You may not know that Pumpjack & Piddlewick has a second specialist ‘French Silk Scarf‘ shop on Etsy! (I’ll give you one guess what it sells.)

The Why’s

Why a second and very focused shop? After reviewing and reflecting on my Pumpjack & Piddlewick shop, as I do each year, I saw that there was a very specifically interested, discerning clientele that was looking for vintage silk scarves, and particularly French ones at that.

But why are people particularly keen on French silk scarves?

The French Silk Scarf – 11 Reasons

1. Quality

The quality of silk used in French scarves, particularly mid-century vintage, is exceptionally high. There is a thickness yet fluidness to that era that is just beautiful. The quality of the fabric is such that you can instantly recognise it for what it is, even without a label.

2. Couture

It’s not just the quality of the silk, but the quality of the making as well. In particular during the 1950s and 60s, most scarves had a couture quality, even if they were not ‘designer’, which was especially seen in the hand rolled, hand sewn seam. This alone is a dead give away of a quality French silk scarf.

4. Design

Much of the latter century and scarf designs of today tend to focus on pattern and blends of colour, whether bright, pretty or sombre. Think 1970s psychedelic, 1980s boho or over arching paisley and you have an idea. French silk scarves, again particularly from the mid-century time frame, showcase a huge range of design, from colours in patterns (generally quite bold) to the pretty floral, from the weirdly wonderful to the novelty.

5. Art

What is truly noticeable is that so many of these quality French scarves are art pieces in their own right. Take our image at the top of this post of tartan poodles, truly unique. I have found French scarves that showcase most of the art movements of the century: expressionism, art nouveau, cubism, art deco, surrealism, abstract expressionism, contemporary modern and more.

6. Fashion Statement

Consider Audery Hepburn, or even the film Thelma and Louise, certainly a scarf is a must if you own a convertible. Besides looking great, it keeps the hair out of your eyes. I personally prefer scarves over jewellery, not just for making a statement (or even an understatement) but because of the versatility and ability to compliment or enhance my clothes. A favourite is an all black outfit, or LBD, and a bright dramatic statement scarf. It’s not only an easy way to dress up an outfit, but can also help start conversations.

7. Feel French

You may not wish to feel French, but if you love a French silk scarf then it is likely you love, at least the idea of, France. There truly is something about wearing a silk scarf that makes one feel, just that little bit more, French. A little more chic. The style, the feel, the drape, that ‘je ne sais quoi’ (I don’t know what) that just lifts the spirit.

8. Affordable

Unlike so much else in life a great quality scarf is not only a good investment, but can be an affordable one. Especially if vintage. A good French silk scarf will stand the test of time (heck, we wouldn’t be selling vintage scarves if that were not the case), and unlike most clothing it lasts a lot longer. It can’t break. Can be cleaned and re-used. And be used in many ways. When you consider all this, whatever your scarf costs, whether pennies or much more, it is worth more than its weight in gold.

9. Transportable

I love this one. A silk scarf not only weighs almost nothing (most of ours are under 50 grams) but can also fold into almost nothing. Well at the very least, a pocket. Tuck one in a coat pocket, a hand bag, or simply wear around your neck or head. No hands needed to carry it. There’s no reason to be without, and more than one reason to be with…

10. Protection

We know it protects the hair on a windy day (or in that convertible), but it also can protect against the sun, rain and snow, as well as cold and heat. Depending how and where you wear it, it can keep you warm or cool. Because silk is a natural material, like wool it has insulating properties. But unlike wool, if it gets wet, it dries amazingly quickly.

11. Versatility

Did you know there are over 50 ways to wear a scarf? Some say even as many as 100. Most of us mere mortals tend to stick to a few ways we like and feel flatters us (and sometimes we just do the lazy way).

Here’s a wonderful selection of 11 ways for a man to wear a scarf, from Parisian Gents. Because scarves are not just for women – but we can still steal some of the ideas ladies. (If you would prefer  to see 20 ways for a woman to wear a scarf, check out Discovering the French Scarf.)

But it doesn’t stop just there for this piece of silk. Scarves can of course be worn, but can also be used as clothing, a towel, sling, bandage, blanket, picnic rug, wind break, curtain, hat, handbag, baby carrier…

The French silk scarf is a must for us, and I hope for you. My shop is online at

I hope to see you there.

And there’s more!

If I have persuaded you towards a passion for Silk Scarves, you may enjoy other write ups in this areas:

Discovering the French Scarf

17 Lesser Known French Designers

All about French Silk

My Customers are Special

Why Vintage?

Still More

Silk scarves vary across the decades in their style, silk type, even size. Here’s a taste from My Shop.

Simply click on an image to see more from that decade.


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