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5 Tips to Spot an Authentic Hermès silk Scarf

A Hermes scarf is a true masterpiece of art. Elegant and timeless, it is designed to correct or enhance any outfit by creating a refined and surprising look.
Let’s see some little tricks to recognize an authentic Hermes silk scarf.

Why are hermes scarves so sought after?

The scarves are a niche accessory, usually not often imitated (due to the printing and raw materials that are very expensive). However, the most famous scarves in the world, that is to say those of Hermès, are extremely sought after and for this reason they have been imitated.

The Hermès scarf was born in 1935 from an idea of Emile Hermès, who was inspired by the mouchoir de cou, the neckerchief of the Napoleonic soldiers.

From this idea and from the meeting with Marcel Gandit, a great weaver from Lyon, the famous silk square scarf was born. The first printed silk carré (in the classic version 90cm × 90cm size), was produced in Lyon in 1937 and named “Jeu des Omnibus et Dames Blanches” by Hugo Grygkar.

What makes Hermes scarves so special is certainly the lengthy craftsmanship that often requires more than a year and a half of labor for skilled craftsmen to create them.

Hermes scarves are true masterpiece of art and style and owning one, especially vintage, with that splendid heavy and strong silk of the past, is a precious asset.

‘The perfume of luxury is the smell of dreams’

Thierry Hermès

It you can opt for a pre-loved or a second-hand scarf,  here are some details to watch out for in order not to fall into scams.

1. Fabric

Hermes uses only the finest materials for their scarves. Classic carré scarves are made of 100% pure silk and this must be “epaisse” (rich, thick, full-bodied). For some scarves, it also uses different types of yarns such as a mix of cashmere and silk, but never never never polyester!

Hermes scarves are all made of silk twill, which is a type of silk with a diagonal weave, that warms in winter and keeps you cool in summer. It is a particularly soft and light fabric that ensures that the scarf never loses its square shape, even after numerous folds, stretches or knots.

The particular diagonal texture of the twill.

There are countless ways to use a scarf – the house of Hermes, for example, has helpfully come up with 36 – and this type of weave is perfect for not damaging the scarf. In a previous post we have already talked about different ways on how knot it to transform this timeless classic into a modern-day must have.

2. Hand Rolled Hem

The so-called “rouletteuses” make the edges of the scarf rolling by hand the borders. The hem of the original Hermès scarves is sewn “backwards”, that is to say on the more vibrant side of the print tand is not flattened but “rond“, that it to say plumped. Obviously, the thread for the hem should perfectly match the main colour of the scarf.

Messy seams or machine stitching should be taken as a warning sign.

The hem must be swollen.

3. Print

The silk printing system used by Hermes makes it possible to reproduce very elaborate prints even in the smallest details.

The printing process is very long: once the design has been processed, it is then transmitted to the engraver who divides it into “color frames”. From the engraving workshop, we move on to printing and coloring, with an average of fifty color proofs directly on the scarf. The print is done on a silk roll fixed to a table 150 meters long, equal to the same number of scarves. Here, a craftsman-printer puts one after the other, the various paintings that allow you to apply the chosen colors. Each single color is then scraped off and left to filter through the steel frame until it settles on the silk fiber. Finally, the rolls of printed fabric are dried, fixed and primed, so as to give them the typical brightness and unmistakable softness to the touch.

Thi complex, precision work produces well-defined and crisp designs, free of fading or smudging.

4. Composition Tag

The fabric tag is always sewn onto the scarf’s bottom corner.

Hermes’ labels have changed over the years. The first labels are simply small pieces of fabric folded with the composition indicated. The following ones are slightly larger, in rectangular shape, with the care instructions.

This is the double care tag used by Hermès in both English and French. The care tag written in any other language besides French and English indicates that we are dealing with a counterfeit scarf.

Modern care tags are  may be in different colors (white, black or brown).

All Hermes scarves are “Made in France”.

In some cases, in addition to the classic Hermès composition tag, it is also possible to find an additional label from the retailer shop.

If we have found a pre-loved scarf that has no label, this does not mean that it is a fake; often in fact the owners of scarves tend to remove them. Surely having a scarf with the original label still attached, makes it more precious.

5. Artist and Brand Identifiers

To create its scarves, Hermès has always collaborated with great artists and designers. Since they are real works of art, the artist’s signature is almost always present (for example Henry D’Origny, Françoise de la Perrière, Annie Faivre, Cathy Latham and Hugo Grygkar and many others, always sign their drawings).

In modern version, there should be a copyright “ ©Hermès” mark with the “C” in a circle with the word Hermès. Again, the second ‘e’ must have a French accent mark. The copyright is usually hidden in the drawing and located on the upper left hand corner of the scarf.

Bear in mind that Hermès didn’t use copyright symbols until the late until the late 1950s. From the ’60s onwards, the copyright symbol has gone from a simple “c” or ©, to “Hermès – Paris ©”, up to the symbol followed by the Hermes signature (see photo above).

The most imitated

It was 1957 when Hugo Grygkar designed a model of Carré with an equestrian subject which he called “Brides de Gala”.

Hermès scarf ‘Brides de Gala’ by Hugo Grygkar, originally issued in 1957.

This design depicts two bridles decorated with the emblazoned fastenings that adorned horse-drawn carriages.

This is certainly one of the most famous and most copied models, a great piece of Hermes History.  This foulard has come out in different colors and sizes and more than 80 reinterpretations of this design have been created so far, and they will certainly increase in the future.

A beautiful selection of silk scarves and wraps from iconic designers. Gucci floral, Hermès designers and motifs, and much more.

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