Canadians invent protective turbans

We at have always advocated the use of helmets because of their many safety benefits. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge for safety-conscious riders who must also follow the rules of their religion. Devout followers of the Sikh faith, for example, are required to wear their religious head dressing.

These open source, 3D-printed, armored turbans are motorcycle-safe image

Thankfully, a Canadian company has come up with a motorcycle-safe turban that offers more protection than the usual turban material.

The Tough Turban is an impact-resistant turban that offers similar protective properties as helmets, but is flexible enough to be wrapped around the head. The product was conceived and designed by Toronto creative agency, Zulu Alpha Kilo, in partnership with Pfaff Harley-Davidson, Toronto, and the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario.

These open source, 3D-printed, armored turbans are motorcycle-safe image

The Tough Turban is made of multiple layers to make it both tough and flexible. One layer integrates non-Newtonian foam, which hardens on impact and disperses energy outward from the impact zone to protect the rider’s head. Another layer has 3D-printed plastic, arranged like chainmail-style armor as an homage to historical Sikh warriors as well as for extra protection and flexibility. Finally, it has a layer of Dyneema (a lightweight composite fabric used in bulletproof vests and motorcycle gear) to prevent tearing.

Best of all, Zulu Alpha Kilo is offering the blueprints for free. Those with the necessary materials and tools can actually download the plans and create their own or even modify it as they see fit. It’s certainly heartwarming to see a community like this come together and share a vital innovation like this for free.

These open source, 3D-printed, armored turbans are motorcycle-safe image

“The Tough Turban further empowers Sikh riders to protect who they are,” says Zak Mroueh, founder and chief creative officer of Zulu. “This initiative combines a lot of things we’re glad to focus on at Zulu Alpha Kilo—inclusion, innovation and our core principle that the world needs more creativity.”

The Tough Turban is not for sale yet. The company wants to develop it further before mass producing. However, if you happen to have these materials, a 3D printer, and the means to mass produce it, distribute it, and sell it, you’re free to try. You can download the blueprints HERE.