Kurdish caps avaKurdish skullcaps are unique because of the patterns we see on them. They are traditionally hand-crocheted, and the artisans create beautiful dotted ornamentation that you won’t find on other caps around the world. The pattern depends on the region of origin of a man wearing this skullcap, so one look at someone’s skullcap and keffiyeh will help determine his native region of Iraq.

Kurdish skullcaps or turban caps (they’re called so because this cap is worn underneath the turban) are traditionally used by Kurdish men. They usually have a round, slightly conical shape, they’re soft and comfy to wear, but the most distinctive feature of this traditional cap is the ornamentation on its surface.

The skullcap is crocheted using various colors of threads. The most popular patterns are black&white, black&orange, black&white&red, etc. Sometimes, there are multiple colors – up to 5-6. Although most often, only 2-3 colors of threads are used.

The patterns are usually created from sort of dots – small stitches of threads in different colors. The most popular are geometrical patterns – rhombs, circles, triangles, stars, and so on. But for some areas, floral crocheted designs are more typical.


Kurdish turban caps from Iraq
Kurdish man in Iraq sells turban caps in his small store


A Kurdish turban cap can be worn by men either as a separate headdress or together with a turban or keffiyeh wound around it. The cap works as a frame for the turban (creates the needed shape) and keeps it in place during the day – prevents the fabric from slipping or going askew.

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