The Cowboy Bandana, Back in Vogue!


Chloe wears her cowboy outfit, complete with bandana and hat!

We all know of the American cowboy bandana, that iconic scarf that’s tied around the neck. It was one accessory that no genuine cowboy would ever be without. A dust mask for the cattle drive, earmuffs in frigid weather, a sunburn protector against the scorching heat, a potholder for a branding iron, a medical tourniquet for first aid, eye protection against snow blindness - and the list goes on. 

Yep, no cowboy would ever hit the trail without one, and if you’re planning to rob the stagecoach, that bandana made a quick mask to hide your identity! They fashioned the bandana from a single cloth of silk, cotton or linen. It was folded into a triangle, and loosely tied around the neck, secured by a knot in the back.

The COVID 19 virus has brought about a resurgence of the bandana, especially in New Mexico, where cowboy style never goes out of vogue, and although authorities point toward face protection as the N95 medical mask, with a NIOSH test-rated filter cloth on the front and side elastic ear straps, finding one is next to impossible, unless you work in the medical profession. 

That leaves the public accepting the homemade surgical mask design made of a fashionable colored cloth, which is not unlike the actual filtering capabilities of the cowboy bandana. The enormous difference is in their iconic shapes - one screams pandemic, while the other lets you play cowboy. 

For me, … I’ll take the cowboy look any time!

By the way, the US Army’s Chemical Biological Center recently performed testing on those homemade mask designs, and the results were about a 40% level of protection, when compared to an N95 with its 95% level of particle filtering.

Old west cowboys pose wearing bandanas around their neck.
COVID 19 medical style mask - decorated in an attempt to look more friendly.

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