Haruhi's Headband from a few stitches

Haruhi's Headband

It’s one of the most classic cultural icons since it came into mass popularity, there are not many people these days that aren’t familiar with Suzumiya Haruhi even if they may not necessarily know the ins and outs of the series behind it. It’s even spawned followings such as Haruhiism, a valid religion to tell any door knocker waiting to educate you on ‘other’ deities.

Since I decided to make Haruhi’s headband for a unexecuted cosplay a couple of days ago, strangely it appears that the headband has some real-life practical use.

It as an accessory always seemed strange to replicate in real life, but perhaps this is the result of usually witnessing a stilted effect in others’ replications. There have been replications made with cloth or felt, but when making a headband which flows naturally, what’s better than ribbon itself?

Haruhi's Headband

A reliance on glue

The problem largely, as far as I see, appears to be a reliance on glue. Personally I don’t own a hot glue gun or other glue of any variety apart from a glue stick to hold paper to another piece of paper. Already unlikely to hold for long, it is even more unlikely to hold a ribbon to a headband. Therefore, I’ve had to learn how to get creative with a needle.

I always create cosplay props with the intent to revert them back if necessary, because most of my items are not expendable, therefore my methods are usually as non-invasive as possible — a thread can always simply be cut. I took a headband that did not have much other decoration, and cut a length of ribbon so that it was the length of the headband and additionally would wrap nicely around both ends.

I folded a length of ribbon around one end of the headband and sewed it together, then I pulled the ribbon tight as I wound it across and folded it over the other end, doing the same. There’s no need to be too neat, as the ends are hidden by your hair. This holds the ribbon onto the headband nicely without needing to wait for it to dry or having to align it perfectly. There’s no need to wrap the headband completely, because considering the headband is on your head, no one will ever see the underside, and the bulkiness is unnecessary.

Haruhi's Headband

Adding the bows is actually the easiest part if you think about it. Your mileage may vary on the length depending on the type of reference material you use, but two lengths of ribbon cut roughly the same size and tied in bows around the headband and Bob’s your uncle. Well, that’s if you do have an uncle named Bob.

Tying a ribbon around an object is actually easier than trying to fold a bow and glueing it together or tying a bow around a knot in my opinion. It may take a few attempts if you want perfection, but if you do it carefully, usually it is quite easy to make a fairly naturally neat bow. A bow that is too perfect though, risks looking unnatural — hence the stilted look.

Anime and reality

For some people cosplay has actually passed that realm of something they do on special occasions and actually has become part of their daily wear. On more occasions they’re cosplaying than they’re not. Cosplaying is like the air they breathe, and they will take any excuse they can to do so.

That’s not the case for me though, I wore this headband at first with my ‘street clothes’ because it was easier to carry it that way, and then I realised I liked it. While I know of no occasion where it was worn by the masses outside of cosplay, it just evokes an air of elegance somehow. It’s more than a simple headband, not overly extravagant, but adds that extra touch.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll keep wearing it, since it seems to go with the occasion (Chinese New Year) well. For other occasions though, perhaps replicating it in different colours would be an interesting trial, even just to see who you could infuriate by your cosplay ‘inaccuracies’.

(As an aside, I disavow myself of any responsibility in the event another otaku takes you down for ‘inaccuracies’. But a perfect cosplay is overrated anyway — more about that later.)