Bandana Patterns

The bandana originated from India where its name was derived from the method used to make the cloth – tie and dye. The technique involved the use of strings to tie the cloth in various locations before dipping it into boiling dye. The dye would soak on other areas of the cloth leaving the tied areas in the original color of the cloth. This is how the first bandanas were made.

READ: Ways to Wear a Bandana

Today, textile making has improved technologically making the process of designing bandanas not only easier but with varied patterns. You can select the traditional square piece of cloth or the modern tube bandana and it will have varied bandana patterns that are pleasing to the eyes. Here are a few examples that can help you to style your wardrobe.

Paisley Pattern

Paisley Pattern

This is the most common pattern and it has been around for a few centuries now. Originally, the dots on the paisley pattern were made through a process of bleaching. Chlorine was forced through perforated lead plates in order to form the patterns.

The paisley pattern is believed to have originated around the Persian region where it represented a spray of flowers or a bent cedar tree. The pattern was imported to England by the Dutch East India Company. Its name “Paisley” is derived from a Scottish town where the pattern became widely produced.

Today, it is imprinted on red, black and dark blue bandanas becoming one of the most recognized patterns around the world. Every bandana fan has a few paisley patterns in their closets.

Skulls and Crossbones

Skull and crossbones bandana

The skull and crossbones pattern is believed to have originated with the English pirates who were known to roam the Atlantic especially around the Caribbean in search of loot. The pirates introduced the bandana to the Americas when they had come with the sole intention of plundering Spanish galleons for gold.

From then on, the pattern spread across the Americas and even the American Indians have been noted to have adorned the pattern some time back. Today, it is widely associated with motorbike riders and macabre admirers. The print is unisex which means both men and women can wear it. The pattern helps to define the unique personality of the individual.

Plain Color

Plain Color

The Scout Movement was founded by Robert Baden Powell in 1907. The movement today has spread around the world. It helps to train and nurture young people. It also helps them develop their physical, mental and spiritual parts of their lives. Do not forget the strong outdoor and survival skills the young people are imparted with.

One notable piece of uniform that the Scout Movement adopted is the plain color bandana. In different countries, you will find scouts having a red, yellow, green or blue bandana around their neck. Today, many colors have been incorporated together with logos of the Scout Movement improving the pattern.

National flag

flag bandana - patriotic

If you love your country, the national flag pattern on your bandana is a great style to wear. Not only does it make you proud, triumphant and commemorative but it allows you to display your allegiance. You can get different national flags imprinted on bandanas from US, Canada, UK and others.

The design is great to wear during a national holiday that is commemorating the country’s Independence Day such as Fourth of July for the US. The bandana can be worn in different styles for example around the wrist, as a headband, a dorag, scarf, facemask, hair band and neckerchief among others.

Sports Team

professional basketball team bandanas

If you are looking for an activity or bunch of activities that will help you to improve your physical ability and skills as well as have fun in the process, then you need to try different outdoor games and sports. In any game, you will find two teams contesting for a particular goal usually a trophy. In the past, bandanas were used actively in sports. For example, boxing matches back in the day especially illegal matches were carried out in the dark. To differentiate between the players as well as which player has thrown a punch or been hit, bandanas were used.

Before the game, a colored bandana was tied on the posts for each opponent while they had one wrapped around the wrist. This became easier to identify the players. Today, bandanas are imprinted with team colors of different teams and fans can show support by wearing to tournaments.


checkered bandanas

The checkered design comes in a variety of colors within one bandana. It is an ideal choice for people looking for something different. It is decorated and stitched from one corner to another in tiny squares or thick lines.

Like any other bandana with patterns, this can be worn as a facemask, headband, scarf, neckerchief or hair band. It can still have other uses in the home such as improving grip on a stuck jar, as a table cloth, as a handkerchief to cover the mouth when one is coughing or sneezing. This is handy as it helps to prevent the spread of airborne diseases.


Polka Dot

baby wearing polka dot bandana

The polka dot has come a long way and it can be said to be as old as the paisley pattern. The design comes with an array of filled circles. The circles are perfectly even and sized differentiating it from a spot pattern. It is believed to have originated in the late 19th century in UK.

polka dot bandana

The pattern has appeared on different clothing accessories over the years together with bandanas. As a classic pattern, you can dress in the bandana in any style you want. It is a timeless pattern that has passed through the centuries. You can always go for the retro look with your bandana or select any other style that suits you.


Camouflage bandana

The word “camouflage” is believed to have originated from the Parisian slang term “camoufler.” The term simply means to disguise. This was after the French army began to employ different artists to paint their artillery and observation posts in the same pattern as the forest. This happened in World War One and since then, the pattern has not only been adopted by military organizations around the world but in the civilian clothing apparel in form of bandanas. The use of the pattern by military organizations was to give the officers tactical advantage against their enemy.

The bandana pattern has become a favorite for hunters, environmental enthusiast, military and other law enforcement officers. It is a perfect disguise designed to blend with the surroundings.

Brand Logo

branded motorcycle bandana

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the bandana had already become a powerful piece of clothing. Not only was it used as a communication device but it was highly used in hospitals as a bandage during the war. People saw the use of the bandana as effective which led to the decision of using it as an advertising platform.

Custom Bandanas:

Today, majority of companies like NASCAR and Harley Davidson brand bandanas with their logos and words of inspiration. These designs are bought by fans of the companies helping to market the company and its products to wider regions.

Tie Dye Pattern

tie dye bandana options

As said earlier, the bandana originated from a word referring to the method used to make it – tie and dye. Today, thanks to technological improvement, modern patterns are designed with better stencils and other tools.

There are bandanas that are made with the tie and dye method. These have become widely used among activists protesting about a particular cause. Starting with LGBT to environmental issues, you are bound to see many tie dye bandanas among the people. The colors used are usually bright ranging from red to yellow with some shades of blue and green included. 

READ: Ways to Use Bandanas