How It’s Made: Hermès Scarves

Hermes scarves are some of the recognizable fashion accessories in the world.  Many printed scarves are created using computers and machines to create the designs.  Instead, Hermes uses classically trained artisans to add the bright colors and patterns to the luxurious silk scarves.  If you have ever wondered about the process of making these gorgeous pieces, read on!

History of the Hermes Scarves

In 1937, Hermes sold its first silk scarf.  The scarf’s design was based on a woodblock drawing by Robert Dumas and printed on imported Chinese silk.  This high quality silk made the scarf much more durable than other scarves on the market, and it became a huge seller quickly thereafter.

Since then, Hermes has produced more than 2,000 different scarf designs by various artists.  While the styles and designs have changed, Hermes has not changed the painstaking process of screen printing the silk.

Initial Design

 

How It’s Made: Hermès Scarves
Photo courtesy of Hermes

 

Hermes hires artists to hand-design each scarf pattern.  On average, a Hermes scarf features 27 different colors, creating their recognizably colorful appearance.  That design needs to be translated to the process of screen printing the scarves.

Engraving the Design

From this point, Hermes engravers break the artist’s design down into unique films, one for each color contained within the design.  As many as 47 different films may be created for a single scarf design.  Engravers spend hundreds of hours creating these intricate films.

Preparing the Silk

 

How It’s Made: Hermès Scarves
Photo courtesy of Hermes

 

While the engravers are working on the individual films, Brazilian silk is transported to France where the raw silk is woven into the silk used for the scarves.  This weaving process can take up to three months.

Printing the Silk

 

 

 

Craftsmen then mix pigments together and boil them to create the perfect colors for the design.  Once the colors are prepared, the silk is stretched over a printing table and the screens are applied to the silk.  One by one, each screen adds new color and pattern to the silk to build the final pattern.  The colors are allowed to dry, then they are “fixed” into place with steam.  Watch the video above to see the process of screen printing the scarves.

Finishing the Scarves

 

How It’s Made: Hermès Scarves
Photo courtesy of Hermes

 

Finally the silk is cut into squares, and seamstresses hand-roll and sew the edges finished with silk thread.  This hand-sewn rolled edge is the true marker of an authentic Hermes scarf.

Creating one Hermes scarf can take upwards of 18 months, but customers appreciate the care and quality taken to create these luxurious accessories.  Hermes scarves regular sell for over $350, but when you know the hard work that goes into creating just one scarf, that price seems more than fair. You may even see some of these scarves during the best runway looks of all time from Hermes.  So, tell us, do you own one or more of these famous scarves?  Which design is your favorite?

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