What is Silk?
Here at Modefa, when we say "silk," we mean real, pure, silk -- that rare and luxurious material that comes from the silk worm. Beware of other sellers-- both online and offline-- who claim to sell "Silk" items. In the retail industry, material that is polyester is often referred to as 'silk' or 'silk satin.' Tags may even say "100% silk" when what they really are is synthetic 'silk': polyester. This is not always done to trick the consumer (though it usually is); sometimes people are used to fabrics with a silky touch being called silk. If you are familiar with pure silk, it will be easy to tell the difference between silk and polyester. The price is also a good indication of whether or not something is truly pure silk-- if it's too cheap, it's not silk! Pure, quality silk will be expensive, but well worth the price.
History & Benefits of Silk
For centuries, Anatolia -- now present day Turkey -- was the crossroads for the silk road which served as the trade routes for silk between the east and west. In modern times, Turkey continues this tradition with world-famous silk brands such as Armine and Aker. But why silk? What is so special about it?
Silk is unlike any other fabric, either man-made or natural. It is one of the strongest natural fibers, making for a very durable scarf. Silk is gentle to the skin and hair-- it's protein fibers are similar to that of hair-- and especially good for people who may suffer from allergies to other fabrics. The physical properties of silk make it a great choice to wear in all seasons: it's absorbency wicks away moisture from the skin, making it cool and comfortable in the summer. Yet it's conductivity keeps out the cold and keeps in the warmth in the winter.
Twill vs. Satin Weaves
Most of the silk scarves we sell on our site are made with either a twill or satin weave (some of the Neva Style slk shawls may have different weaves). The weave refers to the way that the fibers of the silk are put together to make the garment.
A satin weave will give the fabric a glossy appearance on the surface, but dull on the inside or back. A satin weave can make the scarf more slippery, giving it a beautiful draping effect.
A twill weave can be identified by the tiny diagonal lines that appear on the surface when looked at closely. This weave makes the fabric stronger, with a dull appearance. The twill weave is not as slippery and is more structured, making it easy to shape as desired-- such as in making the "peak" in the Turkish hijab style. Soils and stains are also less noticeable on this type of weave.
Caring for your Silk Scarves
When cared for properly, silk scarves can outlast scarves made of other fabrics such as polyester. However, since silk is delicate, it should be handled with care.
Washing: Unless the scarf becomes soiled, a silk scarf can be worn many times before needing to be washed. We recommend you dry clean your silk scarves for the best result; this is also what Armine and Aker recommend. However, you should make sure that the dry cleaner you take it to is aware it is silk and knows how to handle silk garments. Another option is to handwash your silk scarves. This can be done in cold or lukewarm water using a very small amount of mild detergent dissolved in the water. Keep the temperature of the water the same throughout the wash and rinse, and do not soak the scarf as this may cause the dye to fade. Let the scarf air dry. Machine washing silk is not recommending. Never put your silk scarves in the dryer as this may damage the fabric.
Ironing: Iron your silk scarf on the reverse side, and on the lowest setting. Most irons have a "silk" setting, so you can use that. Silk should be ironed while still damp. If it is dry, spray water on it with a spritzer bottle first. Do not use steam as this can leave watermarks.
Wearing and Storing: When wearing your silk scarves, do not use a safety pin as it may damage the fabric. It is best to you a very thin straight pin (one with a large head will keep it from going through the fabric). You can also try one of our new Magnet Pins. Store your silk scarves in a safe place where they will not be damaged. Inside a cotton pillowcase or other breathable fabric is a good idea; do not store in plastic. Since silk is susceptible to moths and other insects, be sure to store moth balls with it. Some women who wear their silk scarves often like to hang them in a safe place in the house, such as pinned to a curtain. Silk can wrinkle very easily, so don't leave it sitting unfolded or in the laundry hamper.
Quality of our Silk Scarves
The silk scarves we sell on our site -- Armine, Aker, Pierre Cardin, and Cacharel -- are popular brand names in Turkey. As such, these scarves are of very high quality. All feature hand-rolled edges. These silk scarves tend to be thicker than other silk scarves, and therefore some people report that they are more "stiff" than they would expect. However, you will find that after ironing and continued use, these scarves will become more pliable and easier to drape.
Aker, Pierre Cardin, and Cacharel scarves are all made by the Aker company. Aker is one of the best brands of silk scarves in the world, and has engineered a process to increase the durability of their silk scarves. Aker guarantees that their scarves will not stain or absorb any harmful liquids -- including tea, coffee or oil. This is a very important factor to consider for hijabis since they use their scarves every day! Aker and Pierre Cardin scarves also have a light, fresh lavender scent on them, infused into the fabric by the manufacturer. But be aware, over time this scent will fade, especially after washing-- so enjoy it as much as you can before you decide to wash it!
For a third-party review of our Silk Scarves, you can read Old School Hijabi's Review of an Armine Silk Hijab, and her review of an Aker Silk Hijab.