Designer revolutionises doek

Modest wear designer Tasleem Bulbulia has revolutionised the doek as we know it.

No more sweaty heads and hair breakage as a result of wearing these crowns.

The Cape Town-based designer has teamed up with British firm Celessence TM Technologies and added their technology to her Bulbulia Threads turbans.

She explains her headpiece as a semi-made multi-way turban, which has a ready-made cap with turban straps that can be styled as you like.

With the added nano technology, she says the fabric keeps you feeling fresh during the day, keeps you cool when it is hot and humid and smells beautiful all day long.

She says she chose the turban because it reflects her African roots while still providing head-covering - it's practical, functional and graceful.

"Celessence was my sponsor for the Asia Islamic Fashion Week held in Malaysia. We decided to collaborate as part of the sponsorship.

The company already collaborates with international designers, with fragrances for sportswear and stuffed toys.

"This was a unique idea targeting the hijab-wearing public. For women wearing a headscarf all the time, their hair requires extra moisture. These turbans add the moisture, cooling and fragrances to keep your hair smelling good," she says.

Celessence was started by Shibani Mohindra and Suzanne Powell. They developed this micro-encapsulation technology over the last 25 years.

The filled micro-capsules protect their contents until the surface they are attached to is rubbed or agitated at which point they break and release their contents gradually. It's applied during the dyeing and finishing process, either by padding on to bulk fabric or via exhaust on to the finished garments. It lasts through several washes.

Bulbulia decided on the technology to relieve women who rely on covering their heads every day.

She says this piece of turban includes the cooling technology as well as Celessence Lustre, which is an all-natural blend of coconut, jojoba and olive oils blended with vitamin E to nourish and care for the hair.

"We are revolutionising the hijab, turban-wearing experience for women. The technology lasts for many washes and truly embraces the future of smart textiles," she says.

Bulbulia explains that she draws inspiration from all aspects of her life.

With more than 20 years' experience, she was a founding member of the Cape Town Fashion Council.

With earlier labels she created, Funeka and Soul Child, which retailed in top South African stores, Tasleem worked to redefine women's fashion by effortlessly combining an indigenous fashion aesthetic with high-fashion techniques.

She also featured in the world's first virtual fashion week in Cover Magazine last year, followed by Torino Fashion Week, the first European mainstream fashion week event to include modest wear.

She says her latest range is like all the rest - merging her love for fashion, culture, faith and community.

But she emphasises that as much as she wants to remain true to her religious and cultural influence, she also prompts engagement about the fashionable relationship between Western fashion and religion through her designs.

"I've always designed for real women, irrespective of age, race, religion. Modest wear is not only for Muslim women, but for all women of different cultural backgrounds."

Her label speaks of beautiful colours, bold but soft prints as well as neckpieces, statement bags and the head scarves.

The scarves, which will be sold internationally, can be purchased through her Instagram page @Bulbuliathreads and will be available online at @myonlinesouk.

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