The Versatile Scarf

I spent some time this last week starting a fall collection of knitting accessories, including fingerless mittens. I also spent a few weeks experimenting with different types of cotton fabrics. A new item I’m adding to the repertoire is…the scarf!

Did you know that the scarf started out with a purely functional purpose? It began in Rome and was used as a “sweat cloth” to keep people clean. Back then they called it a “sudarium”. Over the years, its purpose evolved to that of an identifier – whether it was a military rank or a university affiliation. It wasn’t really until the early 1800s that the scarf became a fashion accessory. Good thing too, because a sweat cloth sounds boring.

The scarf itself, really nothing more than a flat piece of fabric, can be reinvented in a multitude of ways. It can be made of any fabric, any texture, color or pattern, and provide the wearer with a distinct and individual look.

I started with traditional rectangular shapes, and then progressed to larger sizes. After my cotton research a while back, I chose cotton voile as my fabric. This thin, airy cotton is great for absorbing dyes. The results are just beautiful.

I’ve been researching different sizes, and how they can be folded in different ways to serve different purposes. For example, those $2000 Hermes silk scarves which are about 55″ square can be tied as wraps, head scarves, vests, bags, and a wide variety of different tops. Whoever thought of these different ways to fold a scarf was a genius.

Today the scarf is completely adaptable to all purposes.

As a necessity, no one can argue that a nice handknit alpaca scarf will be as soft as butter, and keep you cozy warm as if you’re sitting by the fire. As an accessory, a scarf can very simply tie a whole outfit together.

It’s versatile because depending on the size and shape of the scarf, it
can be folded into literally dozens and dozens of ways. There are tons of websites out there that show you all the ways to tie a scarf. One of my favorites is Hermes Scarf Knotting Cards…check it out!

If you wish to have a lovely, handmade ice-dyed scarf – completely original and one of a kind, and you wish to spend less than a grand on it, visit LSS Luscious Knits . Custom orders accepted.


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