I am looking for recommendations for bandannas that are actually soft and don’t smell funny. A lot of the bandannas that I have tried feel rough on your face like sandpaper, they are not soft like they should be. A lot of them also seem to be treated with something to make them water resistant so that even though they are 100% cotton, they feel like nylon which is not a nice feeling on your face. I got one from Old Navy that felt softer but it had a funny smell to it like chemicals even after I washed it.
Is sewing one of your skills? I’ve seen nice cotton bandana fabric for sale at different craft stores.
Otherwise, be sure you are buying 100% cotton bandanas and then wash them into submission. It might take a few washings, but they will soften up.
Buy 100% cotton, look for (and avoid) fabric that feels even the slightest bit stiff or crunchy. It may have a lot of sizing in it to give it ‘curb appeal’ and that will take many, many washings to get rid of. Til then it won’t be soft or absorbent.
I have two bandanna hankies that belonged to a friend of mine for decades. They are very, very soft. The key seems to be washing them approximately a zillion times.