Directions for Making an Old-Fashioned Scarf

15-year-old Helena wrote a hundred years ago today:

Saturday, January 28, 1911. I puttered around, and did some work today. Although Ruth says, “I don’t do anything,” but as for earning my salt, I guess I earn as much as she does.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I wonder what Grandma was doing while she was puttering around. . . .Maybe she made a scarf.

Scarves—then like now—were a stylish fad. The January 15, 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal  had directions in an article titled How You Can Make the New Scarfs:

In the center of the page above is shown one of the satin scarfs which are worn with tailored suits on days too mild for heavy fur. The right side is of black satin and the underside of white. It usually measures about eighteen inches in width, and two yards to two yards and a half in length. In narrow silk just this quantity would be required. The ends are drawn in and finished with silk tassels formed of stuffed oval shapes of satin, hung from cords.

For evening nothing could be more charming than the scarf shown on the center figure on the right. It is made of dotted gauze in a delicate mauve, lined with pale pink chiffon, the ends finished with hemstitching and caught with a narrow band of mink fur. It may be made of different materials in this way. Two-tone chiffon would be lovely—a cornflower blue, for instance, lined with pale pink with a band of white swansdown or marabou confining the fullness across the lower part of the front about twelve inches from the hem.

Ladies Home Journal  (January 15, 1911)

It’s amazing how styles—and terminology—change (or don’t change) over time. In case you care, the definitions of swansdown and marabou are below:

Swansdown—(1) the soft downy feathers of the swan often used as trimming on article of dress; (2) a heavy cotton flannel that has a thick nap on the face and is made with sateen weave.

Marabou—(1) a soft fluffy material prepared from turkey feathers or the coverts of marabous and used especially for trimming women’s hats or clothes. (2)  a large dark gray African stork.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,021 other followers

%d bloggers like this: