How the “Scarf through neck” trick works (step by step guide)

This magic trick makes it look like the magician pulls a scarf right through his neck, sometimes even performed with a rope or a chain. I will explain exactly how this trick is done – and how you can do it, too.

First of all, here’s how it works:

To perform the “scarf through neck trick”, the scarf is put around the neck with a special knot. This way, behind the magician’s neck, are two unconnected loops that allow him to simply pull the scarf away from him, making it look like the scarf actually went through his neck.

I’ll explain this trick in detail so you can perform it as well. It’s a nice little effect that you can show everywhere without any preparation, all you need is a scarf.

One thing I have to mention before the tutorial though: Never pull too hard on the scarf when performing this trick, you might choke yourself very hard if something goes wrong!

Step by step tutorial: How you can do the scarf through neck trick

Now, let’s dive straight in. All you need for this trick a scarf, the longer, the better. Performing it with a scarf that is too short will make it either very challenging or even impossible because you don’t have enough room for the knot.

Practice this trick with the longest scarf that you can find! In case you want to have a rough idea about the length: When you put the scarf around your neck and both ends are at your waist height or lower, you’re good to go.

Here’s a video that explains the entire trick:

Scarf Through Neck - Revealed

When practicing this illusion, make sure to try it a few times before you show it to someone! To learn the right movements, start really slow and try to make it work a few times. After you actually know how to do the trick, you can try to do it faster and faster.

Now, for the step by step guide.

How to pull the scarf through your neck

It helps if you practice this trick in front of a mirror or with a friend, so you can see what’s happening behind your back. This is where the actual trick takes place.

Step 1: Put the scarf around your neck

For the first step, simply put the scarf around your neck. The right end should be around waist height, the left end has to be a little lower (ideally around your knee). If your scarf is a little longer or shorter, don’t worry, just make sure that the left end of the scarf is lower than the right one.

Step 2: Position your hands

Next, grab the right side of the scarf with your left hand right below your chest. Now, grab the left side of the scarf with your right hand at the height of your chest. Your right hand should now be above your left hand.

Make sure that your left hand is underneath your right arm, as shown in the picture.

Scarf through neck 1
How to position your hands correctly. Image credit: “TAS Magic”

By the way, this is not me, it’s “TAGSmagic”, make sure to check him out! This is his YouTube Channel and you can find him on Twitter as well.

Step 3: Creating the fake knot with loops

Now, it’s time for the secret of this trick: The fake knot with two loops. To create it, pull the scarf out with your right hand, creating a little loop right above the left side of the scarf. You can see how it should look like in the image below.

Scarf through neck 2
Create this little loop with your right hand. Image credit: “TAS Magic”

Step 4: Put the scarf around your neck

This part can a little tricky at first, but when you’ve done it once, it will be very easy to repeat. Hold to scarf as shown in the image above with the little loop above the left side of the scarf.

Now, you don’t move your right hand, it stays in this exact position!

Take your left hand, still holding the scarf, and move it straight up and go behind your head.

Scarf through neck 3
Hold the little loop with your right hand and put the scarf around your neck with your left hand. Image credit: “TAS Magic”

Now, put the scarf around your neck (still, only with the left hand!). If everything worked out, the little loop should be hidden behind your neck, with both ends of the scarf hanging in front of your body.

I know, this might sound a little bit confusing at first, but try it a few times and you’ll figure it out. You can scroll up and watch the video as well! To check if you’ve done it properly, here’s how it should look from behind:

Scarf through neck 4
This is how it should look from behind. Image credit: “TAS Magic”

If you pay close attention, you can spot that the scarf is only held together by two loops. Once you pull at both ends of the scarf, the fake know will untie – making it look like the scarf went through your neck.

Step 5: Pulling the scarf “through your neck”

It might sound obvious: Just pull at both ends and the scarf will come off. Well, if you do it wrong, you might choke yourself pretty hard. So please try it very slowly for the first few times!

To avoid choking yourself, try to pull both ends of the scarf “inwards”.

Grab the right end with your right hand and pull it towards your left hip, and grab the left end with your left hand and pull it towards your right hip.

Otherwise, the loops behinds your back might not untie and if you pull too fast, you will choke yourself and things can get pretty dangerous! Just make sure to practice the movements really slow for the first few times, and you should be good.

Other variants of this trick: “Chain / Rope through neck”

Now, since you’ve learned the method behind this illusion, you can perform the same trick with other materials as well.

You might have seen this trick with a rope, which uses the exact same method with the loose fake know behind your neck. In case you want to try it with a rope, please keep in mind that you hurt your skin with the rope!

While a scarf is very soft, a rope can be very hard and hurt your neck seriously. Using a rope can be very dangerous!

To avoid any injures, you can either use clothing with a collar or put some Vaseline on your neck right before you do the trick. Please don’t perform this trick with a rope or even chains if you don’t have enough experience!

Final thoughts

This is one of these magic tricks that you can pull off whenever you want. It takes no preparation, you can do it with any kind of scarf if it’s long enough, and it’s a really nice effect.

Just one thing you have to keep in mind:

The secret of this trick is the fake knot hidden behind your back. So always make sure that everybody is in front of you, or you can cover the neck with your clothing.

Other than that, just have fun with this little trick!

Image source (header image):
Other images:
“Tas Magic”: