Unraveling the Mystique of the Fez Tassel Holder

In the realm of traditional headwear, few accessories evoke the same air of mystique and intrigue as the fez. Originating from the Middle East and North Africa, the fez is a distinctive, cone-shaped hat adorned with a tassel that dangles provocatively from its crown. But have you ever wondered what keeps that tassel securely in place? Enter the fez tassel holder, a small yet crucial component that plays a vital role in preserving the fez's iconic appearance and cultural significance.

A Brief History

The fez, known as a tarboosh in Arabic, has a storied history that dates back centuries. Originally, it was associated with various cultures in the Middle East and North Africa, but it became most famous in the Ottoman Empire, where it was adopted as part of the official military uniform in the early 19th century. From there, it spread to different parts of the world and became synonymous with style and sophistication.

The fez tassel holder, also known as a fez tassel or fez cord, has been an integral part of the fez's design for generations. Its history can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, where it was not merely a decorative element but also had practical purposes.

Design and Function

The fez tassel holder consists of a cord or loop, typically made from a durable material like silk or wool, and a decorative tassel attached to one end. The cord is usually designed to match the color of the fez, ensuring a seamless blend with the hat. The tassel, on the other hand, often boasts vibrant colors and intricate patterns, adding an element of elegance to the fez.

The primary function of the fez tassel holder is to secure the tassel to the fez. Traditionally, the fez tassel was used as a status symbol, and its position and style could signify the wearer's rank, profession, or social standing. By attaching the tassel to the fez with the tassel holder, wearers ensured that it remained in place, maintaining the hat's symbolic significance.

Cultural Significance

Fezzes and their accompanying tassels hold deep cultural and historical significance in many parts of the world. They are often associated with Freemasonry, as the fez has been worn as part of Masonic regalia. The tassel holder on a Masonic fez can symbolize the wearer's degree within the organization.

In addition to its Masonic connections, the fez has played a role in various other cultures and organizations. In Turkey, for example, it was a symbol of modernization during the late Ottoman Empire and early Republic of Turkey. In Egypt, it was a prominent headpiece worn by political leaders and intellectuals. Its unique style has also been appropriated by various pop culture icons and fictional characters, further cementing its status as a cultural icon.


The fez tassel holder may appear as a small accessory, but its importance in preserving the fez's identity and cultural significance cannot be overstated. This unassuming cord and tassel combination has traversed continents and centuries, remaining a symbol of tradition, status, and style. Whether it adorns the head of a Freemason, a traditionalist in Morocco, or a character in a Hollywood film, the fez and its tassel holder continue to captivate and intrigue, perpetuating the mystique of this iconic headwear.