Vintage finds and retro handmade--a sweet mix I know you'll love.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Vintage Scarves for Spring, and How to Care For Them

Washable acetate scarf now available on Etsy.
Scarves have been a rising trend in women's apparel over the past few years.  It's no wonder, either.  Besides being a wonderful way to draw the eye up to your face, they are a colorful way to shrink your clothes budget by transforming those boring old outfits you've had hanging in your closet for years.

If you are worried about the potential dry-cleaning bill associated with vintage silks, there are plenty of washable alternative fabrics, including rayon, nylon, polyester, and cotton.  I've even found specially treated acetates and silks that are designed to be hand-washed at home!

If luxury is still what you prefer, there are "dry cleaning at home" kits like the ones produced by Dryel brand (and no, no one is paying for that endorsement).

Chinese Medallion Print Scarf on Etsy
When it comes to caring for a vintage scarf, there are only a few rules to remember:
  •  Too much wringing and vigorous scrubbing can stretch a scarf out of shape or even tear the fibers.  The lighter the fabric, the higher the likelihood of this happening. Wash them in a delicates bag if you are putting them in your machine, and be careful when hand-washing.
  • Never use bleach or harsh chemicals when laundering (I usually use Woolite).  This is especially important for older scarves or scarves made with natural dyes.  The dyes in these scarves are often less "fixed," and the wrong chemical can make dyes run and ruin the fibers in the scarf, as well. Some acetate and silk cannot be washed at all without being completely ruined.
    Tan Chiffon with Violets Scarf
  •  Iron most scarves on low temperatures to avoid overheating the delicate fibers and causing them to become breakable over time.
  • Never pin a scarf in place. Each time you pin it, it makes a tiny hole.  Many of the scarves I list have endured this treatment (I always note it when I see it).  Too much of that, and the fabric gets snagged and ruined.
  • Don't knot the scarf too vigorously, as well. I've found that in the gauziest fabrics, like chiffon, this makes ripples and vertical "slit" patterns in the fabric, like stretch marks, where the very fibers of the cloth have been scooted closer together.  This opens them up for snags and runs, as well.
  • Store natural fabrics like silk and cotton in a closed drawer or some place where insects can't get to them, because moth babies see them as a delicacy (and if you wanted holes, you would have bought lace, right?).
Since the demand for scarves has been pretty high this week in my stores, I've risen to the challenge. I prepped nearly a dozen vintage scarves and started listing them over the weekend.  They have already begun to sell, so don't wait to check them out!  I picked out a variety of colors, fabrics, and price ranges, to try to have something for everyone. Here's a centralized link to all my stores, through Pinterest. Otherwise, just use the tabs at the top of the screen on this blog.

This post is loaded with pictures of what I have listed (or am listing this week).  There is also one vintage scarf I am reserving, just in case it wins in my "Fan's Choice" Giveaway Contest.  If that's what you'd like to see me give away, you should go vote in the poll I am running on my Facebook fan page.  If you vote, you will be entered to win in the final drawing. Hope to see you there!

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