Thursday, May 14, 2009

IN PROGRESS: Types of Niqab

The simplest type of niqab is the half niqab. It is a single square of fabric that is usually affixed by a string tie or an elastic that secures it across the face. It is usually worn under a hijab (square or an oblong shalya) or a gashwa/boushiya, and a vast array of colours are sold online. I like this style of niqab for the simple fact that it comes in same crazy shades (women in Morroco like to rock a bright coloured half niqab with their hooded djellaba pinned on top), but the elastic ones often stretch out so I prefer the tie ones. Also, a hijab cap can be worn to cover the eyebrows, since they have no coverage with the hijab itself usually. and and
Another style of niqab is the band niqab (sometimes erringly referred to as burqa). This niqab has a band that is tied (or velcroed) behind the head and across the brow, covering the eyebrows. It may or may not come with a nose string but I neglected to show a picture of the band niqab with a nose string in my collage so I've posted one below the collage. Attached to the band is a single face covering layer of fabric, sometimes with a decorative top layer affixed to it.This is one of the oldest forms of niqab in continuous use by the Beduoin in many places in the world. I like it in the Gulf. It can slip though, if the hijab is not worn low enough, so be careful with this. It can come in other colours than black. and and .
The next style is the flip niqab. My mother-in-law from Saudi and I here in Canada, both like this style of niqab. It consists of a band varying in width that secures behind the head, and a layer to cover the face, and a top layer (or layers) that can be thrown behind the head or worn down to cover the eyes. This style of niqab may or may not come with a nose string. It is the most widely used style because it is practical for eating and drinking and has the most coverage. I prefer a nose string to keep the band from slipping into my eyes, but I think most styles can be worn modestly and beautifully. I don't like the ones with mesh over the eyes (I prefer shayla fabric) cuz then one can kinda get this sci-fi scary fly look. Niqab is supposed to be modest, not scary... They do come in colours other than black, black, brown, olive and beige being the most common though.,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,899/category_id,32/manufacturer_id,0/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,44/

A very popular niqab to style for stylish young women in the Gulf is the boushiya (known also as ghashwa). This is what my sister-in-law in Saudi wears, and Aalia in the UAE. This is a light airy breathable confection of fabric that usually worn entirely over the face resembling a bridal veil, consisting of fabric that flips down in layers to blur the facial features. They CAN become see-through though in direct sunlight, so outdoors in the daytime they are often worn with an elastic half niqab. When wearing the ghashwa with an elastic half niqab, one can also style the gashwa back so that your eyes are showing to make it look like you are wearing some special kind of niqab style. This is how Aalia sometimes wears it I can't guarantee the quality of these but here goes and


Coffee Catholic said...

Nice post!! I'm checking out the Caravan Express site. It has great hijabs!!

Majda said...

I like the half niqab and the boushiya.

Najm-us-Sahar said...

AOA, I love the gashwa style niqab.

Alia posted a video on her blog about how to wear gashwa but unfortunately i couldn't understand.

I need more info on that :(

Anonymous said...

Assalam alaikum, jazakallah sister for the info. but unfortunatly I can't understand. What's the gashwa looks like from the back? and how does it tight exactly? how long is it and how many layers does it have? I looked at aliya's video also but could'nt understand really from it, | think she should try to make another one as I saw some that she made which were very good. Can you provide any pics of what exactly is a gashwa please? jazakallah