HOW THEY ARE PAINTED AND STEAM-SET
The scarves start out as white blanks with hand-rolled hems. The blank is stretched on a frame, held by little hooks, and painted by brushes with silk dye. When the moment comes, the mounted scarf is signed and photographed. It is then unhooked and laid out on cotton sheeting with several other newly painted scarves, in as many as four layers. The whole is then rolled up and put into the silk steamer for a few hours in order to set the dye and make the silk colorfast so that the scarves are easily washable by hand. After the steaming, each scarf is washed of excess dye, a process that can be somewhat involved and tricky when ‘dye-back’ is a possibility, and finally it is pressed and readied for sale, sometimes after it is photographed in comely poses.
Chiffon. Gauzy and crisp, loosely woven, without sheen, lightweight (8 mm). This weave is not slippery and smooth; although not what you would call rough, it does tend to adhere to itself rather than slip, so that it will more easily hold a looser tie. It can create a sort of bouffant of color under the face. Nice in the summer because it is relatively lightweight and gauzy and also in cooler weather with an open blouse or collarless top for color and light warmth.
Crepe de Chine. Smooth, softly lustrous, medium weight (12-14 mm). Drapes beautifully. Great in winter, autumn, and spring with any garment, but a bit too warm for steamy New York summers.
Heavy Crepe de Chine. A weighty (16 mm), almost buttery crepe de Chine. Nice in larger sizes for wearing with jackets and coats or over summer dresses on cool evenings, and even over sweaters or turtlenecks in the winter.
Flat Crepe.– This weave has a distinctive sheen and wonderful drape; it is lightweight and fluttery in the 10 mm weight I usually use. Good any time with anything, in any size, and larger scarves in flat crepe can be spectacular over a simple dress.
Silk/Wool Blend (63-37%). Silk that is wooly – i.e., fuzzier, fluffier, and warmer, but quite light in weight. I only paint a few per season.
Twill. I use 10 mm twill and paint it fairly rarely. Twill has a distinctive oblique weave. Extra care must be taken when ironing.
Organza. I paint organza scarves infrequently, and only in the small approx. 8×52″ size. (and 6 mm, very lightweight). Organza can be said to be a cultivated taste. It is diaphanous and stiff and takes some taming around the neck, but can be quite pretty once effectively tied.
Charmeuse. Charmeuse has a satin surface on one side and a matte finish on the other. I use a heavy 19 mm weave.
Note: “mm” is an abbreviation for “momme” (pronounced “mommy”) and does not indicate millimeters. The momme of a given silk fabric is the measure of weight per area: the larger the number, the heavier the silk.
THE (approximate*) SIZES MOST OFTEN PAINTED
|8″ x 50-54″||25″ x 25″|
|11″- 12″ x 60″||36″ x 36″|
|14″ x 72″||22″ x 22″|
|15″ x 64″|
|20-22″ x 96″|
|Not every size is available in each weave. And (*), the scarves are hand-hemmed, so that the finished dimensions can vary a great deal, as I have tried to indicate above by showing a range of inches.
PHOTOGRAPHS. I take a routine quick photograph of every scarf I paint before I unhook it from the stretcher and before steaming. I will use this photograph if I later decide that the scarf merits being shown in its entirety, even though the stretcher shot is usually rough around the edges, a little crooked, shows the scalloping from the hooks, and was never subject to much care taken in lighting. After a scarf has been steamed and finished, I will take another picture, or several, using the best possible natural light and arranging it to best advantage, usually on a white surface and sometimes on a plastic dummy too. I occasionally will photograph a scarf on a model.
WALL HANGINGS. Any scarf can be made into a wall hanging by hand-stitching a sleeve of fine cotton or linen to each end and inserting wooden dowels. The top dowel then gets eyelet hardware and the bottom dowel makes the scarf hang more heavily. The sleeves are easily removed again should the scarf be needed to wear and then re-stitched too. The scarf can be prepared for hanging at sale, for an extra charge.
CUSTOM-PAINTED SCARVES. I will paint to order under certain circumstances. Please contact to discuss; even a small order could take several weeks.
DELIVERY, AND SHIPPING AND HANDLING. Allow two weeks for delivery. No shipping or handling fees will be charged unless the order is a rush.
A DISCLAIMER OF SORTS. These scarves are hemmed by hand and painted by hand. That means that they are, each and every single one – more or less – “imperfect.” Each one has some peculiarity or irregularity or two, or what some might consider defects. I make every effort to honestly represent each one-of-a-kind painting to the customer.