Ghutrah a Headdress with a History

By: Samar Yahya

The Saudi men’s national headdress; ‘Ghutrah’ is known since a very long time. Some say that the headdress first purpose was to protect their heads from the heat of the sun, as in the Arabian Peninsula old times men’s covering their head was part of their costume.

By time, the headdress which is either Ghutrah or Shemagh (The red and white checkered Ghutrah) has become part of the national costume, however, Shemagh with its checkers was not known until the 1950s.


When it comes to traditions and culture, Saudi people are always known for their enthusiasm to maintain their folklore, traditions, cultural trends and historical costume.

Though the modern lifestyle would make some of the youth wearing modern and casual clothes most of the days, Ghutrah and Thobe remain the official national attire for Saudi men and men in the Gulf countries. During weddings and Eid celebrations Saudi men wear their national costume and headdress reflecting their intensity on their culture and cultural costume.

Ghutrah is usually made of cotton or linen that makes it apt to the hot climate, yet fabric and material are getting more fashionable and come in different designs and some are from international

fashion brands. Soft and flexible Ghutrah is made of wool to go with the cold season of winter.

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