So....dare I handwash this scarf from the 1960's?

Miss B

Member
Jun 16, 2010
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Up North
Dear all,

I've just made my very first Ebay purchase - a Les Voitures a Transformation from 1965 in really really good condition. The scarf has burgundy borders and an offwhite center (if someone knows this scarf not to be from the original issue in 1965, please let me know - I won't be half as scared of washing it then).

So. Who here has hand washed a scarf that old? And have anyone had any experience with this particular scarf/colorway? And if no - do you think I should try it?

Thoughts, comments, shared experience will be much much appreciated!
 

Scarf Addict

Sieze The Day!
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Oct 17, 2008
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I can't say for sure - I would be very very careful with a scarf that old as the colours may not be as stable as modern day dyes. If you dared to do it I think I'd use freezing cold water to lessen the chance of a run and put several colour catcher sheets in the water for good measure and be as quick as you can! Burgundy may be one of the unstable colours - I think green, blue and red are notorious on older scarves for running. Maybe CobaltBlue can advise as she did a thread on hand washing?
If you can't wash it then ask a good dry cleaner for their opinion and if you go ahead make sure they use "perc free" chemicals and ask them NOT to staple the ticket to the scarf (the label is OK if it is still attached) nor to iron the hems!
Hope this helps.
 

Valmont

Member
Oct 2, 2011
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New York, NY
There is a good thread on handwashing scarves here, I learned a lot from it.

I agree with Scarf Addict that modern day dyes are more stable. Years ago, Hermes used to carry a warning on its boxes about not exposing the scarves to rain as the colors were not fast...
 

Miss B

Member
Jun 16, 2010
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Up North
Thank you both for your comments. I think I've been through all the handwashing threads on here. I usually wash all my H silks by hand - including a Cavaliers d'or from the 1970's - and handwashing no longer causes me any jitters at all. Except for this one case, where I'm on the fence. I'm really not very keen on dry cleaning.....what to do, what to do......:confused1:
 

good life

clockwork orange
Nov 1, 2010
1,049
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orange side of the moon
I have washed old scarves, but they from late 80's and pretty much single color. But like Scarf addict said, in freezing water (with Johnson's baby shampoo) and very quickley. They turned out great. Good luck to you.
 

gracekelly

The Red Queen
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Can you use one of those color catcher sheets in the wash basin whilst washing the scarf?
 

VnSoie

Member
Aug 17, 2011
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Sliding down the orange slope
Dear Miss B,

I have handwashed a La Reale and a Grand Apparat, both of which I believe to be original issues, one from the 50s and the other from the 60s. Both of these scarves have black borders; La Reale has some red but neither have the other colors mentioned above as notorious for running. Both were fine. I use Dreft laundry powder and tepid water, in the bathtub, to give me as much room to spread out the scarf as possible. I was advised to keep the scarf moving in the wash water and to avoid it folding over on itself as much as possible. I hope this helps.
 

birkel

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Jan 17, 2009
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I would not my 1960s tour du monde en 80 jours is in good shape after continous light steaming!!! Hope it helps darling.
 

papertiger

MOD
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May 23, 2009
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G-orgeous H-eaven
Whilst others are reassuring, all I can tell you is I picked up my Sellles a Housse 1967 in similar cw to yours (burgundy, gold and cream) for an amazing price at an antiques fair because the colour has run a little (I don't mind, if it were pristine I think I would have a hard time wearing it so often). Obviously I don't know what the previous owner/s had used but I now take it to H to be dry cleaned - it's £10 and I'd rather have my piece of mind so it isn't ruined any further.
 

svenesaes

O.G.
May 26, 2009
257
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I washed my Ali Baba scarf (vintage though more recent than yours) without incident. This is the red and tan version, and it actually already had some areas of color run when I acquired it (red bleeding into cream). The color runs of course did not go away with the washing but no new areas developed. I did the recommended cold water, lots of swishing, and used a color catcher. Not sure what this means in terms of your query but thought I'd provide my experience!
 

Miss B

Member
Jun 16, 2010
24
0
Up North
Thank you all, for your thoughts. As I've been pondering the grand old question "to wash, or not to wash!", I've come to think that maybe - just maybe - my scarf doesn't date from 1965 after all and is therefore hopefully safe to wash. The reason being this:

My scarf carries the legend HERMÈS- PARIS C centered at the bottom. As far as I can tell from research, Hermès has a tendency to move the copyright C around on their scarves. Now, from what I can tell, the 1965 version of the scarf does not carry the C at the center bottom next to the Hermés - Paris, nor is it next to a smaller Hermès in the corner as seen is in more recent re-issues.

Does anyone know anything about dating scarves from the placement of the copyright symbol?
 

Miss B

Member
Jun 16, 2010
24
0
Up North
I did it! I just couldn't hesitate any longer.

And......

It's absolutely perfekt!:yahoo::yahoo: Not a single color run! It's drying out a little now and I'll iron it in 20 mins or so. I'm so very happy. The cream is as creamy as ever and the red borders all stayed where they were supposed to.

I just gave it my usual treatment of lukewarm soapy water, lots of swishing about (I'm rather heavy handed) followed by two baths in clean slightly cooler water, rolled it up in a clean towel (which I then jump up and down on a bit) and hung it over the ironing board.

Thanks to all of you for your comments! And may you all have a very very happy New Year:drinkup:
 
Apr 15, 2009
726
1
Thank you all, for your thoughts. As I've been pondering the grand old question "to wash, or not to wash!", I've come to think that maybe - just maybe - my scarf doesn't date from 1965 after all and is therefore hopefully safe to wash. The reason being this:

My scarf carries the legend HERMÈS- PARIS C centered at the bottom. As far as I can tell from research, Hermès has a tendency to move the copyright C around on their scarves. Now, from what I can tell, the 1965 version of the scarf does not carry the C at the center bottom next to the Hermés - Paris, nor is it next to a smaller Hermès in the corner as seen is in more recent re-issues.

Does anyone know anything about dating scarves from the placement of the copyright symbol?
There is some info on the copyright placement in the Reference area here on tpf -- yours is definitely a newer issue than mine. Also, if you Google, you will find some good info about copyrights in the ebay "guides".

Congrats on washing your scarf. Glad it all turned out well!