Scarf fabrics and care


Scarves come in many shapes, sizes and, importantly, fabrics. A scarf’s fabrication determines its texture, appearance, and weather-appropriateness, so you should always pay attention to fabric when you’re shopping for scarves. Peruse the fabric descriptions below to determine the best type of scarf fabric for you and your lifestyle.



Comes from the French word for ‘veil’. Historically it was made of cotton, or a cotton linen mix. Today there are voiles that include polyester, and some of the new bamboo fabrics could also be considered voile. They stay firm and can easily form any style.



Lightweight, extremely sheer and airy fabric, containing highly twisted fibers. Appears and feels very luxurious and light and can be carried off with literally any look.



Alpaca scarves are made from wool of the alpaca, a domesticated species of South American camelid. Alpaca fleece is a lustrous and silky natural fiber similar to sheep’s wool, but warmer and softer.



This soft, luxurious fabric is made from the wool of the cashmere goat. It is light in weight and, when handled with care, becomes softer with time.



Classic and easy, cotton is staple for its ability to be laundered and its durability. It’s a cool fabric, perfect for summer wear.



This stretchy, soft cotton is breathable and light-weight. Jersey is an ideal pallet for beading, studding, sequins, and other embellishment.



Promoted for its coolness, linen is often considered the most breathable fabric of the bunch. It is made from the fibers of the flax plant.



Pashmina refers to a type of shawl or scarf made from the cashmere wool of the pashmina goat.



Satin is a glossy, soft fabric most often made from silk or polyester. Satin comes in several forms or weaves, which may vary in shine, thickness, flexibility, and weight.



Silk is a natural protein fiber obtained from the larvae cocoons of the mulberry silkworm. It can be shiny or matte in luster, and is especially delicate.



Wool comes from the fleece of sheep and other animals. It’s very warm, durable, and with proper care should last you for years.


Machine Wash:

When you invest in a good scarf – or find a favorite scarf that you love – you must properly care for it to get many years of good use from it.
Keeping your scarf clean is one way to prolong its life. If your scarf has special washing instructions on the label, be sure to always follow them.
If the label says the scarf is machine washable, it’s most likely safe to use the washing machine, though hand washing is always better for the fabric.
Even if a scarf’s label says you can use a dryer, remember that air drying is a much more gentle method.

Hand Wash:

How to hand wash your scarf in nine easy steps:

  1. Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water and create suds.
  3. Submerge your scarf fully in the water. Knead and squeeze it through the suds until it’s totally wet.
  4. Let the scarf sit in the water for around 15 minutes.
  5. Drain or pour out the water.
  6. Rinse your scarf by holding it under cool tap water. Squeeze and run it under the faucet until the water runs clear through the scarf and there are no suds left.
  7. Squeeze water out of your scarf – be gentle! Don’t wring the fabric too hard.
  8. Lay your scarf on a towel and roll the towel; this will eliminate a good amount of dampness so it can dry.
  9. Unroll the towel and lay your scarf on a dry towel to completely dry. Never hang a scarf to dry – this could damage its fibers!

How to wash a Silk Scarf:

Silk is a delicate and expensive fabric that is prone to snagging, and its dye will bleed in water. To avoid damaging your silk scarf, never clean it in a washing machine. Instead, follow these easy instructions.

  1. Add a few drops of soap to lukewarm water. Adding a small amount of table salt will help prevent dye from running.
  2. Swish the scarf around for about five minutes.Gently knead and rub the scarf in the water.
  3. Rinse the scarf under cool and clean water until the water runs clear.
  4. Fill the sink or container with cool water and add a small amount of distilled white vinegar. Submerge the scarf.This will remove soap residue and keep the silk shiny.
  5. Rinse the scarf under cool, clean water until all soap and vinegar is removed.
  6. Squeeze out excess water gently. Do not wring the fabric –this will damage the silk’s fibers!
  7. Dry your scarf by laying it flat between two towels. Don’t let layers of a colorful scarf touch; this could lead to dye transfer.
  8. Remove wrinkles while the scarf is still wet by using an iron on a low setting. Lay the scarf flat to dry.