How to Make a Loincloth Costume

Not merely Tarzan's mode of dress, the loincloth in various forms has been worn by both primitive tribes, those wishing to identify with the poor and as a costume. Here are several ways to make a loincloth.

Boy's Loincloth

Measure your child's waist. Cut a thin strip of vinyl or leather longer than your child's waist to allow it to be tied around it as a thong.

Get pieces of craft paper as wide as half the waist measurement and long enough to reach the top of the knee. You can substitute paper grocery sacks cut to these dimensions; be sure the store name, if any, will face in when the loincloth is assembled.

Fold the paper over the thong several times, then staple it in place. Make sure the staple edges are flattened completely so that they don't catch clothes or fingers.

Decorate the loincloth with Native American symbols in crayon. Press down hard when using the crayons.

Cut two-inch strips in the unattached end of the paper to create a fringe.

Crunch up the paper, then spread it out and cover it with watered-down brown tempera paint to give it the look of aged leather. Let the paint dry completely before letting the child put it on.

Adult Loincloth

Measure your waist. Cut a thin strip of vinyl or leather longer than your waist, to allow it to be tied around it as a thong.

Make a rectangle of fabric as wide as half the circumference of your waist or twice the distance between the wearer's thumb and middle finger at the furthest possible distance they can be spread and as long as you are tall.

Lay the thong strip on the floor or ground underneath you in an open circle. Place the fabric lengthwise on top of it. Gather up the fabric and thong until you reach your waist.

Drape the fabric over the thong as you cinch it around your waist. Allow enough slack so that the fabric rests comfortably inside your legs but not so much slack that you are readily exposed.

Borneo Loincloth

Hold the strip up to your chin with your hand. Use the distance from your chin to the floor to determine the apron length.

Pass the other end between your legs and raise it to your buttocks, then wrap it around your waist with your other hand. If you are right-handed, wrap from right to left; if you are left-handed, wrap from left to right. Wind the cloth strip around to your backside.

Double the loose end over and pass it under the portion of the cloth between your legs. This should create a loop.

Pull on the loop to cinch the loincloth. This should create a "tail" in the back equal in length to the apron in front. Properly cinched, the loincloth should remain in place.