FAQ ABOUT THAWBS

Get all your thawb related questions answered here!

Beige thawb | Collar thawbs

Thobe (‘thawb’) is actually an Arabic word, meaning ‘garment’. Nowadays, we understand a thobe to be a long robe typically worn in the Arab countries, though the design has now spread across the globe.

Common materials used to make thobes include:

  1. Cotton: Cotton thobes are the most common and comfortable choice. They are lightweight, breathable, and well-suited for hot and dry climates. Cotton thobes are popular for everyday wear.
  2. Linen: Linen thobes are also lightweight and breathable, making them suitable for warm weather. Linen is known for its cool and crisp feel, which can be very comfortable in hot climates.
  3. Polyester: Some thobes are made from polyester blends. These thobes may be more affordable and easy to care for but may not be as breathable as natural materials like cotton or linen.
  4. Wool: Wool thobes are warmer and are typically worn in cooler climates. They are less common than cotton or linen thobes and are often reserved for winter wear.

While thobes are closely associated with Islamic culture, they are not exclusive to Muslims and can be worn by people from diverse backgrounds for various reasons.

There are so many thobe types that have evolved overtime. Some of the most popular ones are, Omani thobes, Saudi thobes, Bahraini thobes etc. To learn about all the varied thobe types, read our blog post on this: Different Thobe Types

The pronunciation of “thobe” can vary depending on the regional accent and the language spoken. In Arabic, “thobe” is often pronounced as follows:

  1. In standard Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic), it is pronounced as “thowb.” The “th” sound is pronounced like the “th” in “this,” and the “ow” is a long “o” sound.
  2. In some regional accents of Arabic, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula, it may be pronounced as “thob” with a shorter “o” sound.

A “thobe” and a “kandura” are both traditional garments worn by men in various Middle Eastern and Gulf countries. While they share similarities, there are some differences in terms of design, names, and regional variations. Here are the key distinctions:

  1. Names and Terminology:
    • Thobe: “Thobe” is a more general term and is commonly used to refer to the traditional robe worn in various countries, including Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
    • Kandura: “Kandura” is primarily associated with the traditional garment worn in the United Arab Emirates and some other Gulf countries. It is a specific regional name for a type of thobe.

A “thobe” and a “kandura” are both traditional garments worn by men in various Middle Eastern and Gulf countries. While they share similarities, there are some differences in terms of design, names, and regional variations. Here are the key distinctions:

  1. Names and Terminology:
    • Thobe: “Thobe” is a more general term and is commonly used to refer to the traditional robe worn in various countries, including Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
    • Kandura: “Kandura” is primarily associated with the traditional garment worn in the United Arab Emirates and some other Gulf countries. It is a specific regional name for a type of thobe.
  2. Design and Details:
    • Thobe: Thobes can come in various styles and designs depending on the region. They are typically long, loose-fitting garments with long sleeves. The necklines and cuffs of thobes can vary in design, and they may or may not have embroidery or other embellishments.
    • Kandura: The kandura is a specific style of thobe that is known for its simplicity and minimalistic design. It is usually characterized by a collarless neckline and no embellishments. It often comes in white or off-white colors.
  3. Regional Variations:
    • Thobe: The design of thobes can vary significantly from one region to another. For example, the Palestinian thobe may feature intricate embroidery, while the Saudi thobe is often more plain and white. Different regions may have their own variations in terms of length, sleeves, and necklines.
    • Kandura: The kandura is associated with Gulf countries, and its design is relatively consistent across these regions. It is often made from white fabric, and the design is characterized by its simplicity, with a unique collarless neckline and no embroidery.

In summary, while “thobe” is a more general term that can refer to traditional men’s robes in various countries, “kandura” is a specific style of thobe associated with the Gulf countries. The key differences lie in the design details, names, and regional variations.

Cleaning and maintaining a thobe, like any other clothing item, depends on the fabric it’s made from and the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Here are some general tips for cleaning and maintaining a thobe:

1. Spot Clean Stains: If you notice a stain on your thobe, try to spot clean it immediately. Blot the stain gently with a clean cloth and a mild stain remover or soap. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain.

2. Washing:

  • Machine Washing: Thobes made from cotton, linen, or polyester blends are usually machine washable. Use a gentle cycle and cold or lukewarm water. Turn the thobe inside out to protect any embroidery or embellishments.
  • Hand Washing: Delicate fabrics like silk or wool may require hand washing in cold water. Use a mild detergent and avoid wringing or twisting the fabric.

3. Use Mild Detergent: Use a gentle, mild detergent to protect the fabric and color of the thobe. Avoid harsh detergents or bleach.

4. Avoid Overcrowding: Do not overcrowd the washing machine or sink when cleaning your thobe. This can lead to excessive wrinkling and potential damage.

5. Rinse Thoroughly: Make sure to rinse the thobe thoroughly to remove all detergent residue.

6. Drying:

  • Air Dry: It’s generally best to air dry thobes by hanging them on a hanger or a clothesline. Avoid direct sunlight, which can fade the fabric.
  • Avoid Tumble Drying: Using a dryer can cause shrinkage, wrinkles, and damage to embellishments.

7. Ironing: Iron your thobe while it’s slightly damp for best results. Use a low to medium heat setting depending on the fabric. Be cautious when ironing any embroidery or delicate areas.

8. Storage: When not wearing your thobe, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use padded hangers to maintain its shape, and avoid overcrowding in the closet.

 

Remember that proper care and maintenance can help extend the life of your thobe and keep it looking its best.

The choice of accessories worn with a thobe can vary based on personal style, cultural traditions, and the formality of the occasion. Here are some accessories that are commonly worn with thobes:

  1. Headwear:
    • Kufi or Taqiyah: A kufi (also known as a taqiyah) is a traditional cap that can be worn with a thobe. It is a simple, close-fitting cap and is commonly worn by Muslim men as a form of head covering.
  2. Footwear:
    • Sandals: Traditional sandals are often worn with thobes, especially in warmer climates. Leather or woven sandals are popular choices.
    • Closed-toe Shoes: For formal occasions, closed-toe leather shoes are typically worn. These shoes may be designed to match the thobe or provide a contrast.
  3. Bisht: A bisht is a traditional outer cloak worn over the thobe, often during formal or special occasions. It adds an extra layer of elegance to the outfit.
  4. Watch: Wearing a wristwatch can be a stylish and functional accessory to complement the thobe.
  5. Agal (Iqal): An agal, also known as an iqal, is a cord used to secure the headwear (kufi or ghutrah) in place. It is commonly worn in some Arab countries, especially in the Arabian Peninsula.
  6. Ring: Some individuals may choose to wear rings as a form of personal adornment.
  7. Perfume or Oud: Applying perfume or traditional Middle Eastern scents like oud is a common practice to enhance one’s overall appearance and fragrance.
  8. Cufflinks and Tie Bars: For formal occasions, cufflinks and tie bars can be added to enhance the overall look, especially if the thobe is worn with a suit-like ensemble.

It’s important to note that the choice of accessories with a thobe can be highly individual and may depend on the specific cultural and regional traditions of the wearer. Additionally, the formality of the occasion and personal style play a significant role in determining which accessories are chosen to complement the thobe.

 

Yes, men’s thobes are suitable for hot weather, and they are a popular choice of clothing in many Middle Eastern and North African countries precisely because of their suitability for hot and arid climates.

Omani thobes and Emirati thobes are traditional garments worn by men in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), respectively. Omani thobes are known for their intricate embroidery, loose fit, stand-up collar, and wider cuffs, while Emirati thobes (kanduras) are characterized by their simplicity, round collarless neckline, and minimalistic design. Both thobes have unique cultural significance and are well-suited to the respective traditions and climate of Oman and the UAE.

The meaning of the word jubbah in Arabic has been described above as long sleeved, open robe. However, the word jubbah today, is typically used synonymously with the thobe, with both words meaning the same thing. It’s commonly used among South Asian Muslims as well as some English-speaking Muslims in the West.

  1. Undershirt: Some people wear a lightweight undershirt or vest under the thobe for added comfort. It can help absorb sweat and prevent the thobe from sticking to the body.
  2. Long Robe or Jubbah: In some cultures, it is common to wear a long robe, called a “jubbah” or “dishdasha,” as an underlayer beneath the thobe. This adds an extra layer of clothing and can be especially comfortable in colder weather.
  3. Kandura or Sirwal: In the Gulf region, it is common to wear a kandura (the local name for a thobe) over a sirwal, which is a wide-legged, loose-fitting pair of trousers. This combination provides extra comfort and modesty, and the sirwal may be visible when the thobe is raised.
  4. Additional Layers for Warmth: In colder climates or during the winter, some individuals may opt to wear thermal or long-sleeve base layers under their thobes for added warmth.
  1. Everyday Wear: Thobes are commonly worn as everyday attire in many Middle Eastern and North African countries. They are comfortable, practical, and well-suited for the hot climate of the region.
  2. Religious Observances: Thobes are appropriate attire for attending religious events, such as Friday prayers at the mosque, religious lectures, and other religious gatherings.
  3. Cultural and Social Events: Thobes are frequently worn at weddings, celebrations, and other social events. The choice of thobe may vary based on the formality of the event.
  4. Formal Occasions: For very formal occasions, such as special ceremonies, receptions, or official events, individuals may choose to wear a more embellished or luxurious thobe.
  5. Prayer: Some people wear thobes during daily prayers or for special religious occasions, as it is considered appropriate attire for worship.
  6. Casual and Informal Gatherings: Thobes can be worn for casual gatherings with friends and family, providing comfort and style.
  7. Eid: Thobes are commonly worn to mark the occasion.
  8. Performing Hajj or Umrah: Pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj or Umrah often wear thobes as part of their pilgrimage attire. It’s also common for many residents in the region to wear thobes during the Hajj season as a sign of solidarity.

As Muslims, we endeavour to follow the Prophet in all aspects of life. This is called following the sunnahSunnah clothing could therefore refer to clothing worn by the Prophet g. Therefore, clothing which resembles that which the Prophet wore, such as the modern thobe, could be counted as sunnah clothing.

To learn about other sunnah clothing that our Prophet used to wear, read the blog post we did about this here: Everything You Need To Know About Thobes | Thobe Encyclopaedia

We have written an entire blog post dedicated to finding your thobe size. Read it here: How To Work Out Your Thobe/Jubba Size?

If you would like to work out your thobe size within 30 seconds, use our size form: Thobe Size Form

 

As mentioned in this blog post: How To Work Out Your Thobe/Jubba Size?, thobes should be measured and worn just above the ankles according to our Islamic principles.

The popularity of thobe colours can vary by region, culture, and individual preference. In the Middle East and North Africa, thobes come in a variety of colors, but the two most popular and widely worn thobe colours are white and off-white. Here’s why:

  1. White: White thobes are a classic and timeless choice. White is associated with purity, simplicity, and cleanliness. It reflects sunlight and helps keep the wearer cool in the region’s hot climates. White thobes are especially common in Saudi Arabia, where they are often seen as a symbol of national identity and are a traditional choice for both everyday wear and formal occasions.
  2. Off-White: Off-white or cream-colored thobes are also widely worn, especially in the Gulf region and other Middle Eastern countries. They offer a similar clean and traditional look to white thobes but can be slightly less prone to showing dirt or stains, making them a practical choice for everyday wear.

While white and off-white are the most popular and traditional thobe colours, it’s worth noting that thobes can come in various other colours and patterns as well. Some individuals prefer to wear coloured thobes, especially for special occasions, religious holidays, or cultural events. The choice of colour can also be influenced by personal style, cultural traditions, and regional preferences.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward more diverse and modern thobe styles, including variations in colour, design, and fabric. As a result, you may see thobes in colours such as pastel shades, earth tones, and darker hues, depending on fashion trends and individual choices.

Due to the popularity of white thobes, we have dedicated an entire range to only white thobes!

Caring for and cleaning a white thobe requires some attention to detail to ensure it remains in good condition. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining a white thobe:

1. Read the Care Label: Always check the care label on the thobe for specific cleaning instructions. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best results.

2. Spot Clean Stains: If you notice a stain on your white thobe, try to spot clean it as soon as possible. Use a mild stain remover or soap and a clean, damp cloth to blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain.

3. Washing:

  • Machine Washing: White thobes made from materials like cotton or polyester blends are usually machine washable. Use a gentle cycle and cold or lukewarm water. Turn the thobe inside out to protect any embroidery or embellishments.
  • Hand Washing: Delicate fabrics like silk or wool may require hand washing in cold water. Use a mild detergent and avoid wringing or twisting the fabric.

4. Use a Mild Detergent: Use a gentle, mild detergent to protect the fabric and color of the white thobe. Avoid harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the fabric.

5. Avoid Overcrowding: Do not overcrowd the washing machine or sink when cleaning your white thobe. This can lead to excessive wrinkling and potential damage.

6. Rinse Thoroughly: Make sure to rinse the thobe thoroughly to remove all detergent residue.

7. Drying:

  • Air Dry: It’s best to air dry white thobes by hanging them on a hanger or a clothesline. Avoid direct sunlight, which can fade the fabric.
  • Avoid Tumble Drying: Using a dryer can cause shrinkage, wrinkles, and damage to embellishments.

8. Ironing: Iron your white thobe while it’s slightly damp for best results. Use a low to medium heat setting depending on the fabric. Be cautious when ironing any embroidery or delicate areas.

9. Storage: When not wearing your white thobe, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use padded hangers to maintain its shape, and avoid overcrowding in the closet.

10. Professional Cleaning: If your white thobe is made from delicate fabrics like silk or has intricate embroidery, you may want to consider professional dry cleaning to ensure it’s properly cared for.

By following these care and cleaning tips, you can help extend the life of your white thobe and keep it looking its best. Always adhere to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for the specific type of fabric your thobe is made from.

Caring for and cleaning a white thobe requires some attention to detail to ensure it remains in good condition. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining a white thobe:

1. Read the Care Label: Always check the care label on the thobe for specific cleaning instructions. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best results.

2. Spot Clean Stains: If you notice a stain on your white thobe, try to spot clean it as soon as possible. Use a mild stain remover or soap and a clean, damp cloth to blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the stain.

3. Washing:

  • Machine Washing: White thobes made from materials like cotton or polyester blends are usually machine washable. Use a gentle cycle and cold or lukewarm water. Turn the thobe inside out to protect any embroidery or embellishments.
  • Hand Washing: Delicate fabrics like silk or wool may require hand washing in cold water. Use a mild detergent and avoid wringing or twisting the fabric.

4. Use a Mild Detergent: Use a gentle, mild detergent to protect the fabric and color of the white thobe. Avoid harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the fabric.

5. Avoid Overcrowding: Do not overcrowd the washing machine or sink when cleaning your white thobe. This can lead to excessive wrinkling and potential damage.

6. Rinse Thoroughly: Make sure to rinse the thobe thoroughly to remove all detergent residue.

7. Drying:

  • Air Dry: It’s best to air dry white thobes by hanging them on a hanger or a clothesline. Avoid direct sunlight, which can fade the fabric.
  • Avoid Tumble Drying: Using a dryer can cause shrinkage, wrinkles, and damage to embellishments.

8. Ironing: Iron your white thobe while it’s slightly damp for best results. Use a low to medium heat setting depending on the fabric. Be cautious when ironing any embroidery or delicate areas.

9. Storage: When not wearing your white thobe, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use padded hangers to maintain its shape, and avoid overcrowding in the closet.

10. Professional Cleaning: If your white thobe is made from delicate fabrics like silk or has intricate embroidery, you may want to consider professional dry cleaning to ensure it’s properly cared for.

By following these care and cleaning tips, you can help extend the life of your white thobe and keep it looking its best. Always adhere to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for the specific type of fabric your thobe is made from.

  1. Purity and Cleanliness: White is widely associated with purity, cleanliness, and simplicity. Wearing a white thobe can symbolize a commitment to maintaining physical and spiritual purity. This is especially significant in Islamic culture, where cleanliness is highly valued for religious rituals, including daily prayers.
  2. Modesty: White thobes are often loose-fitting and modest in design. Modesty is a significant cultural and religious value in many Middle Eastern and North African societies. Wearing a white thobe reflects a commitment to modesty in dress.
  3. Coolness: In hot and arid climates, such as those found in the Middle East, white thobes are worn for their practicality. The light color reflects sunlight and helps keep the wearer cool. It’s a practical choice for comfort in the region’s climate.

Muslims wear thobes (also spelled “thawb” or “dishdasha” in different regions) for a variety of reasons, including cultural, religious, and practical considerations. Here are some of the primary reasons:

  1. Modesty: Thobes are loose-fitting, ankle-length garments that provide modesty and cover the body. Modesty is an important aspect of Islamic dress for both men and women, and the thobe fulfills this requirement for men.
  2. Cultural Tradition: Thobes have a long history in many Muslim-majority countries and regions. They are often associated with the cultural attire of the people in those areas and are worn as a traditional garment.
  3. Simplicity and Comfort: Thobes are simple and comfortable to wear, making them suitable for the hot and arid climates of many Muslim-majority regions. Their loose fit allows for ventilation and airflow, keeping the wearer cool in hot weather.
  4. Practicality: Thobes are practical for daily life, as they are easy to put on and take off, making them suitable for prayer, which Muslims are required to perform multiple times a day. They are also easy to maintain and keep clean.
  5. Sunnah: Some Muslims wear thobes as a reflection of their adherence to the Sunnah, which refers to the actions, sayings, and approvals of the Prophet Muhammad. It is known that the Prophet Muhammad and his companions wore similar garments during their time.