Last year I made a few of these scarves. A friend suggested I pursue a silk scarf backed in cashmere. Being who I am, I had to find some kind of source for second-hand silk. Enter Ebay and the fabulous search term, "recycled sari." All of the silk in these scarves came from used saris. Saris use about 5 yards of fabric because the fabric is wound around and around the body and then up and over one shoulder. That's why you also see fantastic border prints or embroidery on most silk used for saris. How do I know this? I'm not Indian but once I was in an opera about Gandhi. It was with Seattle Opera and I was in the chorus. All the women got to wear these amazing saris as part of our costume. Strange experience -- music by Philip Glass. Need I say more?
But, I digress. Saris have great border detailing and this panel is no exception. It is a fawn/taupe color and the embroidery is brass with a little black. Very detailed and intricate. I did hesitate before cutting it up, but I have 3 amazing scarves and tons of silk still available so I'm sharing the wealth.
I washed the silk on gentle in the washer and hung it to dry. Silk tears along the grain just like wool so cutting the panels into scarf-sized pieces was super easy. The cashmere was cut 10 inches wide in as big of pieces as I could eke out of my bin of sweaters. The finished scarf is about 9 1/2 by 65 inches.
On 2 of the scarves I used ivory cashmere for the backing. I am a total sucker for all ivory and I really think using the neutral allows the embroidery to shine. For the silk panel with the most blue (from the center of the fabric) I went with blue cashmere in a range from bright royal blue to pale blue to indigo and sky blue. Stunning. The effect is less subtle than the ivory versions but I think it will appeal to those who want a bigger splash of color near their face.
The scarves are listed in my Etsy shop for $75 plus shipping. Last year I sold out of all the silk/cashmere scarves I made. I have a feeling these ones are going to fly.