The Hermès Scarf story

Some garments deserve their own post.
The Séquences Hermes scarf is one of them.
Picture this:
You're at a consignment store, a scarf behind the glass window gets 
your attention, you ask the sales girl 
to show it to you. You unfold it and voilá: its bright, its beautiful 
and it reads Hermès. Too good to be true, right ?
You check the price tag and at the same time wonder if its an original -
(lately it's something you have to ask yourself about everything and everyone)

So, I went home and did some research, actually, a lot.
Perused pages and pages on the subject on how to spot a fake scarf,
how to check if it was a real Hermés scarf and everything related.

As I found more and more information, I jotted it down.
After I felt I had all I needed, I took that list with me back
to the consignment store, with my fingers crossed, that the scarf
was still there so I could put it to the test... and it was still there.

So, I took my check list, which I thought I'd share, because
what is the purpose of knowledge it you don't share it ? 

1. The Copyright and Accent: 

According to EluxeMagazine.com, there should be copyright marked 
with a ©, like this: ©  Hermès. Nothing else, no Hermès Paris, just Hermès. 
Most important, the accent: Hermès should always have an accent on the second è. 
It's common to find this copyright on the upper left hand, 
however this is not always the case. (in this Séquences scarf, it was)
2. The tag: 

According to TheVintageContessa, care tags have changed over time, there is no standard rule here, however one thing has remained and its the language these are written in and its only French and English - no other language. So, if you find a scarf that has "SETA" on the tag (silk in Italian) it's not the real deal. 
The tag has to be hand stitched, it may have the washing/care symbols appear.
Also, tag can only be white or black and it has to be placed in a corner at the back of the scarf, both according to ChicStreet.
The Séquences scarf passed this test.
3. Size: 

It actually matters, take out your measuring tape. I did. 
Stretched out the scarf and then measured on. 
Unless its a twilly (32" x 2"), scarves are a perfect square.
According to the Hermès US website,
 scarves come in various sizes:

55" x 55" or "the shawl"
36"x36" known or "full carrè"
28"x28" scarf
24"x24" scarf
17"x17" aka "pocket square"

On most pages it says that you really have to stretch it and that 
for vintage or older ones that may have been cleaned, silk may
have shrunk a bit.
Interestingly, I read that  it takes 2 years and 280 miles of
silk thread to make a single Hermès scarf, as said by "silk maestro" 
Hamadou from the French textile center of Lyon.
Oh and the size for my Séquences scarf it was 36"x36".

4. Weight:

It matters too. 63 grams weight for the 36"x36".
these 2.2 ounces of silk are the product of 250 Mulberry cocoons.
Yes, I weighed mine too, with the help of a food scale 
my h kindly provided.
The Séquences scarf weighed 2.2 ounces.

5. Title:

The carrès have a tittle or design name printed on it.
The Séquences scarf had a title. 

6. Artist signature:

As with any work of art, its usually signed. 
For Hermès, most are signed by the artist, although
according to some blogs there are exceptions. 
For this scarf, it has Caty Latham's signature, who according
to Hermesology has been with Hermès for over 45 years
and is the artist responsible for one of their best selling scarves.
For the Séquences scarf design, it dates from 1983, however this is
likely one of the newer editions.  
7. Silk test:

If your care label reads that its silk, there is a way you can 
confirm that it is indeed silk.
One of the tests is to burn it and it will smell like hair.
Certainly that's a test we won't do. 
The Index of Home Silk Hardware says you can rely on the 
sound of friction: it will make a crisp sound. 
Also, Wikihow recommends to just rub it, 
if it becomes warm, you have silk in your hands.

8. The hem:

All Hermés hems or "roule" are hand rolled and sewn.
The color of the thread used to hem it has to 
be the exact same colour as the fabric.
Usually done by women and its said to take 
almost an hour ...
Also hems are rolled towards the front, this as per 
"Emile-Maurice Hermès once said that his scarves were so beautiful that even
 the backs had to be seen. It is because of this that all Hermès scarves 
are hand stitched and hemmed back to front."
Needless to say, the Séquences scarf also passed this test.
So, yes, I bought it.
But, although I did all of this research I needed to have
someone with more knowledge take a look at it.
So, I headed to my local Hermès store and asked the store 
manager to check it and let me have her educated opinion.
She examined it, looked closely at the "roule", checked the
back and front, stretched it, rubbed it..

The verdict was that the Séquences scarf was an original. 




2 comments

Sheila said...

How much was it?? It's lovely - I recognize the horses' movement as being a copy of one of the first motion picture filming - they discovered the horse's gait that way.

What a score! Lovely scarf, Lorena! Great work on the research too!

Mica T said...

What a beautiful scarf, and wonderful find! :) Great that your research paid off!

I would love to have a Hermes scarf one day - I nearly bought one in a store on holiday once, it was beautiful and I've always thought back to it and regretted not buying it. A while back I tried to find if there were any online and quickly found that the scarf I wanted and the colorway were extremely rare. I'd had no idea of what I'd passed up! Oh well, the wallet is fuller for not getting it I guess!


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