For years my girlfriend and I have been trying to find a great place to buy a decent bandana – one that isn’t so stiff we’d have to wash it twenty times before it could be worn comfortably, one that doesn’t stain your skin when it gets wet, one with clean straight hems, great colors & patterns, standard size (not skimpy or small), and one that didn’t cost too much. Too much to ask? For years we thought so. We hadn’t seen a quality bandana at a good price since the 60s and 70s! But we finally found the perfect bandana, with everything we need and want – including softness, great choices in colors & patterns, and quality fabric. The price? Just $1.00 and it wasn’t at a dollar store, it was at Walmart. I know Walmart often has great prices but we didn’t expect this great price with color & pattern choices and great quality too. We can’t find them for $1.00 on the Walmart.com website, but our local Walmart in New York (Long Island) had plenty in many color and pattern choices. We’re hoping Walmart will continue to sell these quality bandanas and increase the pattern choices while keeping the cost at only one dollar. If we find other stores or websites that offer great quality, choice and price we’ll update this post and let everyone know.
Why are we so happy about this one little item? Because we use them every day, in many ways. It’s a staple item in our life and in the life of many Americans or anyone who enjoys the outdoors, sports or knows hard work. Bandanas have been a staple accessory for millions of people for over 200 years:
• Wear them simply for fashion, for men, women, children, and pets.
• Outdoor workers, such as farmers and cowboys, wear them around the neck to wipe the sweat off their faces and keep dust & dirt out of their collars.
• Forest firefighters have been known to wear them over their mouth and nose to lessen inhalation of heat, ash, and fumes when breathing apparatus is unavailable.
• Dancers and athletes wear them during practice as a simple way of keeping hair and sweat out of their faces, or as part of their costume/uniform. Commonly used by bicyclists, campers, hikers and others who enjoy the outdoors.
• Over the years soldiers would wear them to keep their own sweat and blood out of their eyes. They could also be used as a tourniquet for wounds.
• Restaurant kitchen staff wear them to keep hair and sweat from falling into the food that they prepare.
• Bandanas are also traditionally used as handkerchiefs by manual laborers and outdoors-men, instead of a “dress” white handkerchief because dark colors and patterns hide stains.
• Cowboys would (and still do) typically wear bandanas around their face to keep dust out and keep the scent of their horse’s manure away as they traveled slowly.
• Different colors, and sometimes designs, can be worn as a means of communication or identification. For example, in certain subcultures a bandana would be worn in a pocket or, in some cases, around the leg.
• A must have for emergency preparedness and survivalists because they have so many uses; head cover, hair tie, sweat band (head, neck, wrists), neck scarf for warmth, bandage, tourniquet, ankel or wrist wrap after injury, washcloth, towel, flag, water/liquid filter, air filter (over nose & mouth), ice/snow bag to relieve swelling injuries, tie strap on anything, satchel (hobo bag) or tote, mitten (tie around your hand), Molotov cocktail wick (in the event of having to defend yourself from attackers) and what ever else your imagination can think of.
Uses for Bandanas:
Sweat Band (head or neck)
Wash Cloth or Hand Towel (lightweight for back packing and emergency preparedness “go bags”)
Doggie Scarf (cats too)
Handkerchief (dark colors & patterns don’t show stains)
Neck Scarf (to keep cool, stay warm, or just for fashion)
Napkin (better absorption than more expensive cloth napkins)
Warning Flag (traditionally red or orange)
SOS or Help Signal Flag (use white, yellow, bright orange)
Fashion Symbol or Flag (for groups, clubs, gangs)
Fabric (for crafts, quilts, clothes for people or dolls & stuffed toys, home decor projects)
and much more