growing a minimalist wardrobe: bandanas (again).

May 17, 2018

I usually try to let a significant amount of time elapse before revisiting a post. But I couldn’t help myself this time around. It’s spring, the birds are chirping, our bedraggled tees need something to distract us from their frayed edges. Bandanas abound and before we all need to trade our cotton for wool and brace ourselves for winter all over again, I wanted to make sure you all get plenty of time to grow your hankie collections. Useful for looking cute, wiping up messes, passing on paper bags, and packing up snacks for afternoons in the park and playdates.

Here’s my original bandana roundup, and without further ado, here are a whole bunch more I’ve been admiring since then:

Apprvl: Artist and natural-dyer Megan Mussari teamed up with her sister, artist Jen Mussari, to design a series of graphic bandanas. All of the bandanas are illustrated by Jen and over-dyed by Megan. The Keep Your Chin up Bandana gets its dusty rose color from madder root and proceeds go to Planned Parenthood.

Ginew: There’s lots to love about this Native American-owned denim company, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll direct you to their bandanas. The G-M Bandana includes hand-carved bandana designs including Ojibwe and Oneida symbols, line art, and sculpture. Their Shop Bandana reminds me of something out of the 1920s and is a collaboration with House of Land. And while it’s not available for sale, my indigo-dyed bandana shown above with the quilt pattern was a gift from my longtime internet friend Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers and was a collaboration between Maura, Ginew, and Lou Medel. (More about those bandanas in these posts.) 

FxCHRS (Foxcatchers LA): These gorgeous cotton bandanas are handprinted in downtown Los Angeles. Currently their online shop is based in Japan, but they’re opening a US-based site by the end of the month to make stateside purchasing a bit easier. I love their Dots and Maple Crest designs best. (If you’re impatient for the stateside shop, there’s a small selection of their bandanas available at Midland.)

Hum Creative: A Seattle women-owned creative agency made this set of contrasting cotton Introvert/Extrovert bandanas. I like to think of them as adult friendship necklaces, in cloth form!

Last Chance Textiles: Lindsey Fout’s cotton and silk bandanas are designed, sewn, and printed in Los Angeles. Her silk bandanas are naturally dyed with plant materials like madder, indigo, acorns, and osage. The Dot-Danna is currently sold out, but I love the rich golden mustard color she makes from Osage wood and iron. The intricate pattern on the Rosey-Danna Pitch Black Cotton Bandana was “inspired by Art Deco illustrator George Barbier, 18th century French textiles AND a border tribute to Indian woodblock printing.” So good.

Mary Claret & Woodhall Studio: Small-batch and low-waste clothing company Mary Claret partnered with illustrators at Woodhall Studio to design these beautiful Texas Wildflower Bandanas in navy, pink, and black. They’re designed, sewn, and screen-printed in Texas.

Misha & Puff: For their summer capsule collection, kids’ brand Misha & Puff have three beautiful cotton bandanas made in collaboration with artist Lena Corwin. I love the negative space and vintage-inspired design, especially on the Sand Dollar bandana. Not for kids, only.

Moxie and Moss: These Italian-made bandanas from women’s workwear company, Moxie and Moss were designed with messes in mind. They have a slightly more graphic and modern look for folks who might prefer it.

Nade: Maggie Pate takes food waste and turns it into color. I’ve admired her tassel scarves for a long time, but for anyone looking for a bandana-sized gem, her Misty Blue Ice Dye NeckScarf is my favorite. (And stay tuned! Her book, The Natural Colors Cookbook, comes out next month and is currently available for pre-order wherever books are sold.)

Specific Pigeon: If you’re into hand-dyed textiles, sunprints, and botanical specimens (and you know that I am), you might well fall in love with Specific Piegeon. They make beautiful cotton gauze bandanas and silk bandanas. Naturally, I’m in love the Hydrangea/Viburnum on Marbled Blue Bandana, but if you want something fancier, the silk/cotton blend scarves are larger and very beautiful. 

Okay. I’m sure you guys have still more favorites to recommend! Let us know!

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  • Reply Judith A Ross May 17, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    So many beautiful bandanas, so little time. Since your first post, bandanas have become part of my normal hiking uniform. I was especially thrilled to see the ones made here in Oregon. When walking in the often damp and cool Forest Park, it’s nice to wear something that not only looks jaunty and keeps my neck warm until I warm up, but also serves double duty as a handkerchief when my nose inevitably starts to drip. And I’m getting on a plane tomorrow morning and I plan to wrap my plane snacks (hard boiled egg, pb&j on homemade bread) in one.

  • Reply Kate aka embarrassed May 18, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I’m so sorry to ask such a silly question but I’ve always wanted to know … re: hankies. I really want to use one but feel like one sneeze could be enough to render one subsequently unuseable. I honestly can’t believe I’m asking (I have 2 kids…how have I come so far) but do you have like 4 for a day out?? Or …?

    • Reply Leslie May 19, 2018 at 7:40 am

      These work for me:

      • Reply Kate May 22, 2018 at 10:09 pm

        Leslie, thank you! These look great! Thanks for being helpful!

  • Reply Charlene May 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Have you heard of Bison Bison Supply? They’re a husband+wife, artist+designer team based out of Salt Lake City. They have some modern line-based designs, and also some gorgeously subtle shibori-inspired ones. I have a newborn, and the thought of being able to *wear* a wipe-up cloth is blowing my mind. Your post may inspire me to treat myself to a bandana or hankie this week!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 18, 2018 at 9:50 am

      New to me! Thanks for sharing!

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