Scarves Cleaning and Caring for Hermès Scarves

Chagall

My Beautiful German Shepherd
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Feb 20, 2010
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Two points/questions
1. How many scarves did you put in the machine? Did you put them all in one mesh bag ? Color catcher sheet???
2. I too iron my scarves when they are still damp. Although instructions above say DONT IRON SILK when wet. My ironed scarves come out a bit stiff (I use NO sizing or starch). Why ???
I washed three scarves loose no mesh bag. No colour catcher sheets. Scarves were fine. I don’t encourage this but it worked for me. I have a new machine with no central agitation and I wash a lot of ‘dry clean only’ clothes successfully.:smile:
 

ChloeClad

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Jun 27, 2012
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Thinking more on this ...
I have not done any big effort tried to wash non Hermes scarves as a trial - one thing is that the OLD Hermes dyes are so unique in their bleeding, no other brand dyes would be a close experiment - but if you have some start there. I did work on some Indian silk bedspreads, their colors became washed out in the washing machine, cold water, short cycle 15 min. Vinegar final cycle. They did not soften.

Fascinating about the 0.25 in difference , heat is a good hypothesis ...

I was thinking there are several types of SOFT scarves
1. Hand washed vintage scarves from resale market
2. 70cm VINTAGE silk scarves - those are a different weave - not std twill - so they are their own category. Mine feel like they are not sized??
3. HERMESMATIC - H added dye - that covered any flaws thay may have created. Surely done as a (machine) batch of more than 1 scarf at a time , and an acid wash ???
4. DIP DYES - we dont know what the scarf looked like before the final dip dye. I suspect the printed colors were subtle, not bright ??? Could have been done in a special dye machine since the dipping was at the factory, not an Hermesmatic washer
5. WASH scarves - sometimes in the SAME CW as the non-wash collection, but of course, WASH colors are washed out. Do you think these are sized ??? Are these regular scarves that have an addition step eg acid wash or were they printed different from the get-go?

I look at the five disparate categories and ask what can be common to all five ? Lack of size - for sure. I cling to the idea of an acid wash - anyone an expert on that ? I know vinegar is used by crafters who do silk dying - serious artisans, and have done it myself.

I have been timid in processing my HS, so, my cleaning and acid wash efforts have been very cautious.

marietouchet, do you have any Hermesmatic scarves or have you felt one? I do/have not. I know they dyed them in batches but I wonder what was in their secret sauce, other than dye. For some reason I think they machine dried them, as well. There is the heat again, so it would be interesting to know if they feel velvety.

The only scarves that I will not hand wash are very old ones, due to their reputation of having unstable dyes. I do not have any myself but my mother has a collection from the 60’s and 70’s and I will not touch them with a ten foot pole. As far as cleaning goes for those, they are dry clean only.

I have various dip dyes in 90 and 140 and they are all in standard twill and are slightly softer than a regular scarf, but similar to one that has been washed several times and not ironed.

I have DIY dip dyed two of my scarves (a 90 and a 140), literally soaking them in boiling water multiple times (in various dyes in multiple attempts to get the color right) and finished them in many hand rinses and vinegar soaks and they softened up A LOT, but still did not obtain the velvety feel of the wash scarves. Hmmmm…there might be something to your acid wash suspicion, marietouchet, or another rinse involved. Unless, of course, the standard twill silk is not actually being used for the wash scarves and it’s actually a different weave or weight?

A few more tidbits about the wash scarves: I have two 140’s and two 90’s in the wash. The 140’s seem to be made of a summer silk and are also pretty bright and brilliant in color. The 90’s SEEM to be made of standard twill and the colors are muted. Such 140’s and 90’s are both called “wash” but they have different qualities.

So, I know from experience that I can soften the silk twill by boiling it, but I do not know what it will do to the original dye so I am not comfortable doing it (yet). I may actually try the dryer first to see if that might turn a standard twill velvety soft.
 
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ChloeClad

O.G.
Jun 27, 2012
146
378
Two points/questions
1. How many scarves did you put in the machine? Did you put them all in one mesh bag ? Color catcher sheet???
2. I too iron my scarves when they are still damp. Although instructions above say DONT IRON SILK when wet. My ironed scarves come out a bit stiff (I use NO sizing or starch). Why ???
I don’t know why your scarves would come out stiff after ironing them damp - usually air-dried laundry becomes stiff. Maybe the iron simulates air drying!
 

marietouchet

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Feb 18, 2006
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marietouchet, do you have any Hermesmatic scarves or have you felt one? I do/have not. I know they dyed them in batches but I wonder what was in their secret sauce, other than dye. For some reason I think they machine dried them, as well. There is the heat again, so it would be interesting to know if they feel velvety.

The only scarves that I will not hand wash are very old ones, due to their reputation of having unstable dyes. I do not have any myself but my mother has a collection from the 60’s and 70’s and I will not touch them with a ten foot pole. As far as cleaning goes for those, they are dry clean only.

I have various dip dyes in 90 and 140 and they are all in standard twill and are slightly softer than a regular scarf, but similar to one that has been washed several times and not ironed.

I have DIY dip dyed two of my scarves (a 90 and a 140), literally soaking them in boiling water multiple times (in various dyes in multiple attempts to get the color right) and finished them in many hand rinses and vinegar soaks and they softened up A LOT, but still did not obtain the velvety feel of the wash scarves. Hmmmm…there might be something to your acid wash suspicion, marietouchet, or another rinse involved. Unless, of course, the standard twill silk is not actually being used for the wash scarves and it’s actually a different weave or weight?

A few more tidbits about the wash scarves: I have two 140’s and two 90’s in the wash. The 140’s seem to be made of a summer silk and are also pretty bright and brilliant in color. The 90’s SEEM to be made of standard twill and the colors are muted. Such 140’s and 90’s are both called “wash” but they have different qualities.

So, I know from experience that I can soften the silk twill by boiling it, but I do not know what it will do to the original dye so I am not comfortable doing it (yet). I may actually try the dryer first to see if that might turn a standard twill velvety soft.
YES honestly I have been in DENIAL about boiling water since I am a klutz, I can see getting into trouble with that .... that is just me...

Found this cool site - they sell a silk softener - " After dyeing, washing and rinsing, add 1/4 cup to a washing machine load, (or 1 teaspoon per gallon). Agitate 10 minutes in hottest water and rinse in warm water. "

https://www.dharmatrading.com/chemicals/milsoft.html

There are lots of useful FAQs

It is a fairly technical site, I got lost in citric acid, fixatives (increase color fastness) and mordants (prepare fabric to absorb dye, removing size ???) - which are more used when dying -but you want to soften not dye
 
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marietouchet

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I have a few non HS scarves, I will toss in washer to see if the hot water will soften , will report back , the silk is similar but not the dyes

Thank you I am motivated to try and soften my non HS, good COVID project, thanks for the idea

My REAL goal is I want to FROISSE a scarf - permanently wrinkled like in the MENS collection, but I have been lazy
 

ChloeClad

O.G.
Jun 27, 2012
146
378
YES honestly I have been in DENIAL about boiling water since I am a klutz, I can see getting into trouble with that .... that is just me...

Found this cool site - they sell a silk softener - " After dyeing, washing and rinsing, add 1/4 cup to a washing machine load, (or 1 teaspoon per gallon). Agitate 10 minutes in hottest water and rinse in warm water. "

https://www.dharmatrading.com/chemicals/milsoft.html

There are lots of useful FAQs

It is a fairly technical site, I got lost in citric acid, fixatives (increase color fastness) and mordants (prepare fabric to absorb dye, removing size ???) - which are more used when dying -but you want to soften not dye
Oh this product looks interesting! It’s like Downey for scarves! But it has a scientific name (Ceranine K) so it sounds much more professional. Thanks!
 

ChloeClad

O.G.
Jun 27, 2012
146
378
I have a few non HS scarves, I will toss in washer to see if the hot water will soften , will report back , the silk is similar but not the dyes

Thank you I am motivated to try and soften my non HS, good COVID project, thanks for the idea

My REAL goal is I want to FROISSE a scarf - permanently wrinkled like in the MENS collection, but I have been lazy
I look forward to your test reports, thank you!

Good luck with your future froisse attempts. I just love COVID scarf projects!!!!
 

marietouchet

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Feb 18, 2006
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I will leave this here for now - on various fabric chemicals FIXATIVES, WASH, SOFTENERS. Hermes uses commercial equivalents .. Their process - see what little they say in all their YOUTUBE videos is applied to raw silk - wash, print, steam , wash ...
Ignore the metiers videos where the wash steam is not done.

https://www.dharmatrading.com/chemicals/milsoft.html

The interesting bits I noticed are
1. RETAYNE - FIXATIVE - treated fabrics must be washed in COLD water
2. MILSOFT - SOFTENER - leaves a residue on the fabric
3. SYNTHRAPOL - WASH - use 140 deg F water - to me that is HOT
4. MODERN washers eg FRONT LOADERS should not be used , water is not HOT enough, or there is not enough water pressure - do it by hand

If you want to soften a scarf, depends on how Hermes treated it to begin with ...
 

ChloeClad

O.G.
Jun 27, 2012
146
378
I will leave this here for now - on various fabric chemicals FIXATIVES, WASH, SOFTENERS. Hermes uses commercial equivalents .. Their process - see what little they say in all their YOUTUBE videos is applied to raw silk - wash, print, steam , wash ...
Ignore the metiers videos where the wash steam is not done.

https://www.dharmatrading.com/chemicals/milsoft.html

The interesting bits I noticed are
1. RETAYNE - FIXATIVE - treated fabrics must be washed in COLD water
2. MILSOFT - SOFTENER - leaves a residue on the fabric
3. SYNTHRAPOL - WASH - use 140 deg F water - to me that is HOT
4. MODERN washers eg FRONT LOADERS should not be used , water is not HOT enough, or there is not enough water pressure - do it by hand

If you want to soften a scarf, depends on how Hermes treated it to begin with ...
Thank you! Shame about modern washers!
 
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