Scarves: Spring's special textiles, gently priced

A lighter-weight scarf snuggles your neck during a cool, damp spring; now that we have put away the type I call "baby blankets", it's time to check the Passage's windows for beautiful textiles that cost under $100 (minus postage). 

Etsy is a terrific resource, but you still have to sift through a vast virtual pile. The blurry abstract motifs shown on luxury-scarf sites are not as deftly executed on Etsy; there's a lot of earnest handpainting. But some of those high-end pieces on sites like Lilogi will date faster than a timeless ikat or geometric. 

You could also go the jumble sale, consignment or thrift route, but I'm showing scarves that do not depend on serendipity to meet your lovely neck.

Let's window shop in the Passage!

Essence of spring, in silk

Cinne Worthington makes what I call Composed Scarves, mixing different luxe fabrics; shown, a Cavalli print with a botanical. Most of her scarves are narrow and long, 4 in. x 72 in., so can also be worn as belts or a head wrap, which I admired ardently in a photo. This piece is $69. 

Ethereal natural dyes

Hiroko Inuma of Tokyo works with natural dyes; often these pieces are expensive because of the labour in creating the infusions. HiRoKoJapan has made a linen scarf with soft apricot/coral loquat. The balance, the weight— the scarf blisses me out. Price, $82.

Hip photo print

A South Beach surf hut on wafty silk chiffon from London-based artists LifeandLibertyCo; price $69, and big enough (100cmx200cm) to wear as a sarong.

Geometric goodies

A soft cotton scarf travels well, you can crumple-twist or wear it pressed. Handblock prints are among my favourite textiles, and the grey and ochre is fresh and versatile. The "Calvi" scarf is half the price of a similar one I saw in an upscale boutique last weekend and every bit as insouciant. From Etsy seller graymarket; price $45.

A happy striped linen scarf would make a cool gift; price, $28 from DokumaAtelier, a Turkish shop. It would be hard to choose just one!

Claire Gaudion is a UK designer whose palettes draw me in; her colours breathe. The "Pleinmont" is a silk/wool neckerchief, 65cm square, ideal 'tucker' size.  Price, $42.

Not sari

I bought a few of these in India and think they're fantastic buys: light, warm, vibrant and washable (in a lingerie bag.) The recycled sari silk scarf is hand-quilted in "kantha" style, with a straight running stitch in contrast thread. From Delhi, two spring palettes, leaf green and pink. Price, $12 from Handcraftsvilla.

Infinite grace

Japanese fabrics feature breathtaking palettes, and an infinity scarf stays around your neck without tying. Japanese silk vintage kimono scarf from BrauvalStock; price, $60.

Step lightly; listen to the birds singing, don't forget your umbrella and enjoy every scarf in your drawer, new or old. Few items of apparel add so much pleasure for a relatively modest investment.


I just looked at Cinne Worthington's Etsy shop and I love several of her scarves! Thanks for introducing her to us!
Kristien62 said…
I've been a bit tired of my scarves of late and decided to go "bare-necked" for a few weeks. Just a little rebellion against the long winter of bundling up. I did purchase two infinity scarves from Etsy in March and will use them in transition. The scarves you featured are certainly a temptation.
I ordered a pretty floral scarf from Lands End last week....the wooly Burberry is just too hot and you are right it is time to put it away and bring out the lighter ones.
I love the photo scarf idea ...Spring must have made it's appearance in Montreal for you to be showcasing such pretty scarves.
Anonymous said…
Some lovely scarves there . Some years ago I bought a batch of Jaeger silk scarves on eBay . They were too cheap really but the man selling them was clearing his mothers belongings after she died . She must have treasured them as they were perfect . Now I treasure them & often think of the original owner when I wear them
Madame Là-bas said…
I just bought a scarf for my hostess in Shetland and one for my mother in Canada from a Cornish company called Sea Salt. They are great here in Shetland and will fit well with the West Coast lifestyle
at home.
Unknown said…
Not sure I could fit one more scarf into my wardrobe.Have just had a tidy out and packed some away for the summer.
Duchesse said…
Pam: I really like how she pattern mixes!

Kristien62: I still need them here, but also like how scarves protect the collars of coats or jackets.

hostess: The photo prints are striking but when folded you lose a lot of the image.

Wendy; Nice find! I just bought a silk rectangle in a vintage store for $12, similar quality.

Mme: One of the absolute best gifts (or others and ones' self), and so easy to carry home,

Jo: I have thought that, but it passes ;)

Tash said…
Have you seen this video?
Duchesse said…
Tash: Cool! I especially like how at 01:00 she shows how to make an infinity scarf out of a long rectangle.
Hmm, the bazaar at Ste-Madeleine d'Outremont is coming up. One never knows...

Le prochain bazar se tiendra les 22, 23 et 24 mai 2014

Jeudi et vendredi : de 16h à 20h
Samedi : de midi à 16h

Mardel said…
Beautiful scarves! I'll have to look further, even though I'm not sure I need another.
Cinne said…
So kind of you to include my collection in this wonderful shopping guide! I am traveling for a few weeks and won't be able to ship until May 21st but please use this code: CBTHANKS14 for a 10% discount anytime this year. Thank you! Cinne
Marla said…
OK, here is my dilemma. There are some well matched, or well color coordinated, patchwork kantha scarves out there.

Patchwork - fun for Summer? Or Phish follower? I'm too old and have too much of a "real job" to carry off the "I'm just looking for a miracle, Brah" look.
Marla: The key is to pick the subtler combos; I do not believe mine read that way at all. One love.

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