Kelantan are one of the best tudung bawal collection. There are many choices and patterns of this tudung from Kelantan. However, I am not that fond with the Kelantan tudung as I don’t find it quite interesting in terms of the tudung colors and the kerawang. Still, if you are interested, you can always order this tudung bawal from Kelantan either online or can just shop out there.
When you buy tudung bawal, please ensure few things including the price. Some sellers are selling them at overpriced tag and they usually give absurd excuses like it is hard to get that kind of tudung bawal and so on. You can always verify this by going to few tudung stores and you should be able to know the approximate price of tudung bawal. As long as you take this precaution methods when buying tudung bawal, you should be able to get nice tudung bawal and later enjoy wearing it with comfort and ease. Oh yes, for more information about Tudung Ekin, you may check it out here at Tudung Ekin Collection.