Chenille Stem Whirling Dervishes {Tutorial}

Islam has close to 2 billion followers world wide. Many Muslims, followers of Islam, choose to practice different types of dhikr, a devotional act in which prayers are repeatedly recited.

 

Some of these Muslims are the known as the Mevlevi Order, a Sufi order founded by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic theologian and Sufi mystic.

 

When my husband and I traveled to Turkey a few years ago, we witnessed these Whirling Dervishes practitioners at every turn in Istanbul. They were mesmerizing to watch, performing their Sama ceremony.

 

I talked to my daughter about the Whirling Dervishes and showed them photos of our travels. Afterwards we made a few of our own and we’d like to teach you how we did it. We then placed them on our lazy Susan kitchen tray and watched them turn and turn and turn.

 

Supplies

Chenille stems in white (2), red (1) & black (1)
Thread
Wire cutters
Scissors
Napkins

We started by folding the two white chenille stems in half. On one, we added a little loop and twist at the top.

We placed the non-looped stem on about where the belly would be on our person and twisted the stem up the body. Once we reached the neck area, we stopped.

We set that aside to make our tennure outfit from the square napkin by folding pleats.  This garment is  worn over a man’s undergarments and reaches from the shoulder to the ankle. When it has long sleeves, it is called an entari.

After the pleating, we also twisted our napkin.

We opened the napkin and cut a little triangle at the corner with the most folds, for our person’s head.

We also opened the napkin and cut two little slits for the arms.

We placed our person on the napkin, with the head over the opening, so we know how much of the bottom to cut off.

We opened the napkin and carefully slipped our person’s head and arms inside the openings we cut. We used the tread to tie off the waist. This will help hold the napkin in place.

Next we worked on the conical cap known as a sikke by bending our red chenille stem into a rectangle.

We then wrapped the rest of the stem around the rectangle.

So that it stays in place on our person, we wrapped a little red stem around the top of the head and folded the end back into the hat.

The final touch was adding the black chenille stem to the waist to cover up the thread. Cut off any extra with the wire cutters. This sash or belt is called a kemer.

These Whirling Dervishes were so easy to make, we added more in no time.

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials that teach you about our Islamic world.