Scarves: Flinging on finds from afar

"March fashion" is an oxymoron here: though new stock is beginning to come in, a little practical voice suggests making winter scarves trudge on. And yet, this is the moment when a new scarf sets it right: over your trusty turtleneck or tucked into a blazer neckline, you'll feel both cosseted and treated.

I'm always looking at artisanal, handwoven textiles. These can be costly, but worth the investment—you are not going to 'outgrow' them. In the Passage's windows today, some of my favourites.

India and Pakistan
These selections are colour-drenched—though Indian textiles also are produced in every possible neutral, too. But I figured in dragging-on winter, a shot of colour lifts the spirits!

Left: Ajrak stole, silk and natural dye, from Etsy seller VastraIndia; price, about $US 52.

Centre: Pashminas: light warmth, ideal as a travel wrap. Pure pashmina (cashmere) scarf in parrot-green stripe ikat; price, $US 140, from House of Wandering Silk, a fair-trade vendor.

Right: Not every reader is in cold weather; this is an ideal getaway piece: Purple linen shawl; price, $US 70, from House of Wandering Silk.

The kimono silks aside, Japanese textiles are quieter than Indian, but represent an equally deep textile tradition. Their discretion is part of their allure.

Left: Handwoven (banshu) cotton scarf (about 71in. x 40in.) by Tamiki Nime, from an assortment at bluebuttonshop; price, $US 175. Feels wonderful on!

Top right: Featherweight double-layer cotton gauze "cen." stole by orit. from nomadostore: a goddess-send for women who can't wear wool or find it too warm. Price €150, includes 21% VAT.

(Note: If you live in a non-EU country, inform the vendor and be sure you are not charged VAT, which may be included in the online price.  Depending on country of origin and country of delivery, you may still have to pay applicable import duty and taxes.)

Bottom right: Honeycomb scarf of Tassar (also called Tussar) silk/wool by Maki Studio; worldwide shipping available from Stockholm boutique objectsandgoods; price, 4, 400 kr (about $US 491).

Montréal and Quebec
Textile art ateliers abound here, and many artisans' work is exceptional.

Left: Princesse&Dragon: I met the delightful designer France Dechberry this holiday season; she designs Princesse&Dragon in Montréal and oversees production in India. The "Celeste" in blue cheers on dark days, and carries confidently into spring. Price, $CDN 140. After seeing a glut of designer modal and acrylic at twice the price, I find these merino pieces very reasonable.

Top right: String Theory: My favourite for minimalist pieces that are beautiful, durable and cooly unisex. Shown, the "Habitat", sixteen structures from our iconic Expo '67 site. 50% cotton, 50% wool. Price, $CDN 160.

Bottom right: Ghislaine Grégoire's colour sense is sublime and her skill impeccable; a Mme Grégoire piece is a lifetime treasure. This red handwoven linen and silk shawl is described as "summer weight", which makes it perfect for indoor wear. (I have petted this, it's sublime.) In her wool scarves, she often weaves tencel with kid-mohair, for drape. Price, $CDN 335 on her Etsy store.

As the wise Janice Riggs of "The Vivienne Files" says, "We tire of our clothes before they tire of us". The best way to revive a stalwart favourite is with a scarf that lends light and life, no matter your climate.


I didn't want to be first, but nobody else has commented and how I love Ghislaine Grégoire's red linen and silk shawl. Is Mme Grégoire the lady of a certain age modelling her creations? And I wonder if the younger models were her daughter and granddaughter...

Is there any regulation governing the term pashmina? Here and in Europe, I've often seen "pashminas" for ten dollars or euros or even less, obviously cheap rayon.
Duchesse said…
lagatta: The short answer provided by the US Government can be found here under the heading "How Posh is Pashmina", here:

Canadian Textile Labeling Act:
(Does not specifically address "pashmina" but states requirements for labelling.)

Other countries have their own regulations; they generally require listing the content and percentage of fibres. Vendors of those $10 "pashminas" ignore that. Unless I see a label that tells me what's in that "pashmina", I will not buy.

This is a useful article, too:
and you can do your own research re regulations for countries where you travel.
LauraH said…
I'm always in for a good scarf browse and these are lovely. Especially struck by the parrot green stripe...right up my alley.

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