In Gilgit Baltistan, the men wear their traditional Balti cap. The cap has different names in the major local languages. In Shina and Khowar languages, the cap is called Khoi, in brushaski, it is called Phartsun or Pharsen and in Wakhi it is called sekeed. The design of the cap is slightly different in Baltistan and it is called Nating in Balti.
The traditional Balti cap is a soft round toped woolen hat. It is made by a local artisan and is available in various colors. Whitecaps are most popular in the region and considered as a part f formal local dress. In many areas people especially the older generation still wear their traditional cap all the time with pride. They consider it a sign of honor. Whether they are at home, in a Bazar, local celebrations, or worship places they prefer to wear their cap. They will have their different caps for work, the cap for formal dressing, and routine day-to-day business.
Very little research has been done about the local traditional cap and its origin. Its roots can be traced thousands of years back. There is a similarity found between the traditional cap of Gilgit Baltistan and ancient Greek Kausia. It was worn in ancient Macedonia during the Hellenistic era. In the 3rd century BC, Terracotta statues from Athens depicting ancient Macedonians wearing the kausia.
Making a woolen patti from local wool is a long process. Local artisans make it. Once the woolen patti is ready, it is sewn into a cap by local tailors. The cap has two parts. The cylinder part is about 10 to 12 inches long and the round part is sewed and fitted on the top of the cylinder part. Once the cap is sewn the rim of the cap is rolled upwards towards the top forming a band. The band of Gilgit cap is thin on the contrary the chitrali phakol has a thick band.
- Main Article: Afghanistan: the Land of a Thousand Hats