The Ultimate Breakdown of the 8 Hijab Types and Fabrics

Hijabs come in many different styles and fabrics. When choosing a hijab, there are many factors to take into account. Check out Haute Hijab’s ultimate guide to knowing and appreciating different hijab fabrics!

Hijabs come in many different styles and fabrics. When choosing a hijab, there are many factors to take into account. Check out Haute Hijab’s ultimate guide to knowing and appreciating different hijab fabrics!

Remember the days of taking pashmina shawls and department store scarves and repurposing them as hijabs? We do too, and boy are we glad those days are loooong gone! Today, Muslim women have a plethora of choices when it comes to hijabs and hijab fabrics.

From chiffon to georgette to silk to satin to woven to jersey – hijab-wearing women can choose their hijab fabrics based on their lifestyle and personal preferences, how they want to style their hijabs, if they want to wear an under scarf, what the weather is like and more.

While choice is a great thing, it can get a little overwhelming at times, especially if you’re used to one type of hijab fabric or style or you’re not sure what works best for you. The quality of hijab fabrics you choose makes a big difference in styling, wearability, durability and more. Knowing more about the hijab types available to you as well as some knowledge about the materials they’re made of can only help you decide what it is you want to wear.

With that said, let us help you! Here’s a breakdown of the hijab fabrics and how you can style them.

Chiffon Hijabs

Chiffon is one of the most common hijab fabrics that you’ll see. It is typically made of medium/lightweight polyester and is airy and slightly sheer. The lightweight nature of this fabric makes it great for warmer weather and makes it easy to drape elegantly – so it’s perfect for professional and formal wear. You can, of course, wear chiffon year-round, as it also lends itself well to layering in colder months. And if you see the word “georgette” floating around, it’s part of the chiffon family but slightly more textured and a bit thicker. We recommend the use of an under scarf to avoid slipping due to chiffon’s smooth nature, as well as a hijab magnet to secure the hijab in place for a sleek, polished look every time.

Check out Haute Hijab’s Everyday Chiffon Hijabs and Printed Chiffon Hijabs if you’re interested in trying this kind of hijab!

Styling tutorial: Haute Hijab’s CEO Melanie Elturk demonstrates how to style a chiffon hijab.

Care instructions: Machine wash warm with like-fabrics and colors. Tumble dry on low. For make-up or oil stains, spot treat with stain remover. No ironing is needed.

Jersey Hijabs

Jersey is a pretty beloved hijab fabric due to its softness, stretchiness and ability to wrap with ease and no pins. Jersey is a synthetic fabric “made from a filament-like polyester, natural if made from a natural yarn like cotton, or man-made if made from an artificial yarn like viscose.” Many women tend to wear jersey hijabs when out and about, running errands, and just day to day because of their ease and comfort. . They are a great option for all things casual – think of them as your “go anywhere” hijabs – at Haute Hijab, we call them “sweatpants for your head” because they’re that comfortable! No under scarf or pins are needed for this fabric.

Our Premium Jersey (made of 95% Viscose, 5% Lycra) is a cult favorite and has earned us the #KingofJersey title due to its perfect weight, stretch, size and quality.

Styling tutorial: Melanie demonstrates a couple of ways to wrap a jersey hijab.

Care instructions: Hand wash or machine wash warm only with other scarves in like colors. Tumble dry on low. For make-up or oil stains, spot treat with stain remover. Due to the nature of the stretch fabric, it will shrink up in the wash. Once ironed, it’s as good as new!

Woven Hijabs

Woven, which can be called viscose or modal by other hijab companies, is a popular hijab fabric due to its breathability, lightweight feel and ability to drape and wrap with less slippage. These hijabs are great for everyday use and the styling options are endless, especially because they can be styled without pins (in fact, you should avoid wearing pins with your woven hijabs, as it’ll poke holes in the weave and ruin the fabric!). You can comfortably wear wovens all day, every day and even during warmer months, as they feel light on your head and comfortable.

The fiber that makes up this fabric, according to this article by Boody, is “a semi-synthetic material. It combines natural fibers with a careful chemical treatment that breaks down proteins into a new structure that can be spun and woven into viscose blend fabric. It’s also known as the most common type of rayon fiber. However, it is that chemical treatment process that can be problematic depending on the solvents used and how they impact water supplies.

If you’re looking for a more sustainably-sourced woven hijab, pay attention to how the fibers are processed and how its water usage is treated.

At Haute Hijab, we made a switch with our own viscose hijabs to a Bamboo Woven collection made of a sustainably-processed bamboo woven fabric that feels like feathery cotton and is beautifully soft to the touch.

The fibers used in our Bamboo wovens have been mechanically, rather than chemically processed. Mechanically processed bamboo is distinct because, unlike standard viscose production, it does not use any chemical solvents to extract the fiber. The result is softer on the environment, softer on manufacturing partners and their communities, and softer on you.

Note: because of the natural fibers that make up these hijabs, they’re more susceptible to wrinkles, so make sure you roll them or fold them properly once you take them off!

Styling tutorial: Woven hijabs can be styled in so many beautiful ways! Check out this tutorial to see how Melanie does her signature woven style!

Care instructions: Hand wash or machine wash warm only with other scarves in like colors. Wash dark colors alone to avoid any possible color bleeding. Tumble dry on low or hang to dry. For make-up or oil stains, spot treat with stain remover. Due to the nature of the woven fabric it will shrink up and needs a warm iron.

Pleated Hijabs

Pleated hijabs are a wonderful, newer option for Muslim women, offering a lovely textured drape to hijab styling. They can be made out of a variety of materials – most often chiffon or a chiffon-polyester blend or a crepe fabric – and undergo a special pleating process to ensure that the pleats stay in place and don’t flatten out over time. Pleats are a type of fold in a fabric that can take on many looks, the basic being when the fabric is “folded back on itself, thereby creating an accordion-like appearance.” These hijabs tend to be opaque and should not need to be folded to be worn.

Haute Hijab carries two types of pleated hijabs – Fine Pleat and Cascade Pleat! Our Fine Pleat hijabs are made out of a beautiful crepe fabric that has a special weight and drape to it that doesn’t make it feel overly heavy on your head but has a luxurious feel. Our Cascade Pleat hijabs are made of lightweight textured chiffon and feature a fanned-out pleat – a cascading pleat – that starts with a narrow width of pleat in the center, then segues to a wider pleat, and finally fans out to textured chiffon fabric at the hijab ends.
Styling tutorial: Check out this video for how Melanie styles a Fine Pleat hijab and this video for styling our Cascading Pleat hijab.

Care instructions: We recommend dry cleaning these any pleated hijab to help maintain the pleats

Satin Hijabs

Smooth and shiny with a liquid drape, satin hijabs are perfect for formal looks or anything that calls for something a little extra special. Satin hijabs generally come in a medium weight and are typically made from polyester. They have a lovely sheen that can help give a simple jeans-and-sweater outfit that extra bit of pop. These hijabs are also perfect for parties and events like weddings and any formal function. Due to the smooth and slippery nature of satin, we recommend the use of an under scarf and hijab magnet to help secure the hijab in place without ruining the delicate fabric with pinholes.

Check out Haute Hijab’s Perfect Satins, and our No-Snag Hijab Magnets!

Styling tutorial: Check out this satin hijab style tutorial with Melanie.

Care instructions: Machine wash your satin hijabs in warm water with like fabrics and colors. Tumble dry on low. For make-up or oil stains, spot treat with stain remover. Iron on the lowest setting and on the matte side of the fabric – never the shiny side, as this can cause permanent damage.

Sport Hijabs

Sports hijabs are their own up-and-coming category, with many companies offering these made out of a variety of materials. Often these hijabs are made out of polyester or some sort of polyester blend ( with some nylon or spandex added) to achieve stretchy and quick-drying properties. They are often designed to be worn as a one-piece constructed hijab that you pull on and can tuck into your workout clothes.

When we designed and created the Haute Hijab Sport Collection we envisioned more than a one-size-fits-all sports hijab. In our research and development, we addressed several pain points for Muslim women when it came to sport hijabs (or working out in a makeshift sports hijab): overheating, slippage, size, appearance and sustainability. The result? A line of four sport hijabs made sustainably from groundbreaking S.Café tech fabric (made from used coffee beans!) that offers incredible cooling, odour-repelling, moisture-wicking and breathability benefits you have to feel to believe. Each style is ergonomically designed and comes in two sizes (except for the Tech Wrap) to provide a secure and comfortable fit, designed to feel completely weightless so that you’re free to focus on your workout.

The fabrics of our sport hijabs have a leg up on polyester. The S.Cafe fabric, which is fast drying, has odour control, UV protection, can cool down the temperature of a woman’s skin (when working out) by 1 to 2 celsius compared to common fabrics. Also – it is a circular material, meaning the fabric manufacturer uses waste as a source to make a polymer/fiber.

Styling tutorial: Sports hijabs are generally one-piece designs that you put on and tuck into your shirt. We do offer the option of a Tech Wrap and Tech Cap, which you can style in different ways. Check out this video to learn more about the science of our Haute Hijab’s Sport Collection.

Care instructions: Gentle machine wash cold inside a care bag. Lay flat to dry and do not tumble dry, iron or dry clean.

Crinkle Hijabs

Credit: Azelefa Co.

Crinkle hijabs are just that – hijabs that have a crinkly texture mechanically added to them. They are often constructed from a woven viscose material and sometimes viscose cotton, the combination of which makes for a hijab that gives you a little lightweight bulk around your head and the ability to wrap with no pins. These hijabs are known to generally stay in place and not slip around. They are often designed with a raw edge to give them a more easy-going, casual vibe. Because they stay pretty well in place, you don’t have to wear an under scarf with it unless you like the extra coverage and security of wearing one. The tradeoff? These hijabs aren’t typically made of high-quality fabric, so they may not last through several washes.

Styling tutorial: Check out this video for seven ways you can style a crinkle hijab!

Care instructions: Gentle machine wash cold and lay flat to dry or hang dry. Don’t tumble dry or iron it, as you want the crinkles to stay in place.

Silk Hijabs

Silk is such a lovely fabric and is nature’s super thread. It’s incredibly soft and luxe and has been the fabric of choice for centuries of empresses, sultanas and queens. Since it was first invented more than 3,000 years ago, silk has been the fabric that just makes you feel … fancy. Silk hijabs are such a versatile and beautiful option, something you can use to dress up an outfit or elevate a casual ensemble.

Silk hijabs are incredibly lightweight. To give some context, the system for the weight of silk fabric is called “momme,” abbreviated as “mm.” It’s a unit based on how many pounds a 100-yard bolt of 45”-wide fabric weighs, so the higher the number, the thicker the silk. Silk sheets or robes are typically around 22mm, while silk twill hijabs come in around 12mm. Silk hijabs can be even lighter than that, with the result being it literally feels like you’re not wearing anything on your head. As a natural fiber, silk is also an ideal choice for women who can’t wear synthetic fabrics for medical reasons or simply prefer not to. Its smooth, non-absorbent finish is also great for women with natural hairstyles who need something gentle and non-drying on their hair.

Silk is also pretty slippery, so we recommend wearing it with an under scarf and using magnets to secure it and keep it from getting damaged by pins.

Styling tutorial: While Haute Hijab’s silk hijab collection has sold out and we currently don’t carry it, this tutorial will help you learn how to style any silk hijab you own! 

Care instructions: Silk is an extremely delicate fabric, so do not attempt to machine wash these hijabs. Either dry clean or gently swish in mildly soapy water and hang dry. We recommend you diligently follow care instructions from wherever you purchased your silk.

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