We really believe that our hand printed cashmere scarves are something to shout about and the reason we think that is we get so many comments from you our customers about them.
Only this weekend, Gemma in the office went to Amsterdam to see Elton John and the girl she was with whipped one of our scarves out of her bag. She had been using the scarf for a few years and said she couldn't live without it and if she didn't have it in her bag she would have a panic attack! Gemma was pleased to report this story back and on her closer inspection of the scarf, she said that the condition of the scarf was great, no bobbling and no print running.
The big thing we can't stress enough is that our scarves are not just for cold weather. They are great for having with you whenever and wherever because they look great and if you get a bit chilly, you can pull it out and the problem is solved. This week I have been wearing the monster leopard print in postbox around my neck. The weather has been so up and down I've been wearing it with a linen dress and sneakers. It's an outfit that works. When I go off on my holidays, I will tuck one in my carry on and whip it out on the plane and so the list goes on; at an english barbecue, in an air con restaurant.... you get the point!
And they can handle the wear, really they can, they actually get better the more you use them. So here are a few reasons that make them last like this and why whenever we get a new delivery of stock in, they fly out.
First, they are woven by hand with great quality cashmere yarns in small quantities in our tiny family run factories in Nepal. A master craftsman is involved in every part of this process ensuring that the weave is smooth, the finish is correct and basically that there are no snags. This first stage plays a big part in why our scarves are so great. Really high attention to detail and strict quality control at this stage means that no 'dodgy' scarves get through the production line.
Then each piece is dyed individually in a vat of colour pigment. A master dyer mixes all the dyes up like a recipe to ensure that the colour is perfect. In large pots of boiling water he mixes the colour and then plunges the white shawls in, stirring them around for a long time to ensure that every fibre takes the colour and that the colour is consistent across the shawl. This is always a beautiful part of the process to watch as the shawls come out of the vats in all their brilliant colours. They are then dried on washing lines in the sun.
The scarves are then taken for hand printing. We use the screen printing method which we feel gives a specific feel to our scarves and ensures that we get a proper intensity of colour when printing. All the screen prints are again drawn by hand after we have sent the designs from here in UK. The print colours are then also applied by hand with each colour requiring a different screen.
After the printed scarves are left to dry they are then washed and it is this washing that softens them. After drying they are then ironed with the heaviest looking irons you have ever seen! After this they are labelled, finished and ready to go.
All the processes we have listed are carried out by hand and this is not even all of them as there are many more stages as well. When something gets made like this, by master craftsman, the same as a Hermes bag or a Swiss watch, it makes it special. It is not mass produced but rather painstakingly finished to perfection and for this reason it will last for years.