Published On: November 26, 2020727 words3.6 min read

Ruined a Hermes silk scarf before she began to understand the knowledge of silk

A British businesswoman shared a story online about a silk scarf.

On her 21st birthday, her mother gave her a Hermès Les Clés (“The Keys”) as a gift.

Then she moved to Japan for work, and one day she accidentally spilled the sauce on her teppanyaki. When she couldn’t find a dry-cleaner for a while, she took it for granted and soaked the silk scarf in water and left it overnight.

When I woke up the next day, the stain had indeed faded, but the scarf itself had faded badly and appeared in many different shades of color, looking very bad.

She was devastated that such a memorable gift was ruined by herself. Fortunately, a Japanese colleague reminded her that there was an after-sales service to press the pleats of the silk scarf, which might be able to save it.

The process of sending it back to the Paris headquarters took months and over 100 euros, but the result was worth it: the fading marks were no longer visible and the scarf took on a new shape and life.

After this “lost and found” experience, the designer began to review the situation.

On the one hand, she was so careless that she forgot to put the scarf away during dinner.

On the other hand, the lack of knowledge about the damage caused was disrespectful to the designer behind the piece, the craftsman and the mother who gave the gift.

After that, all her silk clothing had to be dry cleaned. To preserve the shape of the folds, only the original, round boxes with acid-free paper attached are used to store the silk scarves (to avoid corrosion), coiled vertically as in the photo, rather than folded.

Indeed, good things deserve to be treated like this. From the mulberry silkworms, to the weavers, to the dyers, to the threaders, to the delicate silk products, the whole process takes the wisdom and effort of countless people.

Even the silk scarf “back from the dead” pleats, but also full of respect for the fabric.

In Paris, there is a workshop called “Lognon”, which has been doing the pleating of fabrics for the top European luxury brands for over two hundred years.

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Ruined a Hermes silk scarf before she began to understand the knowledge of silk

Here, the pleating process, in which the fabric is placed between two molds made of special cardboard, shaped by steam at 85-100°C for 1-1.5 hours and then left to cool for more than 24 hours, has been passed down to the fourth generation of the family.

The seemingly simple technology cannot find a second family that can match it.

Because fabrics such as silk, leather, chiffon, velvet, etc., which are favored by big brand workshops, are very delicate, the slightest mistake in the time, temperature and force of each step will make the effect less effective and wasteful.

The more than 3,000 different kinds of molds stored on the shelves are also the valuable crystallization of generations of creativity.

There is also a pleating process that rarely occurs in everyday clothing called “striping”.

It differs from pressed pleats in that it is not shaped by high temperature, but turned out one by one with special equipment, and each pleat has a distinct sewing line.

For example, this three-dimensional tuck pleat is made by fixing only the roots of the two ends of the pleat and twisting the middle section naturally. The result is clear and regular, and the molding looks casual and natural.

In short, the production of silk pleats, whether pressed or tucked, requires special equipment as well as specialized technicians to complete. The process of handing over the fabric to a service provider can again be time-consuming.

Light and shade variations of light and shadow

Three-dimensional texture of three-dimensional orientation

Unbridled dance of life

If someone hadn’t stuck to these costly processes, the businesswoman would have lost an irreplaceable gift and we would have missed out on the many beauties that this precious fabric brings.

The meaning of silk has always been more than practical value, it is an artistic expression, is an emotional trust. Understanding and caring for it is the greatest respect for it.

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